Girls Soccer- Shore Sports Network Preseason Shore 16
Shore Sports Network Girls Soccer Preseason Shore 16
1. Freehold Township
No surprise who is starting the season in the top spot. Freehold Township finished last season the No. 1 team in New Jersey and will be just as strong this upcoming season. The Patriots graduated 2022 Shore Conference Player of the Year Gabby Kuloch and midfielder Kayla Wong, but welcome back 2021 Shore Conference POY Cassidy Corcione, who missed last season due to injury. Freehold Township currently has three Division I commits on the roster with Corcione (Michigan State), Ainsley Moy (TCU), and Hailey Santiago (Florida Atlantic).
The Braves took the No. 1 team in New Jersey, Freehold Township, to the limit in the Central Jersey Group 4 final last year and bring back a good part of their starting lineup from that squad. Senior goalkeeper Emma Guidotti returns after missing last season with an injury. In each of the last two seasons, Manalapan has had Freehold Township on the ropes in a postseason game. Could this be the season they knock off the defending champions?
The Rebels surprised the Shore Conference last season, going from a team that won five games in 2021 to reaching the Shore Conference Tournament finals in 2022. Howell did graduate a couple of key players, but brought back a good portion of the 2022 starting lineup. Colgate commit Jade Vieira has made an impact in the midfield since her freshman year and will be one of the leaders hoping to get back to the SCT final.
4. Red Bank Catholic
RBC is the defending champion of Class A Central and the favorite to repeat in 2023. It was not the usual season, though, for the Caseys, who failed to make it into the Shore Conference semifinals. First-year Head Coach George Black has a good mixture of senior leadership and tested underclass talent to compete for the SCT title.
5. Point Pleasant Boro
Point Boro went through Class B South last season without conceding a goal on the way to a division title. The Panthers also made it to the Shore Conference semifinals, defeating RBC and Toms River North along the way. With their strong defense returning with junior goalie Ava Bjorndahl, who posted 12 shutouts, the Panthers are the favorites to defend the B South title.
6. Middletown South
The Eagles are coming off winning the Central Jersey Group 3 title last season and have their eyes set on winning their first back-to-back sectional titles since 1999 and 2000. Sophomore Bea Tinoco tied the school goal-scoring record as a freshman and with a good portion of the team coming back, she will be aiming to break that record this season.
7. Brick Memorial
The Mustangs came so close in winning the Central Jersey Group 3 title last season, losing to Middletown South in overtime. Brick Memorial will be the favorites in Class A South this season after settling for a co-championship last season. Division and sectional titles are the goal for Coach Billy Caruso, who enters his 30th season as his two daughters -- Lexi and Mia -- enter their final season playing for him.
Central was a team that surprised the Shore Conference by defeating Toms River North in the first week of the season, then again in South Jersey Group 4 sectional playoffs. The Golden Eagles bring back two of the strongest midfielders in seniors Emma Harmon and Samantha Versnal, both of whom can create scoring chances for their forwards. With the experience the team gained last season, this season goals are higher and they will compete for the Class A South title.
9. St. John Vianney
The Lancers are the fifth team from Class A North to start the season in the Top 10 after being realigned into the hardest division in the Shore. SJV brings back the majority of the team that made it into the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals last year. The Lancers will rely on the experience of the senior and junior class to make a run in South Jersey Non-Public A this season.
The Knights had a rollercoaster of a season in 2022, but played its best soccer when it mattered the most, winning the Central Jersey Group 2 title. First-year head coach Annie Menafra inherits a team that brings back the majority of its impact players from last season and will have the team focused on returning to the Group 2 final to avenge a 1-0 defeat against West Morris.
11. Jackson Memorial -- The Jaguars look to rebound after a so-so season in 2022 and have one of the deepest teams in the Shore this season with a strong freshman class and the addition of senior transfer Chelsea Lavezzo from Jackson Liberty.
12. Lacey -- Lacey brings back the majority of its offense, but is replacing an entire backline this season. If the defense can gel quickly to start the season, the Lions will compete for the Class B South title.
13. Rumson-Fair Haven -- Rumson is another team with an experienced roster returning. The Bulldogs picked up junior transfer Aubrey Scoble, who led Trinity Hall in scoring last season. The Bulldogs will have a very strong defense led by Northwestern commit Kate Hennen.
14. Manasquan -- The Warriors bring back the majority of a team that upset Middletown South in the Shore Conference Tournament. Manasquan will get more dangerous when Rylie Rampone returns from injury during the season.
15. Toms River South -- The Indians finished one point behind co-champs Brick Memorial and Toms River North last season in Class A South. If TRS can replace last year’s Goalie of the Year, Delaine Wilkinson, they will challenge for A South once again.
16. Point Pleasant Beach -- Point Beach won the Central Jersey Group 1 sectional championship and made it to the Group 1 title game. If they can replace four-year starter Morgan Highland in goal, they will challenge again in Group 1.