Coach: Bill Goddard, 14th season
Last year’s record: 11-2 PAC-10, 13-5 overall, District 1 qualifier
Players to watch: Seniors Sarafina Valenti, GK; Maria Garofolo, mid.; Taylor Sassaman, mid./def.; Kylie Erb, def.; Taylor Landis, def.; Kyle Graver, def.; Samantha Brensinger, mid./fwd.; Sarah Suever, mid.
Outlook: The Bears have made a name for themselves on a district level largely with a foundation built on defense. It is beware to the competition in 2015 as Boyertown returns its entire rear unit including three-year All-Area fixtures Sarafina Valenti, the Penn St.-bound goalkeeper, and midfielder Maria Garofolo (Drexel). “It’s a staple of the program and we pride ourselves in keeping the ball out of the net. But more than anything else, the strength of our team is its balance and I don’t think this team is going to be any different,” coach Bill Goddard said. Where the goals will come from is a more unknown commodity, but the Bears’ motivation will never come in question, especially after last season’s District 1-AAA second round heartbreak. “We’re still stinging from that loss to C.B. West,” Goddard said. The Bears went home. The Bucks went on to win states. Instead of lofty goals, Goddard truly wants his team going one game at a time. “We concentrate on being better today than yesterday. If we accomplish that, the results will take care of themselves,” he said. If things go to plan, there could be plenty of days to get better while contending on the PAC-10 and district level with the chance of a return to the PIAA playoffs possible.
Coach: Bret Smith, 13th season
Last year’s record: 5-6-2 PAC-10, 6-10-2 overall
Players to watch: Seniors Cay McNichol, mid.; Tyler Gray, def. Juniors Angela Ramsden, fwd.; Abbey Dungan, def.; Lea Dungan, mid.; Maddy Talor, def. Sophomores Mariah Romano, def.; Lexi Laconi, mid.; Caitlyn McClure, mid. Freshmen Kendall Ozorowski, mid.; Lauren McNichol, fwd.; Maggie Bordonaro, fwd.
Outlook: Things never seem to be easy for the Warriors. Why would this year be any different? A number of injuries during the summer have dealt a setback to coach Bret Smith’s squad, which will be relying on more than a few underclassmen this season. But that youthful exuberance means the Warriors may just have the pace to threaten the opposition. “I really like our overall team speed,” Smith said. “We’ve got a number of girls that can really run at defenders, with and without the ball.” Valuable experience will be gained even if life in the super-strong Liberty Division is tough. “Having such a young team this year, and playing in one of the more competitive conferences in the state, we’ve definitely got a tough road ahead of us,” Smith said. “Our early injury problems will hopefully make us a stronger team as we get healthier.”
OWEN J. ROBERTS
Coach: Joe Margusity, 19th season
Last year’s record: 13-9-2 overall, District 1 qualifier, reached District 1 fifth-place game
Players to watch: Seniors Emilie Kupsov, mid.; Sarah Hume, def.; Hannah Glass, def.; Taylor McKee, mid.; Kyra McCloud, GK. Sophomores Mahagony Willis, fwd.; Caroline Thompson, fwd.; Morgan Shronk, fwd., Danika Swech, mid.; Kali Pupo, def.
Outlook: Where there was uncertainty 12 months ago there is now optimism. That’s because coach Joe Margusity’s faith in a starting lineup featuring six freshmen came together in such a way that the Wildcats made a deep district run and got to within a game of making the PIAA playoffs (lost to Spring-Ford in fifth-place game) after knocking off three conference champions in the process. With that experience in their pocket plus returning nearly their entire team, including All-Area first team midfielder Emilie Kupsov and second-year dynamo Mahogany Willis, hopes are very high for OJR. “(Our goals are to) compete for a PAC-10 title, make a deep run in the district playoffs and make the state tournament where anything can happen.” The Wildcats won’t be catching anyone off guard this season, but if their upward trajectory continues that won’t matter.
Coach: Zach Allen, 1st season (interim coach in place of Kim Paulus)
Last year’s record: 2-10-1 PAC-10, 3-14-1 overall
Players to watch: Senior Maura Cunningham, GK/def. Juniors Erin Paquette, def./mid.; Samantha Penny, mid./def.; Hannah Thomas, mid. Sophomores Jocelyn Moore, def./mid.; Leslie Adams, GK/mid.
Outlook: The Vikings have the unenviable task of playing in a stacked PAC-10 Liberty Division, which wasn’t an easy task a year ago and likely won’t be again. But there is promising talent throughout the lineup as PV looks to improve on a three-win season. “The girls must replace the leadership from last year’s class and remain organized and disciplined when facing adversity,” Allen said. “The girls are extremely close, unified, and willing to work hard to improve steadily throughout the season.”
Coach: Tim Raub, 3rd season
Last year’s record: 11-2 PAC-10, 15-5-1 overall, District 1 second round
Players to watch: Seniors Lainey Michaud, GK; Sarah Weston, def.; Megan Olsson, fwd./mid.; Liv Ellis, mid.; Kaitlin Schneider, def. Juniors Dakota Graham, mid.; Kaitlyn Casiano, mid.; Sophia Kopko, def.; Julia Brown, mid. Sophomores Jesi Rossman, mid.; Kelli Olsson, def.
Outlook: The Phantoms have the task of replacing the irreplaceable. That’s the case with the graduations of two all-state players, All-Area Player of the Year and All-American Lauren Benner (Temple) and Cecilia Knaub (Penn State). The task now is to turn the page and ensure the Phoenixville program remains on the rise as a whole. “This will be a year of transition for us. We will need to rely on some young players to step up this season and compete. How well we do as a team will depend on how well the team, and those young players in particular, adjusts and develops as the season progresses,” coach Tim Raub said. The cupboard isn’t bare though, with the returns of double-digit scorer Dakota Graham and Kaitlyn Casiano in the midfield, among others. “We will have to get some good, strong, mature efforts from our underclassmen if we are going to compete with the better teams in this league,” Raub said. The size of the dream may not be as big as last season, but a return to the PAC-10 Final Four and the District 1-AAA playoffs isn’t too big of an ask.
POPE JOHN PAUL II
Coach: Stewart Sherk, 2nd season
Last year’s record: 9-4 PAC-10, 15-7 overall, District 1-AA semifinals
Players to watch: Seniors Reiley Cotter, def.; Abby McMenamin, def.; Katherine Roth, mid. Sophomores Kayla Mesaros, fwd.; Colleen Morton, GK.
Outlook: The Golden Panthers announced themselves on the PAC-10 soccer scene a year ago by becoming only the second Frontier Division team to make the PAC-10 final. The year ended with a District 1-AA semifinal loss to eventual PIAA champion Villa Joseph Marie, but not before many took notice. A solid core from that team returns, including All-Area first team Katherine Roth, who will move to a more advanced midfield role to fill the gap left by graduated tandem Lauren Dao (Seton Hall) and Talia Marano, and sophomore forward Kayla Mesaros. “I don’t believe we have any one area that sticks out as our strength, but our forwards should create some challenges for the opposition,” coach Stewart Sherk said. All things considered, PJP’s goals seem very realistic. “We are looking to be in contention for the Frontier Division title and getting back to districts,” Sherk said.
Coach: Steve Mellor, 5th season
Last year’s record: 2-11 PAC-10, 3-14-2 overall
Players to watch: Senior Molly McGeehan, def. Junior Dalia Abbas, mid.; Madison Thierry, mid.
Outlook: The Falcons are targeting a higher win total while relying on their junior midfield tandem. “Madison and Dalia are good players with the vision to get us into the attacking third and the toughness to help us defend,” coach Steve Mellor said. The hope for Pottsgrove is to push the rest of the Frontier Division all season.
Coach: Gary Mock, 7th season
Last year’s record: 0-13 PAC-10, 0-15 overall
Players to watch: Seniors Alaina James, GK; Destiny Willis, def. Junior Sara Levengood, mid. Sophomore Denaisa Greenawalt, fwd.
Outlook: The definition of success is different in different programs. Navigating the PAC-10 hasn’t always been a pleasure for Pottstown, but coach Gary Mock knows how to keep perspective. “We have the same goals every year: get better every day and compete until the last whistle. Win or lose we will learn something about ourselves,” he said. The Trojans are looking for another standout season from three-year starter Alaina James in goal and a number of underclassmen to step up in order to put some notches in the win column.
Coach: Tim Leyland, 2nd season
Last year’s record: 9-2-2 PAC-10, 19-5-3 overall, PAC-10 champions, PIAA Class AAA quarterfinalist
Players to watch: Seniors Laura Suero, def.; Gabrielle Vagnozzi, mid.; Taylor Newhart, def.; Bri Cirino, mid.; Amy Roth, def. Juniors Missy Moore, def.; Libby Andrews, def.; Amanda Byrd, GK. Sophomore Gabby Kane, mid.
Outlook: This year’s senior class for Spring-Ford has only known huge success over the past two seasons with back-to-back PAC-10 titles and PIAA final and quarterfinal appearances. But with the return of a group led by All-Area first teamers Laura Suero and Gabrielle Vagnozzi and Taylor Newhart, the best could be yet to come. The Rams must cope with the departure of goalkeeper Jenna Griggs (Drexel) but returning their entire back line and defensive midfield should address that matter. Talent doesn’t automatically translate to results, which is why coach Tim Leyland isn’t overlooking anyone. “We play a very difficult schedule. For this team to reach its highest potential we need to stay healthy and keep our focus throughout the entire season,” he said. Don’t be surprised if the Rams are asked to keep their focus a long time … even into mid-November.
Coach: Mike Freed, 7th season
Last year’s record: 6-7 PAC-10, 8-10-1 overall, District 1-AA qualifer
Players to watch: Seniors Morgan Rynn, def.; Jenna Wismer, fwd.; Allison Ritting, def.; Megan Ritting, fwd. Juniors Mackenzie Gebhardt, mid.; Rachel Morelli, GK; Megan Wismer, def. Sophomores Kayleigh Durning, mid.; Jessie Fisher, fwd.; Hannah Leight, fwd.; Taylor Kearney, mid.
Outlook: The Indians were unable to keep pace last season while Phoenixville and Pope John Paul II were putting together among their best seasons in program history. It left Upper Perk on the outside of the PAC-10 playoffs but a return could be in order this time. “After graduating a strong class the prior year, last year was very much a rebuilding year. We return 11 varsity letter-earning players, many of which were seeing significant playing time last year as freshmen and sophomores. I think we are much better prepared for the rigors of high school soccer,” coach Mike Freed said. With PAC-10 first team midfielder Mackenzie Gebhardt leading the way, expect Upper Perk to reclaim a winning record and be back in the PAC-10 and District 1-AA playoff mix.
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