Girls Soccer Preview: Pair of All-Delcos return for Strath Haven

Monday’s edition of the Daily Times will feature the full girls soccer preview package, with a profile of the Garnet Valley team and a look at Super 7s and Players to Watch. On the site, we’ll publish team-by-team previews. Let’s start with the Central League.

The stratification across classes is oddly pronounced for Strath Haven, which is anchored at both ends of the field by the strength of senior All-Delco goalkeeper Katie Fisher and junior All-Delco forward Liz King, along with speedy classmate Maddie Forbes. The midfield is fortified by veterans, including seniors Annike Kruse and Carly Glassford and junior Claire VanDuyne, who saw time in defense last year.

The backline, however, is largely inexperienced. The group that includes seniors Julianne DeCarlo and Meagan Laird, junior Kacy Hafertepe and sophomore Liz DeCarlo saw time last year as Gino Miraglia is always adept at rotating his players, but none bring the kind of experience that the Panthers have had in years past.

For the first time in their high school careers, the Penncrest seniors will benefit from multiple seasons under the same coach in Mike Deleo, who took the team to the District One Class AAA tournament. The leading scorer (Olivia Mancarella) and starting goalkeeper (Kayla Allen) from that team are back, as is captain Merry Samuel and midfield engine Gia Martyn.

The Lions will be able to score, with Tara Higgins and Corryn Gamber showing great growth last year and Cassidy Moretti and Jackie Mitchell returning from injuries. But replacing the seniors that made Penncrest’s defense so formidable last year is a sizeable challenge.

Radnor must contend with a third coach in as many years, with Mike Welsh taking the helm of a team that narrowly missed the postseason with 10 wins last year. Much of that group is back, led by the senior defensive tandem of Abby Lord and Fallon Quinn.

The midfield will be an area of strength, with senior Emily Games leading a junior-heavy group that includes Allison Lanzone, Maura Holst, Julianne Puckette and Nicole Massimino, all of whom boast varsity experience. Raquel Razavi will lead the forward line, aided by sophomore Carolyn Eckstein.

A gifted senior class led Marple Newtown to nine wins last year, and they leave coach Erika Baylis with big roles to fill. Much of the attack will be generated by Julia Lynch and Megan Lynch, as the four-year contributors will shuttle through midfield and the forward line to create offense.

Defender Rebecca Gallagher is among the select group of returning players, while Halle Robinson has impressed sufficiently in preseason to be tabbed as the heir apparent in goal.

Last year’s two-win season wasn’t the easiest to swallow for Ridley, but coach Ron Nevin is optimistic that his blend of veterans and underclassmen can turn the page.

Lisa Gale, Kim Eckenrode, Lexi Fredericks, Abby Graeff, Alayna Pezick, Lexi Rainer, Ashley Testa and Kylie Stuhltrager all return with significant experience. Notable youngsters include Rachel Pattinson, Liz Stretton, Emily Cooper, Amaya Impriano, Sam Najmola, Naia Perry, Rachel Smith, Emma Christensen and Kelly Patterson.

Upper Darby endured a winless 2014, but a strong senior class, by midfielder Chelsea Vondran, could usher in a new era. Sam Flood will continue as the starter in goal, while JP Gallagher and Ashley Gura will anchor the defense.

Sophomore forward Jaclyn Castell is a leading candidate in the search for goals.

Springfield has a new coach, with Paul Horozoglou taking the reins of a program that has threatened to break into the playoffs each of the last two years without success.

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