Girls Soccer – 2023 Season Preview: Class B South
Last year, Point Pleasant Boro ran away with the Class B South title, going undefeated while not allowing a single goal within the division. This season, the Panthers will have a target on their backs as they are the favorites to repeat as champions.
The team that will be right on the Panthers' tail will be Lacey. The Lions got off to a slow start last season, losing their first two division games, and will be ready this time around. For the first time since 2017, Manchester brings back a roster that can contend with the top teams in B South. The Hawks are aiming to be above .500 for the first time since 2017.
Donovan Catholic has almost a completely different roster from their 2021 season, when they finished in a three-way tie for the division title. The Griffins will rely on their senior leadership to help a freshmen class ready to contribute.
Barnegat can surprise some teams this season with the experience the underclassmen got last season. Jackson Liberty is on the opposite end with a roster overhaul from last season. The Lions lost eight players from last year’s roster and three of those players are currently playing soccer in college.
Pinelands might have the youngest team in the Shore Conference and will work to get the underclassmen a lot of experience this season.
Point Boro Panthers
Head Coach: Michael Edolo, 14th season
Assistant Coaches: Jenn Petrillo, Amy Watson
Record Last Year: 15-4
Returning Players: Kyleigh Cilento (SR. Fwd; 11 G, 6 A), Riley Thrunk (SR. Def), Juliette Ryan (SR. Fwd; 1 G 1 A), Violet Billy (SR. Def), Ava Bjorndahl (JR. GK), Gabrielle Mellett (JR. Def; 4 G), Mollie Heras (JR. Mid), Abby Hannemann (JR. Fwd; 7 G, 4 A), Kayden Cilento (JR. Mid; 1 G), Elise Viggiano (SO. Mid; 1 G, 1 A),
Newcomers: Leah Gerdes (SO. Fwd)
Team Outlook: The Panthers are the favorites to repeat in B South this season. They did not concede a goal in division games last season behind strong defense and great goalkeeping by Ava Bjorndahl. They had one of the deeper teams in 2022 and it will pay off while trying to replace the graduated seniors. Last season, they knocked off Toms River North and Red Bank Catholic on their way to the SCT semifinals and will look for deep runs again this fall in the SCT and Central Jersey Group 2.
Lacey Township Lions
Head Coach: Jack Mahar, 11th season
Assistant Coaches: Robert Brewster, Danielle Spinuzza
Record Last Year: 13-6-1
Returning Players: Lorynn Leporino (SR. GK), Ava Schmidt (SO. GK), Mackenzie Brotherston (JR. Mid/Fwd; 11 G, 4 A), Reece Paget (JR. Mid; 7 G, 10 A), Natalie McGovern (JR. Mid/Fwd; 10 G, 14 A), Reena Hamouda (SR. Mid; 1 G, 1 A), Avery Johnson (JR. Def/Mid; 3 G, 7 A), Julianna Lehto (SR. Def), Ava Flanagan (SO. Mid/Fwd; 1 A), Oliva Miller (SO. Mid/Fwd; 1 G, 2 A), Marissa Flores (JR. Mid/Fwd; 3 A), Ava Forde (JR. Def; 2 G, 1 A), Leah Wimbush (JR. Def), Brooke Schmidt (SR. Fwd; 1 G), Samantha O’Connor (SO. Def), Danielle Pasqua (SO. Def), Kira Kownacki (JR. Def/Mid), Lynsey McGovern (SO. Mid/Fwd; 1 G), Riley Simonson (SO. Mid)
Newcomers: Kate Reynolds (FR. Def/Mid), Amelia Mazur (SO. Def), Brooke Brotherston (FR. Fwd)
Team Outlook: The Lions return the majority of their team from last season, but the backline will look completely different. Coach Jack Mahar will have to figure out a new defensive lineup with two players graduating and senior Marley Besser out for the season with an injury. Mahar will also have a tough decision in goal: senior Lorynn Leporino led the Lions to a SJG3 title in 2021, but was injured for a good part of last season and replaced by current sophomore Ava Schmidt. On the offensive end, they will be tough to stop with juniors Reese Padget, Natalie McGovern and Mackenzie Brotherson leading the way.
Head Coach: Casey O’Connor, second season
Assistant Coaches: Victoria Trapp and Giana Fucci
Record Last Year: 8-10-1
Key Returners: Shay Juralewicz (SR. Mid; 2 G, 2 A), Emily Ruff (SR. Def), Amanda Rosenthal (SR. Def), Amanda Klastava (SR. Mid; 3 G, 1 A), Nevaeh Doherty (SR. Mid), Aniya Savoy (SR. Fwd), Kylie Miller (JR. Def; 1 G, 7 A), Kaia Buckley (JR. GK), Katelyn Carney (JR. Def/Fwd; 5 G, 2 A), Riley Hayes (JR. Def; 1 G, 3 A), Nicole Goertz (JR. Mid; 1 G, 1 A), Madison Cubbison (SO. Fwd; 7 G, 2 A), Alexa Wnek (SO. Mid)
Newcomers: Emma Edwards (JR. Mid; 1 G 2 A (Transfer from Donovan Catholic)), Madeline Nolan (FR. Fwd/Mid)
Team Outlook: Manchester improved last year from the previous season and just missed out on the Shore Conference Tournament. The Hawks return the majority of their roster from last season, including leading scorer and sophomore Madison Cubbison. Senior Shay Juralewicz has been making an impact since she was a freshman and will lead Manchester as they aim for the SCT. Junior goalkeeper Kaia Buckley will be entering her third year in net and is one of the most athletic goalies in the Shore Conference.
Donovan Catholic Griffins
Head Coach: Suzanne Oliver, 26th season
Assistant Coaches: John Underwood
Record Last Year: 5-10-1
Key Returners: Grace Oliver (SR. Def), Ava Marchese (SR. Def), Olivia Armstrong (SR. Mid; 2 G, 2 A), Camilia Contreras (SR. Mid; 1 A), Lauren Kurzynowski (JR. GK), Sloane Stellmach (JR. Fwd), MJ Larson (JR. Fwd), Shea Henry (JR, Def)
Newcomers: Sarah Franks (FR. Fwd), Kaylen Wright (FR. Mid), Gabby Brehm (FR. Fwd), Maison Stankowitz (FR. Def), Ella Sles (FR. Def)
Team Outlook: The Griffins have graduated the majority of their 2021 Class B South championship team. They will rely on the senior experience on defense, which includes All-Shore player Grace Oliver. Donovan has five freshmen that will look to make an impact this season as the Griffins rebuild to get back on top in B South.
Head Coach: Rick Blasi, seventh season
Assistant Coaches: Jess Gasparino
Record Last Year: 7-9-1
Key Returners: Kallie Kawka (JR. Mid; 9 G, 1 A), Kaitlin Lutcza (JR. Mid; 6 G, 3 A), Kassie Doty (SR. Mid; 1 A), Sydney Collins (JR. Mid; 4 A)
Newcomers: Camryn Gartner (SR. GK)
Team Outlook: Barnegat brings back a good portion of its roster from last season including leading scorer Kallie Kawka. The Bengals have a strong junior class that saw a lot of playing time as sophomores. One position they need to replace is goalkeeper: Angelica Laudati was a four-year starter for the Bengals and set a school record in saves during her career.
Jackson Liberty Lions
Head Coach: Brianna Sosdian, first season
Assistant Coaches: Ryan Monday
Record Last Year: 9-7-2
Key Returners: Sophia Baliatico (SO. Def), Peyton Blasi (JR. GK/Def), Peyton Brown (SO. Def; 1 A), Breanna Casais (JR. Mid/Fwd; 1 G), Sydney Ecks (SR. Mid), Cameron Fletcher (SR. Def; 1 A), Ryley Fusco (SR. Def/Mid), Samantha Grueiro (SO. Mid; 2 A), Samantha Kosek (SO. Def), Lily Russo (SO. Mid; 1 A), Delaney Spalthoff (JR. Fwd; 18 G, 1 A), Kathryn Spalthoff (JR. Def), Esther Toisig (SR. Mid), Sabrina Watts (SR. Def)
Newcomers: Audrey Parker (FR. GK), Ali Zambor (FR. Fwd), Julianna Glenn (FR. Def/Mid), Makenna Perez (FR. Mid)
Team Outlook: Jackson Liberty lost the majority of its starting lineup from last season. First-year head coach Brianna Sosdian will be starting with almost a brand new lineup compared to last year's team, but does bring back two key players. Junior sisters, Delaney and Kathryn Spalthoff, had big seasons last year with Delaney leading the team in scoring and Kathryn having a strong season on defense.
Head Coach: Kaitlin Cuzzi and Denise Morrisey, first season
Assistant Coaches: Corrine Dasti
Record Last Year: 2-11
Key Returners: Ava Slinchak (SR), Paige Macari (SR. 2 G, 1 A), Ally Townsend (SR), Skylar Ballin (SR. 1 A), Antonella Gencarelli (JR.), Gabriella LoPorto (JR.), Sura Nuttall (JR. 2 G), Alexis Macknow (JR), Alyssa Brown (JR.), Julia Maxwell (JR.), Kaitlyn Sinno (JR. 1 G, 2 A), Erin Dillinger (SO.), Isabella Diana (SO.), Morgan Huff (SO.), Lily Keasler (SO.)
Newcomers: Arianna Torrez (FR.), Lorelai Mullan (FR.), Madison Bush (FR.), Lynze Livio (FR.), Alexandra Martinez (FR.), Summer Sprague (FR.), Tiegan Wighton (FR.), Kadince Plaia (FR.), Gretchen Canny (FR.)
Team Outlook: Pinelands has one of the youngest teams in the Shore Conference with 13 sophomores and freshmen on the roster. Sophomore Erin Dillinger had a good season last year on the back line for the Wildcats. With a new coaching staff and large underclass numbers, Pinelands should be able to improve their record over the next couple of seasons.
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