Northeast Times

Hubert’s, Ryan are local favorites in girls Catholic soccer

Naz­areth Academy’s Taylor Capecci is one of many girls soc­cer play­ers to keep an eye out for this sea­son. GREG BEZ­ANIS / FOR THE TIMES

Start­Frag­ment

In ad­di­tion to Frank­lin Towne Charter, there are sev­er­al oth­er area teams that hope to be in the mix at the end of the sea­son come play­off time. Here’s a closer look at some of them:

St. Hubert

Last sea­son: Lost in Cath­ol­ic League quarterfi­nals to Arch­bish­op Ry­an

Names to watch: Claire Al­minde (an All-Cath­ol­ic per­former in soc­cer and soft­ball); out­side mid­field­ers Vicki Formica and Marissa Fassnacht; de­fend­er Alyssa Bol­lard; sweep­er Jess Bre­un­ing; for­ward Eliza­beth Jones; cen­ter mid­field­ers Eliza­beth Klenk and Jill Os­borne; fresh­man goalie Emily Jef­frey

Coach Mickey Mc­Groarty (who is ap­proach­ing his 400th ca­reer vic­tory) says: “So far, we’re 3-2. We have 11 seni­ors on the team, and hope­fully that will help us in the long run when we play the league powers to be. Up un­til Sat­urday (a loss to Wil­li­am Tennent), I’ve been OK with our ef­fort so far. I think we’re go­ing to be com­pet­it­ive against the usu­al sus­pects of Wood, Car­roll, Ry­an, Lans­dale Cath­ol­ic, O’Hara, Con­well-Egan and Little Flower. We’re hop­ing for the best, and with our seni­ors, we’re cer­tainly cap­able. Con­sid­er­ing the fact that we al­most wer­en’t here less than a year ago (when the school nearly closed) and that the al­tern­at­ive would have been noth­ing, I’m just happy we’re here and still be­ing a ma­jor factor in the play­off hunt.”

Arch­bish­op Ry­an

Last sea­son: Lost to Arch­bish­op Wood in Cath­ol­ic League semi­finals

Names to watch: Goalie Jazmin Gonzales (four shutouts in six games thus far), sweep­er Kaitlin Mc­Fad­den, out­side backs Taylor Adair and Tayah Nau­dascher, mid­field­ers Scar­lett Walsh, Megan Man­ion, Mack­en­zie Hooven and Ju­les Blank; for­wards Gina Lu­ciano, Brit­tany Robin­son and Bri­ana Egen­lauf

Coach Ry­an Haney says: “We’re off to a great 5-0-1 start. We’re quick­er than last year, and we’re scor­ing a lot of goals (35 in six games, in­clud­ing two double-di­git out­puts and an­oth­er nine-goal ex­plo­sion). From that stand­point, we’re im­proved and we ex­pect to be right there, as it’s one of my strongest teams in the four years I’ve been here. We haven’t played some of the stronger teams yet, but what I’ve no­ticed is we’re really gain­ing con­trol and put­ting teams away early, some­times scor­ing six or sev­en goals in the first 20 minutes. Noth­ing is guar­an­teed, and we keep chal­len­ging our kids in prac­tice and mak­ing it com­pet­it­ive so they don’t feel safe in their spots. It’s go­ing to be a chal­len­ging league, as usu­al. If you don’t put the ball in the net and come up dry on a bad day, that could be the end. We’re still here, and we’re strong.”

Little Flower

Last sea­son: Lost in cham­pi­on­ship game to Arch­bish­op Wood

Names to watch: Ur­sula Coyle (the team’s top re­turn­ing scorer, who scored both of Little Flower’s goals in the title game); Megan Pet­roski; aside from that, a lot of fresh­men, as the start­ing lineup was gut­ted by gradu­ation, in­clud­ing North­east Times girls Cath­ol­ic League Play­er of the Year Court­ney Weidner.

Head coach Markos Pit­talouis says: “We’ve got a lot of young ones. There are sev­en fresh­men on varsity, so it’s an aw­ful lot of youth. We need work, but so far, it looks like they can do something good. They’re still learn­ing my game and learn­ing to play real soc­cer. It’s hard at the be­gin­ning with so many new faces. They have prom­ise, though. We have a few more weeks be­fore we play the strongest league teams, and I think we’ll put it to­geth­er by then. I think the league will be equal — good com­pet­i­tion and every­one should have a sim­il­ar chance. I got the play­ers, and they’re good…we’ll get bet­ter be­fore the play­offs, and we’ll be there.”

Naz­areth Academy

Last sea­son: 3-12-1

Names to watch: Goalie Paulina Rucci, a con­ver­ted mid­field­er; seni­or de­fend­ers Tara Fritz and Lili Shuster; cen­ter mid­field­er Ros­ar­ia Cap­uano; Sam Black; Taylor Capecci

Head coach Dan Brad­ley (who takes over for ath­let­ic dir­ect­or and former soc­cer coach Dani­elle Wilson, now coach­ing vol­ley­ball) says: “We’re for­tu­nate that we have a very strong seni­or class. The un­for­tu­nate thing is we’ve been bit­ten by the in­jury bug pretty bad. We have nine in­jur­ies, with four of them prob­ably be­ing sea­son-en­ders. Get­ting play­ers healthy has been the biggest chal­lenge. Over­all though, it’s been a great first year for me so far. The girls are re­spond­ing to the new ways we want to do things and are buy­ing in­to the sys­tem. As a coach, I couldn’t be prouder at how they’ve stepped up in the wake of all these in­jur­ies. We can’t use that as an ex­cuse. We still have the same goal, which is to play as far and as long as we can. As long as we keep im­prov­ing, we’ll get there. Our ex­pect­a­tions haven’t changed, and we’re go­ing to fight through it. Right now, our fo­cus is on mak­ing be­liev­ers out of them.” ••

You can reach at myerkov@bsmphilly.com.

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