After a 27-goal sophomore season, Butler junior Amber Haslett knew that entering the 2013 season she wouldn’t be catching teams by surprise anymore.
And through the first seven games of the season it hasn’t mattered.
Haslett has dominated the early part of the season, scoring 19 goals and adding three assists in the Bulldogs first six games before being shut out against Morristown-Beard on Tuesday.
The start becomes even more impressive when looking at Haslett’s compared to the total goals scored by other area teams.
Entering play Wednesday, only two teams in Morris County, Madison and West Morris, have outscored Haslett this year with two others, Mountain Lakes and Randolph, even with the Bulldogs star at 19 goals.
Haslett gives her teammates credit for playing a big part in her torrid start.
“I have help from my team a lot,” Haslett said. “Not all of those goals are mine; a lot of them are assists from other players.”
What also helped was a full offseason of work with her club program that has allowed Haslett to improve her skills.
“I have practices every Sunday for my club team New Heights and I am always practicing my drag sweeps or my strokes or my shots on goal and that has just gotten me better,” she said. “So now when I bring it into the season I roll with it.”
Haslett is able to dominate games thanks to those skills combined with her blazing speed both with and without the ball.
“If it is her and another girl one-on-one down the field that girl has no chance,” Butler head coach Kate Allison said. “Amber is just too fast.”
Despite all her goals the biggest benefit that Haslett has brought to her team is a confidence that they can compete with any team on any day, something that her coach said was lacking in the past.
“The girls have a lot of confidence right now,” Allison said. “In the past a team would score one goal on us and we would feel defeated, because we never had a strong player who could put the goals in. I think now that the girls know with Amber, even if a team scores a goal or two or three on us there is a chance that we can come back.”
“They know incredible things can happen and any game can be our game and that we have a chance up against all of these teams,” she said. “It used to be that they would see we were playing Mountain Lakes or Mo-Beard and think we didn’t have a chance and now they believe we can win those games.”
MCT seeding Tuesday
Tuesday night will mark the seeding of the 2013 Morris County Tournament and some tough decisions look like they will need to be made.
Two-time defending champion Madison looks like the favorite to be the top seed thanks to a 6-0 record entering play Wednesday. The Dodgers have been dominant, outscoring opponents 38-3 on the season with four shutouts.
The two-seed may be decided Tuesday afternoon when West Morris travels to Mendham.
The two teams are currently undefeated with Mendham scheduled to face Randolph on Friday and West Morris traveling to Roxbury on Thursday. If they can both get through those games, Tuesday’s winner will probably be granted the second-seed.
The loser could potentially fall behind last year’s runner up and currently undefeated Parsippany who will play Newton on Thursday, Boonton on Saturday and North Warren Monday. The Redhawks will be the favorites in all three games.
Morristown-Beard has positioned themselves to have a chance at the fifth seed behind the play of junior Chelsea Kramer and senior Carolyn Chambers. The Crimson’s only loss is to Madison and they have posted three shutouts in five games entering Thursday’s game against Pequannock and Monday’s contest against St. Elizabeth and are currently the only team with only one loss.
After the top five things start to get jumbled, with some upcoming games potentially playing a very big part in the way seeding goes.
Chatham faces division rivals Randolph and Morristown on Wednesday and Friday respectively, and can potentially set the order of the three team’s seeds.
The Colonials already have defeated the Rams this season and with all three teams entering Wednesday with two losses, the results of Chatham’s two games could be a big part of the seeding.
Montville is also a member of the group with two losses after losing early in the season to currently undefeated Mendham and recently to a Sparta team with just one loss. The Mustangs will face undefeated High Point on Friday attempting to make a statement. If they are able to defeat the Wildcats it seems likely that Montville will be the highest seeded two loss team.
In the Circle
Defending All Daily Record Player of the Year Krysten Mayers has scored 11 goals for Parsippany this season joining Haslett as the only are player with double digit goals. … Elizabeth Turnbull from Madison and Brittany DeLima from High Point entered Wednesday with nine goals each. … Whippany Park junior Jamie Rheus ranks in the top five in the state with eight assists. … High Point has not been scored upon in any of their five victories this year despite losing five seniors from a season ago. … Morris Knolls senior Emily Wisneski is currently fourth in the state with 118 saves including a game with 40 saves and another with 38 saves. … Joining Wisneski in top 10 is Butler senior Reba Smith and her 93 saves including a 26 save effort against Mountain Lakes.