Fall Teams Off to a Strong Start Despite COVID Challenges

By Kate Hegel, Assistant Sports Editor and Meredith Farrington, A/E & Features Editor

(Updated as of Oct. 31, 2021)

Despite the unprecedented challenges and restrictions created by the pandemic, the Monarch soccer, field hockey, tennis, cross country and sailing teams have continued to uphold the school’s athletic reputation this fall.   

The varsity soccer team played their first game on Oct. 14 against Keyport at Capelli Fields. The team’s season got off to a late start when their games against Mater Dei, Red Bank Catholic, and St. Rose, were postponed. During their season debut, Trinity Hall Varsity Soccer emerged victorious against Keyport with a score of 8-0. 

Senior Gabriella S. (left) beats her opponent to the ball during Trinity Hall’s home varsity soccer game against Point Pleasant Beach High School on Nov. 3. (Photo by Morgan Kogan)

Junior Yasmin Henke scored the first goal of the season. Freshman Reilly Sullivan, junior Cameryn Keane, sophomore Alex Popham and junior Tess Bateman, earned points for the team as well. By the end of October, the varsity squad amassed an impressive 4-0 record. 

JV soccer’s first game against St. Rose was canceled due to COVID-19. Later, the team played in a successful scrimmage against Monmouth Regional on Sept. 25 and won 4-2.

Freshman Amel Morales scored two goals for the team and junior Sanan Gueykian, and freshman Athena Emnace scored one each. 

The JV soccer team also welcomed a new head coach, Marco Messercola. “For this JV soccer season, we have a great foundation of five upperclassmen surrounded by 17 freshmen,” said Messercola.  When asked what he’s most excited about for the JV Monarchs this year, he said, “Their ability to take in information and the willingness to apply themselves.” 

“The soccer program has a bright future ahead of them,” Messercola said. 

The cross country team defeated Keansburg in a dual meet Oct. 1 at Holmdel Park and won, with sophomore Ally Lupu leading the way followed by senior Lucy Retterer who earned second place and sophomore Logan Connor who took third. 

Due to Coronavirus, the team’s second dual meet scheduled for Oct. 6 against Point Beach was postponed, but on Oct. 14, 12 varsity runners were chosen to compete in a race at Christian Brothers Academy against Middletown North. The Monarchs emerged victorious, led by junior Madeline Barber who placed first. The team also won its third meet against Point Pleasant Beach on Oct. 27. 

The JV cross country team also ran in a scrimmage meet on Oct. 14 against Middletown North’s JV team. Although there was no official score, the Monarchs ran well. 

The sailing team has competed in one regatta this season on Oct. 3 at Toms River Yacht Club but due to new adjustments, no official scores were released. The team’s focus this year has been getting first-time sailors familiar with the sport. During their practices at Toms River, experienced members of the sailing team have been helping new sailors hone their skills both on the water and land. 

“This first season of sailing has been absolutely exciting,” said freshman Giada Incognito, who began sailing for the first time this year. “We have learned many new things and even had our first regatta last Saturday.” Optimistic about the future of the team, Incognito said she “can’t wait for the next years to come!”

Senior co-captain Hannah N. has helped lead the varsity tennis team to an undefeated regular season. (Photo by Isabella Giallanza)

The tennis team had an impressive start to their season. Additionally, the girls won their match against Ranney, for the first time, at 5-0. 

“I am so proud of all the hard work that girls have put into our season so far. We just recently beat Ranney School, our rivals, for the first time ever in Trinity Hall history,” senior co-captain Hannah Noorigian said. 

“Given the circumstances, we are so blessed to have a season. Trinity Hall tennis girls know what it means to work hard and give it all we’ve got — both on and off the court,” junior co-captain Haley Nelson said. “I am so proud of our girls and am looking forward to a great rest of the season.”

Nelson’s words were quite prophetic as the team went undefeated in regular season competition, posting a perfect 10-0 record. 

The field hockey team, now in its third season, is happy to be back on the field.  As of Oct. 31, the team’s record stands at 3-2-1 with two wins over Keyport and one over Mater Dei. 

“The team is working so well together and it’s amazing to see the willingness of girls to step up and fill more challenging roles on the field,” said senior captain Hannah McCarthy. “The level of improvement from last year to this year is phenomenal.”

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