By MacKenzie Knox, Staff Writer
After months of practices and hard work, the varsity soccer team ended its fourth fall season — and its first in the Shore Conference — with some key wins and promising potential.
With the school’s first full enrollment of four grades, the soccer team filled both varsity and junior varsity teams, a remarkable growth from the 13 girls who played on the school’s first soccer team in 2013.
Despite the growth in numbers, the relatively inexperienced varsity squad still faced formidable opponents as newcomers to the Shore Conference. “The players were willing to work at improving and remained positive throughout the season,” said head soccer coach and Athletic Director Ken Santos, whose team ended the season with a record of 7-12. “They scared a few teams into realizing that we are a legitimate team and one that will continue to make waves in the Shore Conference.”
Sophomore goalie Colleen Cusat felt “the team worked hard together, and this season was filled with teamwork, improvement and perseverance.”
While many of the varsity team members were returning players, a few freshman added to the size and the skillset of the squad this season, immediately making an impact and feeling accepted by their older teammates.
“It feels like I’ve been on the team since the beginning,” freshman Colleen Kelly said. “We are all so close, which really creates a great vibe we bring onto the field. The girls from the start welcomed me and all the freshmen into the team with smiles and high spirits. I am very proud to be apart of this team.”
Although the varsity team just missed qualifying for the Shore Conference Tournament by losing a close deciding game to Point Pleasant Boro, Santos is optimistic about where the program is heading. “Our future looks bright, and our goal every year will now be to win the division, win the Shore Conference Tournament, and win the State Tournament,” Santos said. “As the school grows, our program will grow and improve quickly.”