With senior Amanda Visco in charge of the defense, the Colts Neck girls soccer team was tough to score on in 2014.
Last season, Colts Neck allowed three or more goals only twice as Wall defeated Colts Neck, 3-2, in a regular season game and Northern Highlands defeated Colts Neck, 4-0, in the NJSIAA Group III state final. And because of that Visco-led defense, the Cougars went 20-3 in 2014.
“With Amanda Visco at center back last season, we allowed the fewest goals in a season and the fewest shots per game in season,” Colts Neck coach Doug Phillips said.
Visco, an All-Shore first-team defender in 2014, said she’s never missed a game for Colts Neck and she’s been starting since her freshman year. As a freshman though, she wasn’t on defense it wasn’t until later in her high school career that she settled into her passion and that’s playing defense.
“When I was out there as a freshman, it was a little intimidating and I was nervous. I was playing center midfielder at the time,” said Visco, who is committed to Rutgers University. “But I’m primarily a defender and that’s where I feel the most comfortable on the field.”
In 2014, Colts Neck allowed 17 goals in 23 games and recorded 12 shutouts. If Visco gets her wish this season, those numbers will improve even more.
“I don’t want to allow any shots on goal, generally speaking, and of course, you don’t want to allow a goal. If both happen, that means I did my job,” Visco said. “As the center back, you have to keep everyone organized back there and it something goes wrong, I take it personal and I want our team to go and get that goal back.”
Despite being a superior defender, Visco did help the offense when an opportunity came up last season. In 2014, she did have eight goals and five assists and she was “one of the most dangerous players in the Shore Conference on set pieces,” according to coach Phillips.
“At 5-foot-8, she has very good size and even if she was getting double teamed, she could still find a way to be a huge weapon for us on set pieces,” Phillips said. “I never worry about her on the field. She’s so good and such a solid player that sees the game so well. I know she’ll get the job done.”
Visco will be one of the three captains this season along with Allison Russo, a senior midfielder committed to Bucknell University and Bridgette King, a senior forward committed to the University of Vermont. Together, they’ll lead the Cougars quest to win championships this season.
“We had a very successful season in 2014 going 20-3 and we worked hard the entire season,” Visco said. “Our goal for this year is to win the Shore Conference Tournament and to win a state title.”
The Cougars came very close to both goals. Colts Neck lost, 1-0, to Wall in the Shore Conference Tournament Final, and Colts Neck lost, 4-0, to Northern Highlands in the NJSIAA Group III state final. With Visco leading the defense, King and reigning Asbury Park Press player of the year Frankie Tagliaferri in control of the offense and Russo managing the midfield, the Cougars will be a very tough team to deal with in 2015.
Sherlon Christie: firstname.lastname@example.org