A pair of local high school girls’ soccer programs — Lenape Valley and Newton — are gearing up with due diligence as well as enthusiasm for the vast amount of challenges that await them on the pitch this fall.
Let’s take a closer look at each team as they get set for the upcoming season.
The Patriots are set to open the regular season with a road contest at High Point on September 10.
Among the key returning student athletes for the Patriots this year are Laney Kenny (defense, senior), Mia McLean (forward, senior), Lilly Fejko (midfield, senior), Cassis Yappen (forward, junior) and Molly Gannon (midfield, junior).
Promising newcomers with the potential to make a noteworthy impact at the varsity level include Ajla Brescic (junior), Colleen Yanovok (junior), Gianna Santana (sophomore) and Maddie Schuddeboom (sophomore).
“The leaders I will be looking to this year are the entire senior class,” Lenape Valley head coach Justin Meeth said. “This senior class has a lot of experience and they are always ready to compete.”
The Patriots posted an overall record of 13-5-1 as Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Freedom Division champions in 2021. They advanced to the NJSIAA North 1 Group 1 Sectional Tournament quarterfinal round last fall.
This year they compete in the NJAC Freedom Division along with Jefferson, Kittatinny, High Point, Hackettstown and Newton.
“Goals are to win the NJAC Division, finish above .500, earn a home state playoff game and win two state playoff games” Meeth said. “The view for the team this year is very positive. We pretty much return the entire team that won the Freedom Division last season.
“Between the experience and all the promising newcomers, I see us as a firm contender to win the division. I think our division will be competitive which in turn would make all teams a contender.”
The Braves are scheduled to open the regular season with a road match at Blair Academy on September 8.
Among the key returning student athletes to the varsity roster are Hannah Hamilton (senior, midfield), Nellani Rodriguez (senior, forward), Natalie Fung (senior, defense), Chloe Medunik (senior, goal keeper), Jocelyn Reynolds (junior, defense), Anna Schereth (junior, forward), Sahara Pereira (junior, forward), Sophia May (sophomore, goal keeper), Emma Eigner (sophomore, defense) and Andrina Ismail (sophomore, defense).
Gabi Scerbo (junior, midfield), Kelsey Coffey (junior), Riley Stuble (junior, defense) and Jolen Stoner (sophomore, midfield) are among the newcomers to the varsity roster
The Braves tallied six wins in 2021. They compete in the NJAC Freedom Division as well.
“We are a very young team in a rebuilding year and are looking to battle for the division championship and make a long run in the state tournament,” Newton head coach Jake Mull said.