Coach: Chris Gerber, second season
Last year’s record: 13-6-2
Top lettermen lost: Brianna Petro (F/Mid.), Erin Sullivan (Mid.), Dana Lytle (F), Nikki Chu (D), Jen Wolin (D), Erin Scott (D)
Returners: Casey Murphy (Sr., GK), Hayley Soriano (So., F), Daniella Greco (Sr., D), Sam Orrecchio (So., F), Lauren Hall (Sr., Mid.), Melanie Diakun (Sr., Mid.), Danielle Staffin (Jr., GK), Allison Morgan (Sr., Mid.), Jessica Schwed (Sr., Mid.), Taylor Corsi (Sr., D), Aspen Schneider (Sr., D), Jennifer Sitrin (Sr., D), Rachel Truska (Sr., F), Taylor Georgeson (Sr., Mid.), Emily Szeflinski (Sr., Mid.).
Newcomers: Katie Lonsdorf (Sr., D), Nicole Staropoli (Sr., D), Sarah Lessing (Sr., Mid.), Kelsey Coulter (Jr., Mid.), Aishini Rao (Jr., D), Endla Feustal (Jr., D), Shannon Murphy (Jr., D), Rebecca Dranfield (Jr., F), Taylor Mongno (So., D), Leah Posella (So., F/Mid.), Abby Ousoulijoglou (So., F), Paige Schneider (So., Mid.).
Outlook: While the Panthers certainly suffered some key graduation losses, there’s still plenty of talent back to keep Bridgewater-Raritan in the mix. Gerber also expects some of the newcomers to be immediate contributors. The second-year coach knows things won’t be easy in a division that features two defending state champions and a state Group IV runner up, not to mention several other elite squads, but the Panthers were right in the middle of things last year in the conference and county, and should be right up there again. First-team All-Area keeper Casey Murphy returns to anchor the defense, with Greco and Sitrin leading the backline. Hall, Szeflinski and Morgan will handle things in the midfield and up top.
Coach: Scott Burd, sixth season
Last year’s record: 9-9-1
Top lettermen lost: Taylor Dey (F), Sam Belbierz (D), Taylor Packwood (F), Rachel Chavkin (Mid.), Sam MacFarlane (Mid.), Marissa Saville (D), Liz Boyle (Mid.), Amanda Mahaney (D).
Returners: Veronica Acevado (Jr., GK), Briona Davis (Jr., Mid.), Ashley Jankowski (Jr., Mid.), Danielle Kelly (Sr., D), Paris Anderson (Jr., D), Krystyn Vladyka (Jr., Mid.), Julliana Callozo (Sr., Mid.).
Newcomers: Ariana Wright (Fr., F), Zaya Kuroda-Gardner (Fr., F), Kelsea Chang (Jr., D), Kim Chavkin (Fr., Mid.), Amber Folnagy (Jr., D), Sam Llanos (Jr., Mid.), Amanda Printon (Jr., D), Taylor Johnson (So., Mid.).
Outlook: The Warriors lost eight starters to graduation, including several four-year starters, and Burd knows rebuilding in the treacherous Delaware Division can produce severe growing pains. Still, Burd has built Franklin into a quality program since taking the helm six years ago and the Warriors will be anything but pushovers. Burd expects Kelly and Jankowski to provide the veteran leadership and hopes some of the underclassmen and newcomers can provide an immediate spark, especially on offense.
Coach: Lee Ann Best, 12th season
Last year’s record: 8-12-1
Top lettermen lost: Michelle McEnroe (Mid.), Alexis Pezza (D), Julie DiAlfonso (F), Katie Faillace (F), Erin Hanlon (D), Alyssa Giarrusso (F/Mid.), Morgan Stiles (D – transfer).
Returners: Katerina Albanese (Sr., GK), Kate Swetz (So., D), Arielle Curtis (Jr., Mid.), Lyra Biancamano (Sr., Mid), Nicole Russo (Jr., F), Olivia Mukendi (J., Mid.), Nicole Rossi (Sr., F),
Kelly Amen (Jr., GK), Suzie Inglin (Sr., D), Julianne Minutillo (Sr., Mid.).
Newcomers: Carly Swetz (Fr., Mid.), Kristen Malebranch (Fr., D), Victoria Minutillo (So., Mid.), Emily Washbourn (So., D), Christine Mayorga (So., F), Casey Kelly (Jr., Mid.),
Cate Zuccarello (Jr., F), Caitlin Musumeci (Sr., D), Nicole Meissner (Sr., F/Mid.), Kristen Dubyna (Sr., Mid.).
Outlook: The Raiders have been offensively challenged the past few seasons, and losing their top two scorers in McEnroe and DiAlfonso to graduation doesn’t figure to help matters. But with some promising rookies and a key transfer, perhaps Hillsborough will see an uptick in scoring, after all. The biggest help – along with Minutillo’s returning from an injury that kept her out last season – could be Mayorga, who starred for Bound Brook last fall, tallying 21 goals and 10 assists as a freshman, good for fifth in the area and third in the Skyland Conference. While it remains to be seen how she fares against the brutal defenses of the Delaware Division, Best likes what she’s seen, so far. The Raiders’ defense, which is always among the tops in the area, should be strong again, with Inglin and Swetz leading the way.
Coach: Jeannine Calhoun, fifth season
Last year’s record: 14-9
Top lettermen lost: Paige Dillard (GK), Maddie Barretti (D), Amanda Powell (Mid.).
Returners: Yota Sfondouris (Sr., D), Bianca DiTrolio (Sr., Mid.), Kaitlin Greenstein (Sr., F), Emily Pizzuto (Sr., D), Morgan Rudko (Sr., Mid.), Amanda Izzo (Sr., Mid.), Kira Greer (Sr., Mid.), Alli DeLuca (Jr., F/Mid.), Christine Tack (Jr., F), Riley Coopersmith (Jr., Mid.), Jenna Taylor (Jr., Mid.), Gabby Stelzmiller (Jr., D), Jamie Gentile (Jr., F.), Jackie Davis (Jr., GK).
Newcomers: Bristol Pizzuto (So., GK), Gabi Provenzano (Fr., D/F), Luciana Zullo (Fr., F), Sarah Hazard (Fr., D), Brie Pavol (Fr., Mid.), Sophie Calverly (Jr., Mid.), Jackie Berardo (Jr., F), Danielle Pasko ( Sr., D), Katie Hyland (Sr., GK).
Outlook: After going 3-5 in conference play last season, the Red Devils turned things up in the postseason, winning the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament championship and advancing to the Central Group IV sectional semifinals. Hunterdon Central returns seven starters and has added several newcomers that project to have an immediate impact, although the lineup is still in flux late in the preseason, partially due to the injury bug. Calhoun believes the mix of fiery youth and veteran leadership could provide the powerful punch Central needs to have a breakout season in the Skyland Delaware, and by many accounts the Red Devils could be the sleeper team in the area. Sfondouris, who was named captain as a junior, also leads on the field, anchoring a strong defense that allowed just 1.3 goals per game last season. DiTrolio, a senior co-captain, will also be a key leader. Pizzuto and Stelzmiller join Sfondouris in the back, while Davis and Hyland are still battling it out for the starting job in net. DeLuca and Tack, each of whom tallied 14 goals last season, return to lead the offense, with Rudko, Coopersmith, Taylor and Gentile also key in the midfield and up top. Look for several freshmen to also have a serious impact for the Red Devils. Central will be tested right off the bat with an opening-day date against Montgomery.
Coach: Jeremy Beardsley, 15th season
Last year’s record: 23-1-2
Top lettermen lost: Catrina Atanda (F), Andrea Niper (Mid.), Allie Prosinski (D).
Returners: Colby Ciarrocca (Sr., F), Katherine Lynch (Sr., D), Colleen Gaffey (Sr., Mid.), Jessi Goldman (Sr., F), Julia Straley (Sr., Mid.), Michelle Wiltse (Sr., D), Lindsay Epstein (Sr., Mid.), Rebecca Ravitz (Sr., GK), Marissa Kowalski (So., F), Sarah Bielawski (Jr., Mid.), Olivia Tilles (Jr., F).
Newcomers: Helen Sluder (So., Mid.), Hannah Taylor (So., F), Amanda Harris (Fr., F), Alexandra Szigeti (Fr., D), Emily Troisi (Fr., F).
Outlook: After going 23-1-2, winning the conference, county, sectional and state crowns, it would be very easy for the Cougars to rest on their laurels. But with some huge graduation losses, including a pair of All-State performers in Atanda and Niper, and with a roster that isn’t as deep as Montgomery squads of the recent past, any let up could quickly put the Cougars out of the race in the state’s toughest conference. While it will be hard enough to replace Atanda’s 22 goals, fellow four-year starter Andrea Niper leaves, perhaps, a bigger hole, as the combination of her leadership and physical presence in the midfield is nearly impossible to duplicate in one season, especially against the conference’s bruising opponents. But don’t write Montgomery’s obituary just yet, as the return of Ciarrocca, the Girls Soccer Player of the Year, gives the Cougars a leg up on the opposition. Add Goldman and Kowalski up top and Montgomery retains plenty of firepower. Wiltse and Gaffey will lead the midfield, with Lynch and Straley anchoring the backline in front of Ravitz. The key, Beardsley said, will be staying healthy and receiving contributions from the younger players, including Szigeti, who is expected to have an immediate impact as a rookie.
Coach: Matt Maurella, first season
Last year’s record: 8-12-1
Top lettermen lost: Chloe Dadouris (Mid.), Kelly Gallagher (GK), Jillian Hara (Mid.), Kaitlyn Klepper (F), Maddie Miller (Mid.), Alison Mooney (D), Kim Oldakowski (F), Nicole Wagner (Mid.).
Returners: Brianne Burke (Sr., D), Katherine Campbell (Sr., Mid.), Kelcie Guns (Sr., Mid.), Catherine Hallstrom (Sr., D), Alex Haris (Sr., M), Kelli Liebermann (Jr., GK), Jillian Kennedy (Sr., Mid.), Cecilia Luciano (Sr., F), Brynn McDonald (Jr., Mid.), Sophie Mitchell (Sr., D), Amanda Moss (Sr., D), Cristina Walton (Sr., D), Julia Wood (Sr., D), Christie Young (Sr., F).
Newcomers: Ashley Bucher (Jr., Mid.), Courtney Bucher (Jr., Mid.), Heather Tostevin (So., Mid.), Kaylee Motter (Jr., F), Samantha Palahnuk (Jr., M), Olivia Ripnyak (Fr., GK), Jill Ashey (Jr., Mid.).
Outlook: Maurella takes over the head-coaching duties, replacing longtime helmsman Garrett Lelko, and the Lions are focused on climbing back up the ranks in the Delaware Division after four straight losing seasons. North returns a large group, and will boast 14 seniors, but playing against a brutal Delaware Division schedule will not be easy. Maurella said he is looking for his team to show 100 percent effort and work on improvements each practice and in games as they adapt to a new coach and a new system. Campbell, who led the Lions with 13 goals and five assists last season, joins McDonald, Young and Haris in leading the offense, while Kennedy, who saw most of her time at sweeper last season, will get plenty of minutes as a defensive midfielder, contributing on both sides of the ball. Moss, Wood and Hallstrom will anchor the backline in front of Liebermann, who is a first-year starter in net, replacing the graduated Kelly Gallagher.
Coach: Andrew Egginton, 13th season
Last year’s record: 14-4-2
Top lettermen lost: Carly Rotatori (Mid.), Dani Temares (D), Danielle Sedillo (GK), Amanda Haik (D).
Returners: Rachel Corboz (Sr., Mid.), Lexi Chang (Sr., F), Drew Topor (Sr., D), Lauren McLaughlin (Jr., D), Rachel Noone (Jr., Mid.), Rachel Jacob (Jr., Mid.), Tanika Roach (Jr., F), Maddie Temares (So., Mid.), Julia Rotatori (So., D), Christina Costa (So., Mid.), Emma Thomas (Jr., GK).
Newcomers: Alexa Ferreira (Fr., F).
Outlook: The two-time defending state Non-Public A champs graduated another group of top-level stars, including 2012 leading scorer Carly Rotatori, who will be playing at Harvard, and central defender Dani Temares, who will be suiting up for Yale. In all, the Big Blue lost 12 to graduation, but return a team perfectly capable of not only repeating in the state, but in vying for the crown in the Skyland Conference Delaware Division as well as the Somerset County title. Pingry is looking to avoid another slow start after beginning last season 3-2, a run that ultimately cost the Big Blue a chance at the conference championship and a home game in the county tournament. But the offensive deficiencies that plagued the Big Blue early last season isn’t expected to be an issue this year. Roach, who excelled when she wasn’t sidelined by injury the past two seasons, returns healthy, and will be joined uptop by Ferreira, a rookie who has turned a lot of heads and is expected to have an immediate impact. Corboz will guide the offense as an attacking center-mid, with Noone acting as the holding central midfielder as she looks to rebound from last year’s slow start. Toper and McLaughlin will lead the defense in front of Thomas, who will replace Sedillo, a four-year starter, in net.
Coach: Katie Donahue, seventh season
Last year’s record: 16-5-5
Top lettermen lost: Nicole Bates (D), Rachel Axt (GK)
Returners: Alex Weyrauch (Sr., Mid.), Gigi Cifelli (Sr., Mid.), Jenny Haskel (Jr., D/Mid./F), Kelly McWhorter (Sr., F), Keri Villano (Jr., D/Mid.), Erin Convery (So., D), Brittany Sheehan (Sr., D), Kaitlin Ardiff (Sr., Mid.), Paige Anderson (Sr., Mid.), Lucy Aaron (Sr., D), Amanda Bosland (Jr., Mid.), Chrissy Weyrauch (So., F).
Newcomers: Brielle Farrell (So., F/Mid.), Shannon Keefe (So., Mid.), Amanda Cox (Fr., Mid.), Julia Lindsey (Fr., F/Mid./D), Sam Carney (So., GK).
Outlook: After two straight trips to the state Group IV final and finishing second to Montgomery last season in the state, as well as the Skyland Delaware and Somerset County Tournament, the defending North 2 Group IV champs are looking to turn up the offensive heat. Ridge, who boasted the conference’s top defense with a 0.5 goals-against average, scored just 1.7 goals per game last season, including 1-0 losses to Montgomery in the county and state finals after a scoreless draw in their regular-season meeting. While Bates and Axt will be missed in the defensive third, the Red Devils return plenty of talent, especially in the midfield where four-year letter-winners Alex Weyrauch and Cifelli will be joined by first-team All-Area pick Haskel, who figured to see more time as an attacking center-mid and forward, after playing, primarily, in the back last season. McWhorter could be a factor up top, along with Chrissy Weyrauch, who saw a lot of minutes down the stretch last season, as well as, possibly, some newcomers. The primary offensive goal is to become more productive during the run of play, instead of relying on set pieces to produce much of the scoring against the area’s other top defenses, Donahue said. Convery will lead the defense with Villano, Aaron and Sheehan in front of Carney, who saw very limited time on varsity backing up Axt last season.
Coach: Sean Mealey, second season
Last year’s record: 11-7-2
Top lettermen lost: Jess Heifetz (Mid.), Jess Soldiviero (F), Geanna Donnelly (D), Heather Kuebler (D), Gabby Pagkalinawan (Sr., Mid. – injured).
Returners: Sam DePinho (Sr., Mid.), Rachel Marino (Sr., F/Mid.), Remy Borinsky (Jr., Mid), Amanda Marques (Jr., Mid), Alyssa Bonneson (Sr., D), Mollie Wood (Sr., D), Melissa George (Sr., D), Ally Grunstein (So., F), Lindsey Carroll (So., GK), Ana Hagel (Sr., Mid.), Nikki Parisi (So., D), Lea Andriola (Jr., GK).
Newcomers: Nikki Parisi (So., D), Maddy Kirchofer (So., Mid.), Emily Lefkowitz (Jr., Mid./F).
Outlook: While the Warriors will certainly miss Heifetz (U of Michigan), Soldiviero (Loyola, Md.) and Donnelly — all three of which were a huge part of their success over the past few seasons — Watchung Hills does return eight starters and should remain a force in the conference and county. Mealey said Wood is one of the hardest workers on the team, and she will provide leadership on and off the field as a key force on the back line along with Bonnesen and George, as they provide help for Carroll, the second-year starting keeper. Pagkalinawan, who missed a chunk of last season with an injury, suffered another in the offseason and is done for the year. And while her loss will be felt on the field, she is still providing leadership off the field, DePinho, a four-year starter, joins three-year starters Borinsky and Marques in running things in the midfield, while Mealey feels his group of forwards is the program’s fastest in years and should net plenty of chances. Marino, a four-year letterwinner, will be involved in the midfield and up top. Depth could be an issue, Mealy said, especially in a conference where every game is going to be a physical battle.
Coach: Scott Cariddi, 20th season
Last year’s record: 1-13-2
Top lettermen lost: NA
Returners: Jackie Aimino (Sr., Mid.), Ariana Malaspina (Sr., Mid.), Carly Potomic (Sr., Mid.), Kelly Jacobs (Sr., D), Lacey Kappus (Jr., D), Amber Ritchlin (Jr., D), Haley Pilone (Jr., Mid//F), Kat Ziegler (Jr. F), Danielle Tomko (Jr., Mid./F), Ashley Ludwig (Jr., Mid.), Dafina Djombalic (Jr., Mid.), Serena Frey (Jr., D), Katie Cordasco (Jr., D), Sara Cunningham (Jr., Mid./F), Megan Reinhart (Jr., F/Mid./D), Liz Bill (Sr., Mid./GK), Kelsey Kunich (SO., D/Mid.).
Newcomers: Evangeline Soucie (So., GK), Sarah Blanke (SO., D/Mid.),
Tess Bundt (So., D), Megan Wagner (So., Mid.), Olivia Turton (So., Mid.), Kelly Comeford (So., D), Ashley O’Toole (So., GK), Shaina Pearson (So., F), Marissa Skripko (So., D), Shiara D’Costa (So., Mid.), Caitlyn Haggerty (So., Mid.).
Outlook: After winning just one game last season, the rebuilding process will continue for the Terriers in 2013 as they look to regain the form that had made the program a Group II powerhouse over the past decade-plus. Delaware Valley is a young team, with many of the main contributors coming from its junior and sophomore class, as Cariddi looks to build chemistry and focus on possession heading into the season. Aimino, Pilone and Tomko will lead the offense, while Kappus and Ritchlin anchors the defense.
Coach: Lee Pollard, first season
Last year’s record: 3-10-4
Top lettermen lost: Megan Hodge (D/Mid.), Jordan Haverstick (D).
Returners: Sydney Givens (Jr., D), Mary Kate McKeown (Jr., GK), Kerri Kemper (Jr., D), Erin Schnappauf (Jr., D), Shannon Haverstick (Jr., D/Mid.), Kinsey Bruno (Jr., Mid.), Erin Henrzak (Jr., Mid./F), Katie Mulkerin (So., Mid./F).
Newcomers: Ava Simon (Jr., GK), Kayla Farah (Jr., D), Sydney Menzies (Jr., D/Mid.), Lindsey Fetzer (Jr., F), Samantha Viviano (So., Mid./F), Emily Bullard (So., Mid.), Michelle Antico (Fr., Mid./F).
Outlook: A new coach has the Spartans looking to get back moving in the right direction after two straight losing seasons. Pollard, who was an assistant at FDU last season, replaces Matt Farrell after two years and the new coach said he is looking to change the culture, work ethic and style of play at Immaculata. Without a senior in the starting lineup, Pollard feels he has some very talented junior hungry for success and he expects the Spartans to turn heads in the Raritan Division. Givens, a co-captain, leads the defense, along with Kerri Kemper and versatile co-captain Shannon Haverstick in front of McKeown, who returns in net. Mulkerin is back for her sophomore season to add attacking punch.
MOUNT ST. MARY
Coach: Phil Iuliano, first season
Last year’s record: 7-7-2
Top lettermen lost: Rebecca Giordano (Mid.), Shauna McCormack (Mid.), Laura Gemardella (F/Mid.).
Returners: Emily Baumley (Sr., GK), Shannon Brink (Jr., GK), Kelly Kristiansen (Jr., GK), Anne Bocage (Sr., D), Alyssa Chirichella (Jr., D), Catherine Haeberle (Jr., D), Amanda Kopacz (Jr., D),
Gabriella Nasta (Jr., D), Zoe Wilkins (So., D), Elizabeth Maddera (Jr., Mid.),Cassandra O’Connor (So., Mid.), Dakota Patenella (Jr., Mid.), Shannon Zimmermann (So., Mid.), Katherine Lee (Jr., Mid.), Katherine Jepson (Jr., Mid.), Megan Frazier (Jr., F), Aimee Manley (Jr., F), Nicole Zanchelli (Jr., F).
Newcomers: Adneene Capauts (So., Mid.), Isabel Rivera (So., Mid.), Sarah Strehle (Fr., Mid.), Carly Kriak (Jr., F).
Outlook: After two straight seasons without a winning record, a brand new coach, and with just two seniors returning to the squad, it seems to be the perfect time for the Mount Lions to regroup and get focused on returning to their winning ways. Iuliano, who takes over for longtime coach John Campbell, said it he is still trying to figure who will emerge as Mount St. Mary’s leaders on and off the field, as he has no preconceived ideas being this is the first year he’s involved with the program. Manley, who scored 10 goals last season, is tops among the returners.
Coach: Michael Kydonieus, eighth season
Last year’s record: 14-4
Top lettermen lost: Adriana Solano (F/Mid.), Tori Lieb (D), Alexis Koemm (GK).
Returners: Ashley Albert (Sr., D), Brooke Benner (Sr., F), Jillian Black (Sr., D), Kayla Mercado (Sr., D), Maxine Blackwood (Jr., F), Melissa Hand (Jr., Mid.), Julie Johnstonbaugh (Jr., F/D), Colleen Keating (Jr., D), Delaney Koddenberg (So., D), Emily Lockwood (Jr., Mid.), Kennie Lynn Martino (Jr., Mid.), Emily Millar (So., Mid./F).
Newcomers: Sarah Colson (Fr., GK), Lindsay Werner (Jr., GK).
Outlook: The Pioneers have known nothing but success in the Raritan Division over the previous three seasons, and that doesn’t figure to change in 2013. After going 31-1-2 in conference the past three years and winning three straight titles, Somerville returns all but three major contributors and is the clear favorites to repeat. Kydonieus believes his team will show improvement at every position and hopes for even bigger things this season, including a deeper run in the county tournament and an improvement in the state tournament after a disappointing second-round exit. Blackwood, who tallied 16 goals and 14 assists, returns to lead the offense along with Lockwood and Benner, while Black, Mercado and Keating anchor the defense. Johnstonbaugh will have an impact on both sides of the ball as she moves around the formation. Colson and Werner are expected to split time in net.
Coach: Woo Min Song, second season
Last year’s record: 7-9-2
Top lettermen lost: Erica Buckely (Mid.).
Returners: Madison Gavornik (Jr., F), Madison Conroy (Sr., F), Lauren DiNapoli (Sr., Mid.), Jane Hinkle (Sr., Mid.), Madeleine Terblanche (Sr., Mid.), Sidney Ziemba (So., Mid.), Danielle Bowsher (Sr., Mid.), Katie Koller (Sr., Mid.), Caroline Roberts (Sr., Mid.), Felicia Silveira (Jr., Mid.), Brittney VanVeldhuisen (Sr., D), Katelynn Edmund (Jr., D), Caroline Clark (Jr., GK), Hanna Panreck (Jr., GK).
Newcomers: Simone Darkoa-Larbi (Sr., F), Isabella Robertozzi (Sr., F), Jessica Schneider, Summer Lange (Sr., Mid.), Meghan Gregory (Sr., D), Kimberly Leibler (Sr., D), Jessica Rutledge (Sr., D).
Outlook: After a 1-6 start, the Vikings played much better down the stretch as they continued to get accustomed to Song’s system in his first year as head coach. After finishing last season on a 6-3-1 run , Voorhees is looking for even better things in 2013. The Vikings return 11 varsity players, including Gavornik, who led the squad with 18 goals and four assists, and the junior will be looked toward again to lead the offense. Song said he expects his team’s possession-based, attacking style to make the Vikings an entertaining and exciting team to watch. Look for Voorhees to be in the thick of the race in the Raritan Division, one of several teams looking to unseat Somerville.
Coach: Chris Habermas, seventh season
Last year’s record: 16-5
Top lettermen lost: Kellie Swabda (Mid.), Jaclyn Perotti (D), Leigha Banks (F).
Returners: Maddie Auerbacher (Sr., D), Laura Galli (Sr., Mid.), Brooke Savoye (Sr., D), Kristin Coury (Jr., F), Emma Grey (Jr., Mid.), Lucy Grey (Jr., Mid.), Sarah Ryan (Jr., GK), Andra Scaliti (Jr., D), Montana Sutton (Jr., Mid.).
Newcomers: Emily Maheras (So., Mid.), Claudia Prandoni (Fr., F).
Outlook: After eight straight winning seasons, the defending Valley Division champs should be the favorite again and are looking to take things a step further in the state tournament after falling in the sectional final last year. And while the Mountaineers will certainly miss their three graduated stars, with two of three center midfields back, as well as three of four defenders and a starting keeper in Ryan who allowed just 19 goals last season and set a school record with 13 shutouts, there’s still plenty of talent back to help Bernards toward its goals. Savoye, a four-year starter, Sutton, who was sixth in the area in scoring and led the team with 22 goals and five assists, Auerbacher, Galli, Lucy Grey and Ryan figure to be the leaders and go-to players, Habermas said.
Coach: Sheena Nicholson, sixth season
Last year’s record: 6-15
Top lettermen lost: Orianna Duh (D), Jennifer Guerrero (Mid.), Jane Morales (F), Michelle Reyes (D), Solmayra Ruiz (Mid.), Christina Mayorga (So., Mid. – transfer).
Returners: Kylie Carrion (Sr., Mid.), Kailin Horsburgh (Sr., F), Nicole Mondragon (Sr., D), Kathia Nieves (Sr., D), Maria Trujillo (Sr., D), Amarantha Lopez (So., Mid.).
Newcomers: Mariah Lavornia (Sr., GK), Emily Morales (Jr., Mid.), Nicole Jimenez (So., Mid.), Magaly Rojas (So., Mid.), Alexandria Thiessen (So., Mid.), Erika Gutierrez (Fr., Mid.), Cecilla Rojas (Fr., Mid.), Natasha Rojas (Fr., D).
Outlook: The Crusaders made it three straight seasons of improving on the previous year’s record and, obviously, hope to do it again in 2013. And while Bound Brook will have to do so after graduating a large group of key players and losing its top scorer to transfer, Nicholson feels she has enough back and enough promising newcomers to show improvement not only in her team’s record, but in its numbers, attitude and skill. Horsburgh, who is a four-year starter, posted 17 goals and six assists last season, and she returns to lead the offense. The Crusaders also get a nice boost with the return of Mondragon, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL.
GILL ST. BERNARD’S
Coach: Mike Williams, first season
Last year’s record: 9-7-1
Top lettermen lost: Kelly Stefanick (D), Jessie Ferrando (GK), Elizabeth Prins (D).
Returners: Kathryn Bednarsky (Sr., Mid), Andrea Jablonskyj (Sr., F), Kaila Gong (Jr., Mid./D), Kelly Staples (Sr., D), Carly Meyers (Sr., D).
Newcomers: Lauren Renna (Fr., D), Jennifer Lowe (Fr., D), Alyx Schrecengost (Jr., GK), Jane O’Conner (So., F), Emma Dean (Fr., D/F).
Outlook: With a very small group of returners, the Knights will be entering the season with a very young and, overall, inexperienced group, and first-year coach Mike Williams will be relying on the core of seniors to help guide the large freshman class through the varsity landscape. Williams, who coached Immaculata in 2008, will count on Bednarsky to lead the offense after the veteran paced Gill St. Bernard’s with 18 goals and nine assists last season. The Knights also get a nice boost with the return of Jablonskyj, who missed most of last season with an injury.
Coach: Erin Shannon, ninth season
Last year’s record: 4-11-1
Top lettermen lost: Rachel Janes (GK).
Returners: Nataly Brito (So., Mid.), Rhiannon Willie (Sr., Mid.), Estrella Diaz (Sr., D), Shea Raver (Jr., D/Mid.), Olivia Smutek (Jr., Mid.), Megan Mack (So., D/F), Mariana Munoz (So., F), Megan Nash (Sr., D), Jessica Ramirez (Sr., Mid.), Amber Lahti (Sr., D/GK).
Newcomers: Amy Rodriguez (Jr., D.Mid.), Chessie Tomari (So., Mid./F), Allie Grimm (Jr., D), Daniela Castro (Jr., GK).
Outlook: The Mustangs lost a large group to graduation – over half the squad – and will be looking to reset and rebuild coming off a pair of four-win seasons. Center midfielders Brito and Wille will be looked toward to lead an offense that’s been a focal point in the preseason, with Wille joining Ramirez and Diaz as the team leaders. Diaz, Raver and Smutek had solid years last season and will be counted on to build on their successes as Manville moves forward.
Coach: Charlie Rowan, second season
Last year’s record: 7-9-1
Top lettermen lost: Kendra Egbert (GK), Jennifer Nunez (D), Kim Reategui (Mid.), Gio Rodriguez (Mid.).
Returners: Caitlin Gugliotta (So., F), Maria Molina (Sr., F), Norma Ramos (Sr., Mid.), Cindy Medrano (Sr., Mid.), Ashley Marshall (Jr., D).
Newcomers: Olivia Flood (Jr., D), Carmen Pravia (Jr., D), Jasmine Chavez (So., D).
Outlook: The Canucks’ fortunes have steadily improved over the past five seasons, culminating with last year’s campaign that saw North Plainfield finish just one game under .500. If the trend continues, this year’s Canucks team would be the first to record a winning season this century. Gugliotta, who tallied 10 goals and three assists last season to lead the squad, returns, and she will lead the offense, along with Ramos, Medrano and Molina. Marshall, Flood and Pravia are expected to be key on defense.
Coach: Bay Pedersen, first season
Last year’s record: NA
Top lettermen lost: NA
Returners: Lauren Wendeborn (Sr., D/Mid), Jessica MacGregor (Sr., F.Mid.), Cayley Hoyer (Sr., D), Elyse Williams (Jr., D), Shannon Ferry (So., Mid./D), Devin Nini So., F), Kayla Marriott (Sr., Mid./F), Sarah Franzini (Jr., D).
Newcomers: Abby Garrison (Fr., D), Megan Donnelly (Sr., GK), Cassie Barrett (Jr., D), Kenzi Martin (So., D/Mid.), Ellie Seiter (Fr., F/Mid.), Kate Celsrad (Fr., Mid./D).
Outlook: Beginning their first season as a varsity program after three years as JV, the Eagles experience isn’t just limited to the high school game, as South Hunterdon features several players who have haven’t played competitive soccer in years – some ever. Wendeborn and MacGregor, each of who played three years on JV, will lead on and off the field, handling the offense and controlling the midfield. Williams, who has two years of JV under her belt, will anchor the defense along with two players brand new to organized soccer. Franzini, who was Williams’ running partner on the backline last season, is out until late October after ACL surgery. Hoyer, who has also played three years JV, will also contribute on defense. Donnelly, a fine softball and basketball player, joins the soccer team for the first time and will serve as the starting keeper.
UNION COUNTY CONFERENCE
Coach: Mike Roof, 11th season
Last year’s record: 15-6-1
Top lettermen lost: Jenn French (F), Casey Krause (GK), Julia Stirpe (Jr., F – injury).
Returners: Lauren Jankowski (Sr., Mid.), Lindsay DiStaso (So., F), Jenny Pires (Sr., Mid.), Missy Quinn (Sr., F), Isabella Bjorkeson (Jr., Mid.), Lauryn DiStaso (Sr., D), Georgia Pardales (Sr., Mid.), Haley Clark (Sr., Mid.), Hannah Uray (So., GK).
Newcomers: Olivia Emanuel (So., GK), Amanda Bostwick (So., Mid.), Lauren Sorrano (So., Mid.), Alice Caballero (So., D), Logan Boenning (So., D).
Outlook: While the Highlanders certainly lost a ton of firepower to graduation and injury, including a veteran keeper and its two leading scorers in French (20 goals) and Striple (10 goals, out of the year with a torn ACL), Roof believes there’s still enough talent coming back and coming into the program for Governor Livingston to remain among the more competitive teams in Union County. The key, not surprisingly, he said, will be how his club finishes against a tough Watchung Division schedule. Jankowski, who posted seven goals and 10 assists last season, is back to lead the offense, along with Quinn, Pires, Clark and Pardales. Lauryn DiStaso will be a key on defense. Expect some of the incoming sophomores to have a big impact on the Highlanders’ fortunes, as well.
Coach: Scott Murphy, 11th season
Last year’s record: 10-12
Top lettermen lost: Jenna Madden (D), Kelly Carroll (Mid.).
Returners: Ashley Evangelos (Sr., D), Casey Trezza (Sr., Mid.), Anna Crisafi (Sr., Mid.), Ellie Skrinski (Sr., Mid.), Erin Roughley (Sr., D), Christina Vyzas (Sr., Mid./F), Lisa Caprara (Jr., Mid./F), Erin Fay (Jr., (F/Mid.), Paige Kovacs (Jr., Def), Jillian Perini (Jr., Mid./D), Katie Vigilante (Jr., GK), Megan Mahlstadt (So., D), Lexi Everton (So., F/Mid.), Laila Stedman (So., Mid.), Nicole Dillon (So., Mid.), Jen Meluso (So., GK).
Newcomers: Maggie Roughley (So., F/Mid.), Brielle Carleen (Fr., D/Mid./F).
Outlook: The Pioneers moved up to the Watchung Division last season, joining the county’s other big guns, and while there were certainly some growing pains – resulting in New Providence’s first losing season since 2002 – the squad certainly showed it belonged. With 16 players and eight starters returning, there’s certainly every reason to believe the Pioneers will be back to their winning ways in 2013, despite playing against the best of Union County, as well as some tough Group IV non-conference opponents, and the jacked up regular-season schedule should have New Providence nice and battle tested for the postseason. Four-year letter-winners Evangelos, Trezza and Crisafi will lead the way, with all three having been part of the Pioneers’ back-to-back state championship teams in 2010 and 2011. Look for Roughley to have a big impact as a newcomer.
Coach: Carol Taffaro, ninth season
Last year’s record: 5-13
Top lettermen lost: Aslin Cabrera (D/Mid.), Charisse Roberts (Mid.).
Returners: Wendy Reyes (So., F/Mid.), Cynthia Nunez (So., F/Mid.), Keyanna Bagley (So., Mid.), Aylin Linares (Jr., Mid.), Iasha Burroughs (Sr., D), Sharnaye McCray (Sr., D), Melonie Davis (So., D), Nataly Munoz (Jr., D), Lesly Cano (Jr., GK).
Newcomers: Ilse Ibarra (Fr., Mid.), Jeanne Salguero (Fr., Mid.), Vanessa Aguirre (Fr., F/Mid.), Sheilah Sarpong (Fr., Mid.), Gina Watkins (Fr., Mid.), Clarissa Enriquez (Sr., D), Victoria Samayoa (So., D), Kanar Myers (Fr., D), Janayda Spencer (Fr., GK).
Outlook: The Cardinals matched their combined win total of the previous four seasons last year and will look to build on that in 2013. Taffaro feels this is Plainfield’s year to shine, not only with talent on the field, but with a group of good students, including many on PHS’s honor roll, that could translate into success on the soccer field. Taffaro said her players have been working hard through the offseason and are training and playing year-round in summer and winter leagues. Still, the Cardinals are a young squad, but Taffaro said with a lot of talent and potential to excel further than last year when Plainfield qualified for the state tournament for the first time in program history. Burroughs and McCray will provide senior leadership, with Linares also chipping in to guide the young Cardinals.
Coach: Kevin Ewing, 12th season
Last year’s record: 18-2-3
Top lettermen lost: Christy Monroy (F), Taylor Sebolao (GK).
Returners: Alyssa Riporti (Sr., D), Jodi Cornwell (Jr., D), Tori Baliatico (Jr., Mid.), Katie Harper (Sr., Mid.), Katherine Cunningham (Sr., Mid.), Evelyn Logie (Jr., D), Paige Hyden Jr., Mid.), Paige Van Buskirk (Jr., F), Caroline Babis (So., D), Angela Rastelli (Sr., GK), Sarah DiIorio (Jr., Mid.), Caroline Ross (Sr., Mid.), Corrine Checcio (Jr., F), Kelly Yeagar (Sr. F).
Outlook: Having lost six starters to graduation, including Monroy, who moved on to the University of Louisville after leading the Raiders with 11 goals and 12 assists last season, and Scotch Plains-Fanwood will be entering the season with a talented, but overall, young group as it seeks its eighth Union County Tournament title in the past seven seasons. While the Raiders certainly return some experienced talent, they will also be counting on some of the promising newcomers to have an immediate impact. If that happens, and the squad can stay relatively healthy, it should be another highly successful season for one of the area’s perennial powerhouses. Things have looked promising in the preseason, as SPF has battled some of the state’s top programs, including Montgomery, Ridge, East Brunswick and Northern Highlands, and lost just once – by one goal. Baliatico, Yeager and Checcio will lead offensively, while Cunningham, Cornwell and Riporti anchor the defense.
Coach: Jim Revel, 26th season
Last year’s record: 7-12
Top lettermen lost: Courtney McGovern (F), Molly O’Halloran (GK).
Returners: Kate Lowe (Sr., Mid.), Kaitlyn Njoroge (Sr., F), Annie Hogarty (Sr., D), Amanda Lynes (Jr., D), Meghan Beriont (Jr., Mid.), Sam Curiel (Jr., D), Torie Zamorski (Sr., GK), Gabi Martes (So., F).
Newcomers: Amanda Scheidemann (Fr., D), Chynna Adorno (Fr., F), Morgan Sosnowski (Jr., Mid.), Amanda Ferrigno (Jr., F).
Outlook: While last year’s seven-win season marked the fewest victories for the Vikings since the turn of the century, Union Catholic played a ton of close games, including nine by two goals or fewer, five by one goal or less, and two in overtime. With only three seniors back, it’s going to be up to the underclassmen to help turn things around, especially on defense, where a sophomore and a freshman are expected to join a pair of juniors.
Coach: Alex Schmidt, fifth season
Last year’s record: 14-5-2
Top lettermen lost: Jess Kenny (D), Caroline Greenspan (D), Alexandra Tinfow (Mid.), Sarah Freer (Mid.).
Returners: Karli Sottung (Sr., Mid./F), Mary Randazzo (Sr., Mid.), Judy McDonald (Jr., D), Lil Scott (Jr., F), Kiera Loftus (Jr., GK), Jenna Helfand (Sr., F), Gianna DeVito (Sr., F), Briana O’Brien (Jr., D), Sara McCutcheon (Jr., Mid.), Becca Kraus (Sr., D), Leia Descalzi (Sr., Mid.), Emily Sickles (Sr., Mid.), Carly Friedman (Sr., Mid.).
Newcomers: Hannah Liddy (Fr., F), Taylor Morgan (Fr., F), Haley Reilly (So., GK), Haley Farella (Fr., Mid.).
Outlook: The Blue Devils certainly enjoyed their share of success last season, winning 14 games and the co-championship of the Union County Tournament. But Westfield certainly didn’t get it done in a conventional method, as it averaged a mere 2 goals per game and allowed more goals (22) than it had in its previous three seasons, combined! At least one of those issues figures to improve, as the Blue Devils are looking to become a lot more dangerous in the attack, not only gearing their system that way, but adding a pair of dynamic freshmen in Morgan, a speedy transfer from Florida and national pool player, as well as the bruising Liddy, who brings strength up top. Scott and the Navy-bound Sottung will rotate between the midfield and forward, while Friedman anchors the midfield with Frella, another newcomer expected to contribute. Randazzo, who is heading to UMass to play lacrosse, leads the defense, along with McDonald, in front of Loftus, who has gained valuable experience entering her second season as the starting keeper.
Coach: Ruben Vloedgraven, third season
Last year’s record: 3-9-2
Top lettermen lost: Maria Thellman (D), Liz Mulvey (D), Krysta Jurkovic (Jr., F/Mid. – injury).
Returners: Ashley Smith (Jr., F), Bree Livingston (Sr., Mid/F), Tyler Nolley (Sr., F), Meghan Pace (Jr., Mid.), Mia Studer (Sr., D/Mid.), Megan Groner (Sr., Mid.), Lauren Davis (Sr., D), Rachel Wisniewski (So., D), Radhika Kadakia (So., D), Kendra Barat (Sr., D/Mid.), Rana Said (Sr., D), Amy Errickson (Sr., Mid./F), Kaelyn Patel (So., Mid.), Mary Made (So.).
Newcomers: Holly Riccio (Fr., D/Mid.), Ebun Adewunmi (Fr., GK/D), Grace Bancone (Fr., F), Danielle Baron (Fr., D/Mid.), Myriam Mansour (So., GK), Rebekah Park (Fr., D/Mid.), McKayla Motolla (Fr., D/Mid.), Stephanie Abreu (So., GK/D), Sophie Thellman (Fr., Mid./F).
Outlook: After struggling to field a team last year because of injuries, Vloedgraven said, numbers shouldn’t be a problem for the Argonauts and, so far, they’ve managed to remain pretty healthy as the third-year coach continues to work on growing the program. Having lost just two seniors to graduation, and with some talented newcomers being added to the mix, Vloedgraven feels, Rutgers Prep can set their site on improving on last year’s three-win mark and, perhaps, advance past the first round of the county, Prep B and state sectional tournaments. Bree Livingston, who suffered ACL tears in each knee the past two years, is healthy and should be key for the Argos along with fellow seniors Barat and Davis, who figure to anchor the defense. Patel and Pace project as the central midfielders and the duo are expected to play a major role on both sides of the ball. Vloedgraven is also looking for Nolley to step up and take a bigger role in creating and finishing up top.
Coach: Jack O’Neill, fourth season
Last year’s record: 14-7
Top lettermen lost: Courtney Kahlsdorf (GK), Maggie Hlavaty (D), Nia Wadlington (D), Jenna Douglas (Mid.), Nicole Kolodziej (Mid.).
Returners: Harleen Singh (So. F), Ariel Conner (Sr., F), Julia Heller (Jr., F), Emily Wasik (Jr., Mid.), Stephanie Gonzalez (Sr., D), Victoria Shahinian (So., D/Mid.), Karen Huang (Jr., D), Kaycie Sconda (So., GK), Emily Molfetta (Jr., Mid.), Janelle Roper (Sr., Mid.), Hanna Krilov (Jr., F/Mid.), Hannah Lukac (So., D), Regine Canuel (Sr., Mid./GK), Emma Rodelius (Sr., F), Alejandra Cortes (So., D), Gemma DiFlorio (Sr., D), Stephanie Czeslowski (So., D), Amanda Mendez (Jr., Mid.).
Newcomers: Abby Manuel (So., D), Juliana Kosty (So., Mid./F), Millie Doshi (So., D/GK), Mackenzie Trotter (So., D/GK), Harini Prayaga (So., D/F), Kristen Fernandez (Fr., F), Mitali Shah (SO., D).
Outlook: After a breakout season, O’Neill said expectations are very high to not only equal or surpass last year’s win total, but to get off to a better start after going 2-6 to begin the year before embarking on a 12-game winning streak. O’Neill, the reigning Courier News Girls Soccer Coach of the Year, correctly forecasted his team would turn heads last season, and this year he is confident the Runnin’ Jags will maintain their style of play and be a tough opponent for everyone on their schedule. Singh returns to lead the offense after finishing second in the area in scoring last season with 31 goals and 8 assists, and will be joined by Conner (16 goals, 9 assists) and junior co-captain Julia Heller (11 goals, 11 assists) in leading the offense. Gonzalez, a senior captain, returns from an injury that kept her out down the stretch last season to head the defense in front of Sconda.