BISHOP EUSTACE Crusaders
PLAYERS TO WATCH: An outstanding senior class graduated from Bishop Eustace in June, including Erin Quinn, the program’s all-time leading scorer. While most of the offense from last year is gone, a strong defense remains led by junior MJ Schwab, an all-conference first-team selection. Juniors Olivia Ahart and Julianna Carletti are also back on defense and junior Shelby Young is another talented defender who contributed to the attack with five goals and five assists. Senior Sierra Nasoff will look to take over as the starting goalie. Senior forward Kerry Monaghan (three goals, 11 assists) is a key player on offense along with junior midfielder Alyssa Manuola. Other returners hoping to play bigger roles are juniors Rachel Infantolino, Veronika O’Donnell, Bethany Garcia and Maura Gallagher and sophomores Julia Gaitlein, Claire Vasell and Lauren Punk.
OUTLOOK: After falling just short of a state championship the previous two seasons, the Crusaders broke through in 2016 with a 1-0 victory over Oak Knoll in the Non-Public final, securing the program’s first title since 2012. They went on to reach the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions and finished with a 22-4 record. They hope to stay competitive with a new crop of leaders.
CAMDEN CATHOLIC Fighting Irish
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Saige-Lyn Gidzinski, a lacrosse standout who also shines in hockey, is back to lead Camden Catholic as a senior. The midfielder has made the all-conference first team each of the last two seasons and had 11 goals and six assists in 2016. The Irish will also welcome in a terrific scorer in junior forward Julia Patrone, a transfer who had 25 goals and 10 assists last year at Washington Township to make the all-conference first team for the second year in a row. Senior goalie Camille Pottillo is another all-conference first-teamer, and senior Erin Wilson is a key defender in front of her. Senior forward Suzanna Polashock (eight goals) and junior forward Katie Miller (six goals) are other top players on offense, while junior Madison Edwards and sophomores Katherine Walsh and Kaitlyn Cummins contribute in the midfield. Other returners are seniors Rebecca Johns and Katie Cornelius and junior Kathryn Johns.
OUTLOOK: A strong season for the Fighting Irish featured wins over Ocean City and Washington Township, a trip to the sectional semifinals and a 15-6 final record. They have the potential for another successful campaign this fall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherokee has a solid group of seniors who are looking to go out strong. That includes Lindsey Florio, who led the team with 12 goals to go with four assists, and fellow forward Gab Bodine, who added seven goals and four assists. Christina Orio is another proven scorer, while Zoe Musickmade the all-conference first team and anchors the defense in front of goalie Emma Altenburg. Other senior leaders are Bella Evans, Sam Patrizi and Lana Tonzello. Allison Yocum scored five goals as a sophomore and other juniors to keep an eye on are Kelly Foley and Gigi Glenning.
OUTLOOK:The Chiefs went 10-9-1 with a playoff victory in 2016, the third straight year they accomplished that feat. Their veteran core should help them extend the streak this fall.
CHERRY HILL EAST Cougars
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill East has a talented core returning from last year’s exciting playoff run, led by junior forward Carli Ciocco. She recorded a team-high eight goals and seven assists as a sophomore. Senior midfielder Shannon Reiss added five goals, and junior midfielder Sarah Allen is ready to increase her goal total as well. Other playmakers are senior forward Isabella DiAmore and junior midfielder Chloe Garber. Nicole Wilson and Katelyn Cliver are senior defenders in front of junior goalie Gabi Valladares, who earned the starting job as a sophomore.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars’ 6-14 season included a playoff upset over top-seeded Toms River North and a berth in the Central Jersey Group IV semifinals. They hope to build on that strong finish this fall.
CHERRY HILL WEST Lions
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Shannon Meloche, a forward, scored a team-high five goals in 2016 and is part of a solid senior class for Cherry Hill West. Senior midfielder Julia Clancy led the Lions with five assists and senior Keriann Dignan is another key player in the midfield. Senior Kylie Judge and junior Niki Horiates are veteran defenders and sophomore Gina Marie Bellon will be in the mix to take over as the starting goalie. Other returners are juniors Paige Tambussi and Sierra Smith and sophomores Gabriella Huegel, Janaya Covert, Teresa Crowley, Kerrigan Donnelly, Madison Girgenti, Olivia Hafner, Samantha Lafferty, Maria Mousa and Madison Slim.
OUTLOOK: The Lions have a good mix of proven seniors and up-and-coming players, and hope that formula leads to a competitive season under new head coach Beth Coffey.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although Clearview said goodbye to all-South Jersey midfielder Chandler McFeeley, there are a host of talented players back in the fold. That includes senior midfielder Rachel Johnson, an all-conference first-team selection who had 23 goals and eight assists last year. Senior forward Claire Eisenhart is excellent at setting her teammates up in front of the cage, and has notched 14 assists in each of the last two seasons. Senior Gabby Glavin, junior Olivia Sindoni and sophomore Gigi McAlpin will also be counted on offensively. Jill Verrelle, an all-conference first-teamer, forms an outstanding one-two punch on defense with fellow senior Haley Plitt, and junior Julianna Smith is back as the starting goalie. Junior Juliana Mortorano and sophomore Haley Tabar are also expected to contribute. Two incoming freshmen who should make their presence felt right away are Grace Travato and Abby Vesey, who was recently selected to the U.S. National Field Hockey championship team for her age group.
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers went 18-4 overall in 2016 and 11-1 in the Tri-County Conference Royal Division, capturing the division championship. They also advanced to the sectional semifinals. They will again be a team to watch this fall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although Eastern graduated significant pieces from its outstanding defense, the good news is that the state’s leading scorer is back on offense. Sophomore Kara Heck shined in her rookie season with 55 goals and 17 assists to make the all-state, all-South Jersey and all-conference first teams. Senior midfielder Jessica Maute, who has committed to St. Joseph’s University, is another proven scorer who had 26 goals and 10 assists. Seniors Isabella Sinibaldi and Krystyna Hovell and promising sophomore Amanda Middleman should also contribute offensively. Sophomores Elise Pettisani and Tara Somers gained valuable experience last year in the midfield, and junior Madison Guyer will once again be a key player on defense after earning all-state second-team honors. Senior Olivia Perrone is also back on D, and sophomores Nina Santore and Lindsay Tripodo hope to be in the mix to replace all-state goalie Cassie Kincaid. Junior Sydney Woolston is another returner to keep an eye on.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings made headlines last fall by having their 143-game unbeaten streak snapped and suffering a 2-1 overtime loss to West Essex in the Tournament of Champions final. Lost in the shuffle was the fact that they still claimed their 18th straight state title and finished with a 23-3 record, accomplishments that most programs would be thrilled about. Eastern will again set the bar high in 2017.
GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC Rams
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior midfielder Ally Frampton emerged as an all-conference first-teamer as a sophomore and is back to lead Gloucester Catholic. Senior forward Chloe Fredericksdorf is another key returner who had four goals and six assists last year. Juniors Emily Leonhardt and Caitlin Lozuke are veteran defenders in front of senior goalie Marissa Rodriguez. Senior midfielder Kaitlyn Allison and sophomore forward Sara Hussey will also be counted on.
OUTLOOK: The Rams played well down the stretch in 2016 to finish with a 4-9-2 record. They’ll look to carry the momentum over to this season as they move from the Tri-County Conference Classic Division to the Diamond Division.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Haddonfield returns several important players from last year’s state championship team, particularly on defense. Junior defenders Ella Dengler—an all-conference first-team selection—and Sophie Kohs are back in front of junior Megan Maynes, who has been the starting goalie since her freshman season. Senior Olivia Conquest and junior Ashley Campo were key reserves on defense and in the midfield and will both look to move into the starting lineup. Senior Sophie Popp is a dangerous offensive player who has made the all-conference first team each of the last two seasons. She’ll have help scoring-wise from senior midfielder Jaimie McCormick—a Columbia University recruit—along with senior forward Julia Battino, junior midfielders Maddie Bickel and Natalia Naticchia and sophomore forward Bridget McCormick.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs’ 19-6-1 season was highlighted by a 2-1 win over Madison in the Group I state final, their first state championship since 1991. Although several leaders from that team graduated, expect another successful campaign this fall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kingsway has a promising nucleus returning, including junior forward Payton Barr, who led the team with 14 goals last year. Senior forward Riley LaRubbio and junior forward Madison Maguire each found the back of the cage 10 times, while sophomore Abbie Brown and her sister Hannah Brown, a senior, are key playmakers in the midfield. Sophomore Emily Keene is a big part of the defense, and senior Madison Brzozowski is an experienced goalie. A solid sophomore class moving up to the varsity should also provide a spark in several areas.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons reached the sectional semifinals and finished with a 16-4-1 record in 2016. They expect to contend in the Tri-County Conference Royal Division this season after placing second to rival Clearview last fall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lenape’s talented core includes junior midfielder Caroline Barlow, who led the Indians with nine goals to go with six assists and made the all-conference first team. Junior forward Kylie Bresley followed up a solid freshman season with another impressive campaign last year, scoring eight goals and assisting on four others. Senior Caroline McKenna and her sister Megan McKenna, a sophomore, are playmakers in the midfield who each scored five goals, while senior Kelly Bartolomeo and junior Lindsay Nanni also contribute to the attack. Senior Riley Grogan is a returning starter in the midfield and senior Lindsey Herdeg is back on defense in front of junior goalie Emma James. Senior Macie Wolf returns at forward and sophomore Hunter Strauss has experience in the cage. Several other talented sophomores are poised to break into the starting lineup as well.
OUTLOOK: The Indians made great strides in 2016, as their 7-13-1 record was a five-win improvement from the year before and included a playoff victory. Look for the progress to continue.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown brings back seven starters from last year, including junior midfielder Delaney Lawler, who had 10 goals and 11 assists on her way to all-state third-team and all-conference first-team accolades. Senior forward Avery Powell (10 goals, seven assists) also made the all-conference first team. She has been one of Moorestown’s leading scorers since her freshman year and should be in store for a big final season before continuing her career at Drexel. Junior Catherine Dare led the Quakers with 12 goals last fall, and junior Madison Sever (10 goals, 11 assists) is another playmaker who made the all-conference first team. All-conference first-teamer Julia Darmo and Olivia Sever, both juniors, are returning starters in the midfield. Junior Lauren Pickul is back as the starting goalie and junior Morgan Darmo is an experienced defender. Other contributors include juniors Colleen Craven and Kayla Frank.
OUTLOOK: The 2016 season had a familiar ring to it for the Quakers, who captured their fifth sectional championship in six years and dropped a close game to Ocean City in the state semifinals. They should be a top team in South Jersey and contend at sectionals once again.
MOORESTOWN FRIENDS Foxes
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Three all-Friends League first-team selections are back to lead Moorestown Friends: Erin Fennell, Amanda Cooper and Isabella Pillows, all seniors. Cooper (six goals, eight assists) and Fennell (two, seven) have both committed to Division I programs and are headed to Brown and Quinnipiac, respectively. Pillows returns as the starting goalie after making 222 saves as a junior. Kayleigh Schweiker and Libby Mayer are other key seniors who were all-league honorable mention. Also looking to contribute are senior Kayla Uibel and juniors Lauren Cates, Kendall Connolly and Emma Geertgens.
OUTLOOK: The Foxes’ 7-9-1 season included a runner-up finish in the Friends League and a close loss to Paul VI in the South Jersey Non-Public playoffs. Their strong senior class is primed for big things this fall.
PAUL VI Eagles
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Paul VI graduated 10 seniors, including leading scorer Natalie Burns, but there are several key players back in the fold. Leading the way is senior midfielder Molly McAndrews, an all-conference first-team selection who had 22 goals and 10 assists last year. Meghan Bakey is another senior leader and three-year starter Brielle Odd leads a group of juniors that also includes Julia Bruno, Amanda Mascolo, Ava Antonucci and Caitlin Scully. Juniors Gabby Griffo and Meg Cirrii are the leading contenders to take over as starting goalie, and juniors Alyssa Strano and Caroline Francesconi are expected to be strong defenders.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles made an exciting run to the South Jersey Non-Public final last fall and finished with a 9-12-1 record. They hope to remain competitive with several new faces in the starting lineup.
SENECA Golden Eagles
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior midfielder Abby Regn has been an all-conference first-teamer every season of her career and is primed for a big final campaign. She had 14 goals and 11 assists as a junior and is aiming for All-American honors this fall. Senior midfielder Kaitlyn Birnbohm-Kaminski also made the all-conference first team and senior Sam Derkas is a top scoring threat who had 12 goals last year despite battling two hamstring injuries. Junior Delayni Elentrio is also expected to contribute at forward after a productive off-season. Junior Lindy Webb is a key player in the midfield, while senior Kasey Mitchell and junior Caitlin Kazokas are veteran defenders. The Golden Eagles will have to break in a new starting goalie and junior Jenna Flemings is one of the candidates. Other returners are senior Julia Collins and juniors Abigail Cosper and Madison Willitts. A strong freshman class could also land several players in starting positions.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles went on a hot streak down the homestretch of the 2016 season to reach the South Jersey Group III semifinals and finish with a 14-6-1 record. Posting double-digit wins and going on another playoff run seem like realistic goals for 2017.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Shawnee’s returning core includes last year’s two leading scorers: junior forward Erica Solomen and senior midfielder Ashley Wetzel. Solomen followed up a promising rookie season with 22 goals and five assists, while Wetzel added 20 goals and four assists. Seniors Olivia Drea and Claire Flannery, both midfielders, will also contribute to the attack. Junior Isabella Mancini and senior Noa Potoczak are veteran defenders and senior Elizabeth Ennis has experience in the cage. Other returners hoping to have an impact are seniors Anna Villamil and Nancy Fox, juniors Madison Connolly, Kate Logan and Annika Ringen and sophomores Alayna Burns and Logan Anderson.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades posted an impressive 17-4 record in 2016, with three close losses to state power Eastern, including the sectional final. They have the talent to remain among the top teams in South Jersey.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP Minutemaids
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Washington Township is paced by defender/ midfielder Jessica Hatch, a talented junior who had four goals and four assists and made the all-conference and all-South Jersey first teams as a sophomore. Senior Nadia Foderaro and sophomore Hannah Schrader will be important pieces of the attack and sophomore Audrey Ross will look to move into the starting goalie position. Senior Jenny Kerrigan and sophomore Jenny Boyle are other returners expected to contribute.
OUTLOOK: The 2016 season was expected to be a rebuilding one, but the Minutemaids managed to post a solid 10-8-2 record and dropped a close loss to Shawnee in the sectional quarterfinals. They hope to contend for a winning record again this fall.
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Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 5 (July, 2017).
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