2018 Girls Soccer Preview
FAIRFIELD - The names may change but the success never stops for head coach Wayne Mones and the Notre Dame girls’ soccer team.
There was Samantha LaValle, Brianna Kydes and Erika Quinones that led ND to back-to-back co-CIAC championships in 2015 (Class S) and 2016 (Class M).
Last year it was Katie Ciufo, Lindsay Salvati and Samantha Camacho, leading the Lancers to 12 wins and the second round of the Class L tournament.
This season, Mones returns seven starters, led by sophomore Toni Domingos - who had 22 goals and six assists as a freshman last fall - looking to lead the Lancers, back in the Class M division, toward a state championship.
“The season will go as far as the incoming freshmen and sophomores contribute,” Mones wrote in his prospectus to the Citizen. “We are lacking depth, but we have a quality group.”
Along with Domingos, an All-SWC selection, who has already allegedly committed to play college soccer at UConn, Mones returns All-State pick senior defender Katarzyna Zawadaki, All-Patriot Division selection senior midfielder Amanda McGeehan, senior midfielder Olivia Carriero and junior center back Jazmine Fred.
The Lancers went 10-2-4 in the regular, falling in the SWC tournament semifinals and the second round in Class L to finish at 12-4-4 overall.
Other players that should provide experience include, juniors Dakota Chavez, Tia Pascarelli, Tassia Ferriera, Daryn Dickson and Danielle Gilling, along with seniors Carly Zajac, Julia Mizak and Brayanna Dawid.
Last season was a roller coaster one for the Falcons, win some, lose some, tie some.
Head coach Peter Nikac’s squad went 6-4-6 in the regular season, failing to qualify for the FCIAC playoffs. And in the Class LL tournament, Ludlowe went quietly, losing to Staples in the second round.
Despite losing three starters, Nikac feels this year’s team could challenge for the FCIAC title.
“We will be competitive in every game,” Nikac wrote in his prospectus to the Citizen. “Last season, the FCIAC proved that they are tops in the state. We plan on fighting for our place there.”
Returning players Kelsey Brown, Maya Newton, Paige O’Connell and Maddie Herron will be captains this season. Other returning players that Nikac will be looking for leadership and experience form will be McKenna Forrest and Kiersten Morrisroe.
Ludlowe finished with a 7-5-6 overall record.
“Our strengths are depth, attitude, defense and work rate,” Nikac wrote. “We have to maintain a positive attitude and make minimal mistakes in the defensive third (of the field). Play simple and intelligent soccer and stay healthy.”
Last year, just before the postseason, Warde was slapped by the injury bug, losing All-American Lauren Tangney, along with Cara Bebey, Teresa Anders and Jane Boldrighini. As a result, the Mustangs were beaten in the FCIAC semifinals and lost in its opening round Class LL tournament game, putting a huge damper on what had been a superb regular season.
Warde went 11-3-1 in the regular season, beating Trumbull in the FCIAC quarterfinals before falling to St. Joseph in the semifinals and losing to Trumbull in the CIAC second round.
Hopefully healthy, the Mustangs are looking for a return to the postseason and to challenge for the FCIAC title.
“This is a young team led by five seniors,” head coach Tom Cunningham wrote in his prospectus to the Citizen. “We have four returning starters from a season ago. Our success will be dependent upon the players who are asked to step up and fill spots that have been vacated because of graduation or injuries. Players are competing this preseason to earn their playing time.”
First team All-FCIAC senior Avery Oracheff and second team All-FCIAC pick senior Clare Corcoran highlight the returnees, along with seniors Boldrighini, Caroline Aufiero and Caroline Brown, junior Claire Cherniske and sophomore Alyvia Ronning.