Local ladies look competitive on the pitch

The lovely ladies of North­east Phil­adelphia have once again stormed the soc­cer field, and it looks like any one of the four loc­al squads could be sol­id con­tenders for the cham­pi­on­ship this sea­son. 

St. Hubert is stacked with ex­per­i­ence, and al­though Arch­bish­op Ry­an and Little Flower have some youth in the net, they have plenty of tal­ent throughout the pitch. 

Naz­areth Academy has its core lineup back from last sea­son, but after the Ath­let­ic As­so­ci­ation of Cath­ol­ic Academies’ de­cision to elim­in­ate the post­season and de­term­ine the cham­pi­on by league play, the Pan­das will have to make some al­ter­a­tions to their over­all strategy. 

So what can you ex­pect from North­east Phil­adelphia’s four neigh­bor­hood teams? Here’s a look at the Rag­dolls, Sen­tinels, Bam­bies and Pan­das. 

Phil­adelphia Cath­ol­ic League

Arch­bish­op Ry­an

The Arch­bish­op Ry­an girls soc­cer squad is back and ready to make a dash for a Cath­ol­ic League crown. 

“We can def­in­itely com­pete in the league and com­pete for a Cath­ol­ic League cham­pi­on­ship,” said Rag­dolls head coach Ry­an Haney. “We’re look­ing good.”

Seni­or mid­field­ers Emily Vizza and Cail­in Blaney and sweep­er Scar­let Walsh are the team cap­tains this sea­son. 

Ju­ni­ors Gina Lu­ciano and Brit­tany Robin­son and sopho­more Bri­ana Egen­lauf will work as for­wards, with seni­or Kerri Ret­ter and ju­ni­or Megan Man­ion con­trib­ut­ing in the mid­field. 

Lind­sey Rodgers, Taylor Adair and Kaitlyn Mc­Fad­den will guide the Rag­dolls’ de­fense this sea­son, with fresh­man goal­tender Jas­mine Gonza­lez in the net. 

Little Flower

The Little Flower High School soc­cer squad is stacked with tal­ent this sea­son, but they’re miss­ing one vi­tal po­s­i­tion — a goal­tender. 

“We lost our goalie to gradu­ation,” said Sen­tinel boss Markos Pit­taoulis, re­fer­ring to last year’s All-Cath­ol­ic goalie Erin Galla­gh­er. “Right now, the main thing is find­ing her re­place­ment.”

Re­turn­ing starters Court­ney Weidner, Ur­sula Coyle and Taylor Cobb will re­sume as mid­field­ers this sea­son, with some ad­di­tion­al help from Kerri Pet­roski. 

De­fend­ers in­clude Ash­ley Quen­zer, Jenna Device and Aileen Brad­ley. Striker Brie Colomy will round out the Sen­tinels’ core lineup. 

“So far we’re look­ing good,” said Pit­taoulis. “We should do well.”

St. Hubert

The St. Hubert Bam­bies are plen­ti­ful this sea­son, and ready to claim their spot atop the Phil­adelphia Cath­ol­ic League.

Seni­or goal­tenders Krista Pat­ter­son and Grace Lloyd will share time in the net. They’ll be sup­por­ted by seni­or de­fense­men Ei­re­ann Ana­stasi and Sam Ster­mel and ju­ni­ors Jac­qui DeRocini and Alyssa Bol­lard. 

Mid­field­ers in­clude seni­or Aman­da Linder, ju­ni­ors De­sirae Holmes and Claire Al­minde, and sopho­more Elise Smith. 

Also con­trib­ut­ing this sea­son is seni­or for­ward and mid­field­er Erin Mock. Seni­or Gina Sgrillo, who is re­cov­er­ing from a knee in­jury, will re­sume her du­ties in the front field once she is healthy. Fel­low for­wards in­clude Eliza­beth Jones and Cas­sidy Ra­jkowski. 

Also work­ing the mid­field when needed are Ca­sey Mat­thews, Vic­tor­ia Formica, Jill Os­borne, Emily Klenk and Jess Con­way. De­fend­ers Jess Bruen­ing and Jess Guyan will com­plete the Bam­bies’ roster.

“We’re still try­ing to put to­geth­er the right com­bin­a­tion of starters,” ex­plained Bam­bies boss Mickey Mc­Groarty. “As the sea­son pro­gresses, we want to get bet­ter with each game. I’m look­ing for­ward to a sol­id sea­son.”

Phil­adelphia Cath­ol­ic Academies League

Naz­areth Academy

No play­offs. No cham­pi­on­ship. 

That’s how the Phil­adelphia Cath­ol­ic Academies League is shap­ing up this sea­son, due to the Ath­let­ic As­so­ci­ation of Cath­ol­ic Academies’ de­cision to elim­in­ate the post­season. 

The re­or­gan­iz­a­tion of the league is de­signed to ad­dress the abund­ance of can­cel­la­tions be­cause of in­clement weath­er. Be­cause the Pennsylvania In­ter­schol­ast­ic Ath­let­ic As­so­ci­ation has time lim­it­a­tions for each sea­son, teams were at­tempt­ing to cram all post­poned games and play­off games with­in the last few weeks of the sea­son. 

“The teams were play­ing four games in sev­en days, and in soc­cer that is just not healthy. In­jur­ies were go­ing up,” ex­plained Naz­areth Academy High School soc­cer coach and ath­let­ic dir­ect­or Dani­elle Wilson. “Now, the cham­pi­on will be de­term­ined by the reg­u­lar sea­son’s out­come.” 

The new or­gan­iz­a­tion of the Cath­ol­ic Academies League will af­fect the out­door sports offered by Naz­areth Academy, in­clud­ing soc­cer, field hockey, ten­nis, lacrosse and soft­ball. All in­door sports will re­sume busi­ness as usu­al. 

Al­though there is no post­season to con­tend for, the Naz­areth Academy soc­cer squad is still hungry for a cham­pi­on­ship.

Mid­field­er Shan­non Hirl and goalie Liz McBride — both seni­ors — will be co-cap­tains for the Pan­das this year. 

Seni­or Mar­ie Bisirri and ju­ni­or Gabby Bal­ara will handle mid­field re­spons­ib­il­it­ies, with sopho­mores Taylor Capecci and Alyssa Holacik-Perez in the front. Seni­or Nicole Pyle will work as a for­ward and mid­field­er. Ju­ni­or sweep­er Roe Cap­uano rounds out the Pan­das’ core of re­turn­ing play­ers this sea­son. 

Also con­trib­ut­ing on the pitch are fresh­men Lexi Mc­Carthy-Prett, Kay­la Mc­Namee and Alex Es­posito. 

“We have a lot of tal­en­ted fresh­men, which is ex­cit­ing,” said Wilson. “Our seni­or class is small, but very strong. The team is look­ing great. We’re look­ing to make a big im­pact this year.” ••

You can reach at myerkov@bsmphilly.com.

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