All-Delco Girls Soccer: Notre Dame’s Audrey Cain showed knack for impacting games

In addition to Player of the Year Maya Naimoli of Episcopal Academy, the All-Delco team includes:

Audrey Cain, Notre Dame: The senior can dictate a game from outside back in a way that is rare at the high school level. She possesses the rare combination of defensive reliability, knowing how and when to take risks and smartly recover, with the creativity of an attacking player. With Cain, the Irish ran to a 16-win season in 2021 and made the PAISAA final, then followed it up with 12 wins and a third-place Inter-Ac finish this year. She was second on the team with eight goals and added three assists. She scored a hat trick in a win over Baldwin and had a goal and an assist in topping Springfield. With Naimoli, Cain played in the 2022 High School Girls All-American Game in Panama City, Fla, in December. A first-team All-Inter-Ac pick, she will continue her career at Rutgers.

Haverford center back Mollie Carpenter, seen in a game last year against Springfield, showed that she always played a heady game for the Fords. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

Natalie Magnotta, Episcopal Academy: The junior center back made the leap onto the All-Inter-Ac first team, anchoring a defense that allowed just 12 goals in 21 games. With Magnotta in the back (she missed the final five games with an ankle injury), the Churchwomen allowed just 10 goals in 16 games, posting nine shutouts. Magnotta was a big reason, her rangy physical presence and superior ability to read the game putting out fires time and again. She added three goals and two assists, setting up the game-winning goal against Baldwin, as EA won 17 games and finished as the runner-up in both the Inter-Ac and the PAISAA tournament. Magnotta has committed to Penn State.

Mollie Carpenter, Haverford: The senior center back showed the athleticism that informs why she’ll continue her basketball career at Catholic University. She’s physically imposing at 6-foot, but her ability to see the game and her mobility to clear danger earns her the spot on the first team. Her Fords won nine games, made the District 1 Class 4A playoffs and allowed just 20 goals in 18 games. Their tight results included a 2-1 loss to Conestoga. Carpenter played 90 percent of her minutes in defense, but she still managed to make fruitful cameos at forward. She finished second on the team with six goals and added two assists. Carpenter was a first team All-Central pick.

Mia Zebley, Garnet Valley: The senior midfielder is on the All-Delco team for the second straight season, her dynamic two-way presence bridging the gap to a cohort of talented sophomores and leading the Jaguars to the second round of the District 1 Class 4A tournament. Zebley scored four goals and six assists. Her poise in midfield provided the platform upon which talented youngsters, like second-teamers Ella Bryan and Maddie Smith, could excel in the attack. It contributed to 11 wins and six clean sheets. She assisted on the game-winner in a 1-0 decision over Methacton and had two assists in a wild 4-3 win over Harriton. A defensive midfielder in lacrosse, the All-Central pick will play at Elon University.

Selah Koleth, Radnor: The Raptors lost plenty from last fall’s run to the PIAA Class 3A final, but Koleth was one of the players who proved she could pick up the slack. The junior midfielder led Radnor with nine goals and an assist before missing the end of the regular season due to injury. She shouldered tremendous responsibility as a box-to-box presence, getting up and down the field and helping construct an entirely new midfield that was particularly hard hit by graduation. Koleth’s on-ball skills are undeniable: She’s one of the flashiest players around, with her beguiling array of skills, but the All-Central pick added more of a finishing touch this season, as a threat to shoot from 30 yards and in.

Strath Haven’s Annie Dignazio, right, and Radnor’s Selah Koleth collide in a midfield duel Tuesday night. Dignazio’s Panthers won in overtime, 3-2. (PETE BANNAN-DAILY TIMES)

Coryn Silberstein, Springfield: The senior midfield string-puller is on the All-Delco for a second straight year, before she continues her soccer career at Longwood University. Most of the Cougars’ positives on offense ran through Silberstein, who finished second on the team with eight goals and led the way with six assists for a team that qualified for the District 1 Class 4A tournament. Her ability to pick a pass through the lines or take on a defender one-v-one opened doors for the Springfield attack. She scored in a 3-2 overtime win over Ridley, set up Liv Gutowski’s icer against Penncrest and added braces against St. Hubert and Faith Christian.

Ella Wright, Archbishop Carroll: She was one of the biggest pieces in Carroll’s successful season, which included a trip to the District 12 Class 4A title game. The senior led the Patriots with 10 goals and nine assists. For a team that didn’t score a ton, every contribution from Wright in midfield was worth even more. She paired that with a domineering presence in the middle of the pitch, able to win possession in tackles, connect passes and aid her defense on the way to being named first-team All-Catholic. A defensive-minded midfielder for Carroll’s state championship lacrosse team, Wright has committed to Ohio State.

Annie Dignazio, Strath Haven: The sophomore fireball ignited a significant turnaround for the Panthers, going from five wins in 2021 to 12 this season and a spot in the District 1 Class 3A tournament. She did much of the goal-scoring, with nine goals and eight assists, showing how valuable she was after missing much of her freshman season due to injury. Dignazio is a multi-sport standout, playing hockey (with her All-Delco brother Nick on the boys team) and lacrosse, where she contributed as a freshman. On the pitch, Dignazio scored against Conestoga, a game in which the Panthers pushed the Pioneers to overtime and one of just seven goals Conestoga allowed in the regular season. She added two goals and an assist in a 3-2 win over Radnor and two goals in a 2-0 win over Upper Merion. She earned All-Central recognition from coaches.

Adria Kitzinger, Ridley: Kitzinger was voted the Central League player of the year despite the Green Raiders finishing ninth in the standings. That’s some indication of the high regard the electric forward was held in, landing on the All-Delco team for a second time. Kitzinger scored 29 goals to go with 13 assists, having a hand in 42 of the team’s 56 goals as the Green Raiders slipped into the District 1 Class 4A playoffs as the 28th and final seed. With 59 career goals, she leaves as the school’s all-time leading scorer. The Seton Hall signee’s numbers, in any other year, would’ve been worthy of the player of the year mantle, a testament to the county’s talent this season. Among her achievements were hat tricks in 3-0 wins over Harriton and Cardinal O’Hara and the overtime game-winning goal plus an assist in a win over Garnet Valley.

Archbishop Carroll’s Ella Wright heads a ball in front of Cardinal O’Hara’s Carly Coleman in the first half Thursday. (Pete Bannan – MediaNews Group)

Maya Bright, Episcopal Academy: Just a sophomore, Bright is one of the, well, brightest goal-scoring talents around. The All-Inter-Ac pick powered the Churchwomen with 16 goals and seven assists, leading the league in goals and total goal contributions. That came despite her being man-marked often, and it allowed Bright to show that she can create for others, with her superb touch in close quarters and her speed to create space for teammates, as well as her clinical scoring touch. Bright scored a pair of hat tricks early in the season and punished PIAA foes Radnor and Downingtown East for two goals apiece (the latter in a 2-1 win). She had a hand in three of the four goals against rival Agnes Irwin across two wins. Even with Quinn Whitaker, an All-Delco as a freshman last year, limited by injury for most of the year, EA hardly missed a beat.

Lily Fusco, Agnes Irwin: The highly touted junior forward had a breakthrough season in terms of goals and assists, aiding the Owls to fourth place in the Inter-Ac. That included playing Springside Chestnut Hill, the reigning league champ, to a draw. Fusco could impact games playing either as a lone forward or on the wing, with her clinical finishing touch and the ability to get others involved. Fusco was the team’s leading scorer with 13 tallies, and she added two assists. She scored both goals, including a PK with two minutes to play, in a 2-1 win over Notre Dame and added two goals in a 3-2 win over Germantown Academy. Fusco was a first-team All-Inter-Ac pick.

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