Promising Start for Girls Soccer


A force to be reckoned with, the Verona High School girls soccer team has shown they are one of the strongest athletic programs at the high school.

With a promising season in store for them, they are trying to capitalize on as many opportunities as they can.

They have a pretty challenging season, playing teams like Glen Ridge, the defending state champion, and Nutley. But they showed that tough competition will not be enough to stop their reign.

After falling to Glen Ridge in the state finals last year, the Hillbillies came into the 2018 season with something to prove. They showed their power by coming out with the win in a contest that went into double overtime, with a score of 5-4.

Another tough game was against Nutley whom the girls fell to 4-0 to them in the 2016 season. But the girls were able to keep history from repeating itself, by finishing the game with a 1-1 score. Not only was this a major success to hold back such a powerful team, it was a game that proved the true capabilities of the Hillbillies this year.

It all starts in the back with senior keeper, Colleen Whelan. Whelan is able to direct the team from the back and help create fast plays.

The two center defensemen, Cayla Okafor, and Maggie Lonsinger, are two of the strongest players on team. They play such a big role in holding down the team and are major contributors to the success of the team.

To their left and right, there’s Clara Frizzi and Rebecca Siclari. They are vital players because without their overlapping runs on the outside, there would be no progression up the field.

In the center of the field, Gabi Montagna resides in the defensive mid position. Playing the role of a support to the defense and also a player who looks to create opportunities on the offense, Montagna plays a key role of the transition of the ball on the field.

Above her, sits, captains, Ally Madigan and Sarah Carlucci. The two players can be found anywhere on the field providing their speed, assistance, and most importantly their extensive knowledge of the game.

In the outside mid positions, there’s freshmen Grace Madigan and Emma Zalewski. The two have really done a great job stepping into such a large role, especially since they are both new to the team.

And up top is captain Lara Tole. Tole is always looking for opportunities on the goal and really knows how to rally.

But the team’s progress can’t be fully evaluated without taking a look back. They have really come a long way from the 2016 season.

During 2016, the girls were being coached by a different staff. With only four wins to show for the 2016 season, the girls knew something would have to change if they wanted to see the success they knew they were capable of achieving.

And in 2017 the girls were able to turn over a new leaf. They had a winning season and were able to shock New Jersey by making it to the Group 1 state finals in 2017.

One of the key changes between both seasons was new varsity coach, Kerrin Goosman, a former VHS soccer player herself.

After a full year of being able to really click with the girls, Goosman is hungry for another chance at that state title.

She knows the girls “have a lot to prove to one another about our team’s capabilities” and that “the finals would prove once and for all how very capable we are.”

The 2018 has been a promising one already, but there are many factors that can affect the outcome of the rest of their season. This year the team has moved to Group 2, which means they will be playing bigger schools and harder tougher competition in the state tournament.

But with a team like this willing to work to get the results they want, they will be able to achieve greatness.