Girls Soccer – 2023 Season Preview: Class A South
Class A South did not get settled until the last game of the regular season for co-champions Toms River North and Brick Memorial. Toms River South tied Toms River East the last regular game, leaving the Indians one point behind the two co-champions. The majority of teams in the division lost a few key pieces, but they also bring back a good portion of their starting lineups.
Brick Memorial looks to be in the best position to defend the A South title this upcoming season, but it will not be easy. Central Regional has a lot of firepower and will be a tough team to stop with their talented midfielders.
Jackson Memorial has had a couple of down seasons by their standards, but has the roster to challenge for the A South Title and prove they belong with the best in the Shore this season.
Toms River South has a couple key players that graduated, but will try to prove they are the best team in Toms River this season and they will want revenge on TRE. This will be the first season in a long time that TRN will not be the favorites to start the season, but they will always be a tough match. Toms River East has the most returning players out of any teams in the division and that experience will help them in the postseason, including the new-look Shore Conference Tournament.
Southern Regional and Brick Township will aim to score more goals this season, with both teams being shutout in the double-digits last season. They might not challenge for the division title, but they came close to ruining the season for opponents on multiple occasions.
In predicted order of finish
Brick Memorial Mustangs
Head Coach: Billy Caruso, 30th season
Assistant Coaches: John Parani, Stephanie Butala, Crystal Badders, Rich Kijack, Gunther Ulbrich, Patrick Schlagenhaft, Jess Fuccello
Record Last Year: 11-4-2
Returning Players: Giselle Lizardi (SR. GK), Lexi Caruso (SR. Fwd; 6 G, 5 A), Chloe Gellici (SR. Fwd; 4 G, 2 A), Skyler Schlagenhaft (SO. Mid/Fwd; 1 A), Ashlee Schlagenhaft (SR. Def; 1 G), Makayla Siciliano (SO. Def), Reese Keane (SO. Def), Mia Caruso (SR. Mid/Fwd; 4 G, 2 A), Gabby Hernandez (SR. Mid; 2 G, 5 A), Brooke DeAlemedia (JR. Mid; 1 G), Jordan McCullough (JR. Def), Lila Hopkins (SO. Mid/Fwd; 1 G), Maggie Allen (JR. Fwd/Def, 1 G, 1 A)
Newcomers: Vic Hiotis (SO. GK), Emily Cranston (SO. Def), Makayla Doheny (SO. Mid/Fwd), Kylie McCullough (FR. Mid/Fwd), Sydney Mihalko (JR. Fwd)
Team Outlook: Brick Memorial shared the Class A South championship with Toms River North, who they beat for the first time since 2013. The Mustangs had a great season last year, beating every division opponent with the exception of Toms River South -- TRS defeated Brick Memorial during the regular season and then again early in the Shore Conference Tournament. The Mustangs graduated All-Shore goalie Hayley Tighe, but junior Giselle Lizardi saw some time last season and is up for the challenge. Brick Memorial also graduated leading scorer Makenzie Fanning, but brings back Lexi Caruso, Mia Caruso and Chloe Gellici, who combined for 14 goals last season. A trip to the Group 3 finals is the goal for coach Billy Caruso in his 30th season and final season coaching his daughters.
Central Regional Golden Eagles
Head Coach: Marykate Sullivan, second season
Assistant Coaches: Carly Setaro and Olivia Wilkoski
Record Last Year: 13-5-1
Key Returners: Arianna Chidiac (SR. Fwd; 9 G, 7 A), Emma Harmon (SR. Mid; 5 G, 14 A), Samantha Versnal (SR. Mid; 3 G, 11 A), Erika Kangas (SR. GK), Makenna Leszczynski (SR. Def; 1 G, 3 A), Lindsay Smith (SR. Def), Cailey Bozinis (SR. Mid; 1 G, 4 A), Riley Billhimer (JR. Mid; 2 G, 2 A), Emma Christensen (SO. Def; 2 A), Laura Woermer (SR. Def), Ellie Ytreboe (SR. Def), Gabby Hansson (SR. Fwd), Ava Schmidhauser (JR. Mid; 1 G), Hailey Monprode (SO. Def; 1 G)
Newcomers: Gracie Lowe (SR. Mid), Gabby Vassello (SR. Mid), Nicole Kangas (SO. Def), Leah DiCillo (FR. Mid), Shelby Parks (JR. Fwd)
Team Outlook: Central Regional surprised teams last season in Class A South by defeating Toms River North in the opening week of the season and then again in South Jersey Group 4 Sectional. The Golden Eagles finished just two points behind co-champs Brick Memorial and TRN in A South and will have their sights set for the top spot in 2023. They bring back one of the strongest midfields, with seniors Emma Harmon and Samantha Versnal combining for 25 assists last season. The big question will be who will step up and lead the team in scoring with Hannah Lewis, who finished with 23 goals last season, graduating.
Jackson Memorial Jaguars
Head Coach: Sean Bayha, fifth season
Assistant Coaches: Dana Young, Jon Harrington & Erika D'Angelo
Record Last Year: 11-9
Returning Players: Renee Wanzor (SR. Fwd/Def; 14 G, 7 A), Morgan Korinchak (SR. Fwd/Mid; 1 A), Caitlin Mahala (SR. Def), Maddie O’Neill (SR. Def/Mid; 1 A), Alyssa Tapia (SR. Def), Sam Biel (SR. Def), Hailey Norville (SR. Mid), Sam Mobley (SR. Mid), Alivia Black (SR. Mid), Katherine Salkin (SR. Fwd), Gianna Berkley (JR. GK), Sammy Ifantis (JR. Def), Lee Sherman (JR. Def), Alexa Berkley (SO. Def; 2 G, 2 A), Julia Ifantis (SO. Mid; 1 G), Zoe Gould (SO. Mid; 3 A), Isabella Finer (SO. Fwd; 1 G, 1 A), Julie Old (SO. GK)
Newcomers: Chelsea Lavezzo (SR. Fwd; 12 G, 8 A (Transfer from Jackson Liberty)), Ashley Alu (JR. Def), Faith Moroney (SO. Fwd), Lyla Norville (SO. Def), Julia Smith (SO. Def), Gabriella Hamdi (SO. Mid), Abby Wisniewski (SO. Def), Harmony Glover (FR. Def), Khushneet Singh (FR. Mid), Madison Fagliarone (FR. Fwd), Victoria Tandari (FR. Def), Ella Cooke (FR. Fwd), Skylar Carpenter (FR. Fwd)
Team Outlook: The Jaguars had an off year last season and fell short of qualifying for the Shore Conference Tournament. This season, Jackson Memorial brings back the majority of their team, only having to fill in a couple spots. They will also get a big boost on the offensive end of the field when senior transfer Chelsea Lavezzo is eligible to play. A transfer from Jackson Liberty, Lavezzo is a very dangerous goal scorer and pairing her with last year's leading scorer, senior Renee Wanzor, will make it hard for defenses to match up with them. Junior goalie Gianna Berkley had a great postseason, helping the Jaguars win the Shore Conference Coaches Tournament and had a remarkable game against Brick Memorial in the Central Jersey Group 3 quarterfinals.
Toms River South Indians
Head Coach: Kacey Woram, 3rd Season
Assistant Coaches: Lauren Mendez, Maddy McLelland, Sam Fernendaz
Record Last Year: 11-4-3
Key Returners: Emma Woch (SR. Mid; 3 G, 2 A), Jessica Milutin (SR. Mid), Jada Milligan (SR. Def), Katlyn Campanile (SR. Def), Eva Kuri (SR. Fwd; 3 G, 2 A), Meaghan Weathersotne (SR. GK), Carly Helmstetter (JR. Def), Adyson Caputo (JR. Def), Keira Mulvihill (JR. Mid/Fwd; G 5), Maddie Krohn (JR. Mid), Kat Wilkins (JR. Fwd), Sophia Wiercinski (JR. Mid; 1 A)
Newcomers: Madison Styles (SR. GK), Hannah Puglisi (JR. GK), Annika Clayton (JR. Mid) Ava Knight (FR. Mid/Fwd)
Team Outlook: Toms River South finished just one point behind the top spot in Class A South in 2022. A tie against crosstown rivals Toms River East in the last regular season game of the season knocked the Indians into third place. TRS brings back a solid team but needs to replace a couple key pieces. Shore Conference Goalie of the Year Delanie Wilkinson graduated and two of their top three leading scorers graduated. TRS was able to take NJ.com Top 20 Team Ocean City into a shootout in South Jersey Group 3 quarterfinals and will have their eyes set on a deeper run in 2023.
Toms River North Mariners
Head Coach: Tom Miller, 11th Season
Assistant Coaches: Joe Shore
Record Last Year: 12-6
Key Returners: Mary Bozicev (JR. Def; 2 G, 3A), Erin Misa (JR. Mid; 1G), Elayne Salle (SR. Def), Kiera Blum (SR. Fwd/Mid), Ava Ellis (SR. Def); Alexis Garcia (SR. Mid/Fwd; 18 G, 12 A), Sara Caso (SO. Mid), Angelina DeCesare (JR. Fwd; 3 G, 1 A), Julianna Wright (SR. GK), Kaylee Nagle (SR. Mid/Fwd; 10 G, 7 A), Savannah Mangold (SO. Mid/Def), Ava Pasnicu (JR. Mid; 1 A), Jordyn Brown (JR. Def; 1 A), Brielle Bell (SR. GK), Leilani Borges (SR. Fwd)
Newcomers: Lauren Kuhn (FR. Mid), Olivia Florenza (FR. Mid)
Team Outlook: Toms River North finished as co-champs of Class A South last season and had uncharacteristic early exits in the Shore Conference Tournament and South Jersey Group 4 Sectional Playoffs. The Mariners have graduated a large number of starters over the last two seasons and will be filling in key positions this season. The first question is who will step in as goalkeeper with Kyran Thievon graduating? Toms River North will also be replacing Madison DiEugenio, who has been a staple in the midfield for the last four years. Senior Alexis Garcia is one of the best finishers in the state and will look to end her high school career on a high note and lead the Mariners on a deep postseason run.
Toms River East Raiders
Head Coach: Jamie Blondia, third season
Assistant Coaches: Ashley Frankoski, Jessica LaPietra, Kimmy Liput
Record Last Year: 7-9-3
Key Returners: Addison Husenica (SR. GK), Jordyn Brill (SR. GK), Kylie Murphy (SR. Def; 1 G), Tori Hayduk (SR. Def), Sarah Blajda (SR. Def), Sydney Murphy (SR. Mid; 1 A), Samantha Sosnicki (SR. Mid; 3 G, 1 A), Peyton Gallagher (SR. Mid; 3 G), Alena Kelly (SR. Mid), Amanda Barr (SR. Fwd; 2 G), Grace Crowley (JR. Def; 1 G, 2 A), Brooke Brattole (JR. Mid), Maria Hayduk (JR. Mid), Isabella Alfonso (JR. Fwd; 3 G), Gianna Pascale (SO. Def), Addison Gallagher (SO. Def), Ella McNeary (SO. Mid), Alyssa Southworth (SO. Mid), Keira Carney (SO. Fwd)
Newcomers: Elle Dworzanski (FR. Fwd)
Team Outlook: Toms River East brings back all but three players from last year’s roster, which includes its leading scorers and strong defense. The Raiders will look to improve on goal-scoring after being shut out eight times last season. The three leading scorers from last year return after each of them -- Samantha Sosnicki, Peyton Gallagher and Isabella Alfonso -- scored three goals last season. Opponents struggled to score on TRE last season as they gave up one goal or less in 14 games.
Southern Regional Rams
Head Coach: Kaitlyn Hartkopf, sixth season
Assistant Coaches: Eric Geddes, Nicole Iorio, Melissa Scalone
Record Last Year: 3-12-1
Key Returners: Mackenzie Bott (SR. Def), Madelyn Beirne (SR. Mid; 1 A), Kenna Bihlmier (SR. Mid), Ella DiSimone (SR. GK), Lia Downs (SR. Mid), Carly Golderer (SR. GK), Kennia Hernandez-Ramos (SR. Def), Isabella Compitello (JR. Def), Sam Cushing (JR. Mid; 2 G), Grace Iovine (JR. Def), Sam Russell (JR. Mid; 1 G, 1 A), Brielle Simon (JR. Mid; 1 G, 1 A)
Newcomers: Kelly Quinn (JR. Fwd), Erin Flaherty (SO. Mid), Skylar Swanke (SO. Def), Erynn McInerney (SO. Fwd), Tiffany Dempsey (JR. Fwd)
Team Outlook: Southern Regional had a difficult season in 2022, mainly struggling finishing on the offensive side while being shut out 10 times. The Rams always played teams tough as Eastern found out in the opening round of South Jersey Group 4 sectional. Southern Regional, who was the 16th seed, kept No. 1 Eastern scoreless until the final two minutes of regulation. The junior class saw a lot of minutes last season as sophomores and the experience should pay off this season.
Brick Township Green Dragons
Head Coach: Mike Berardinelli, 20th season
Assistant Coaches: Brian Blue, Kaitlyn Kerrigan, Kate Fogler, Rachel Marino
Record Last Year: 4-10-2
Key Returners: Trinitie Maloney (SR. GK), Amaya Dalton (SR. Def), Desirae Majett (SR. Fwd/Def; 3 G), Emily Komsa (SR. Mid; 1 G), Kiley Groschel (SR. Fwd/Def), Sophia Sharples (SR. Mid/Def; 1 A), Daniella Sandoval (SR. Mid), Morgan Evans (JR. Def), Skylar Maloney (JR. Fwd/GK; 1 G), Riley Nausedas (JR. Def), Jade Mendez (JR. Def), Reese Achille (SO. Fwd/Mid; 1 G), Shay Hensle (SO. Mid/Fwd; 2 A), Erica Pokorny (SO. Def/Fwd; 2 G, 3 A), Leila Dagney (SO. Def)
Newcomers: Caitlyn Delanoy (JR. Def/Fwd), Isabella Braunsdorf (FR. Fwd), Amber Colhoun (FR. Fwd/Def), Irelyn Maloney (FR. Fwd), Ava Markey (FR. Fwd), Gia Tauscher (FR. Fwd)
Team Outlook: Brick Township has been in a rebuild since they made it to the Pod D finals in the shortened 2020 season. The Green Dragons hope to build on the way last season ended, going 3-0-1 in the final four matches, which included defeating a Shore Conference Top 10 team and Shore Conference Tournament semifinalist Point Boro the last game of the season. They have an experienced goalkeeper in four-year starter Trinitie Maloney, who will contend for an All-Shore Team. Brick will need to improve on the offensive side of the field as they were shut out 10 times last season and finished with only 17 goals.