BLOOMFIELD, NJ-- As a new season approaches, the Bloomfield High girls' soccer team is starting to get in shape for the 2020 campaign.
Head coach Jon Aliaga begins his fifth season at the helm, and he's happy with the way his players are approaching the season.
"They're working hard," said Aliaga. "I like the intensity in practice sessions and the way the kids are going about their work. They're looking forward to playing, and that's their sole focus in practice."
The Bengals are in 'Phase 2' of practice, as the NJSIAA instituted a new set of guidelines for fall teams to work on conditioning. The team will practice through most of August, then get about two weeks off, as the student-athletes get set for school. In mid September, the team will get together again and start preparing for the regular season, which is slated to begin in early October.
Bloomfield will once again play in the Super Essex Conference's Liberty Division. The team started slowly last season, but played at the .500 level after an 0-5-1 start and finished 7-12-1 for 2019.
The captains this fall will be senior Emily Baca, a sweeper, and junior Jaelyn Oramas, who is a center/midfielder.
The Bengals should also be boosted by the return of Lucy Hayman, a junior goalie, who missed some of the 2019 season with an injury. Emily Haraka, who had a good freshman campaign last fall, is expected to be a key contributor, as well.
Aliaga's assistant coaches are the same as 2019, with Nicole Pacicco and Robert Finlay returning to the staff.
The numbers have also been promising, with an excellent turnout of players at practice.
"I was really happy with the turnout of players," said Aliaga. "As I said, I'm really happy with the way our players are preparing for the season. They're not looking back, just thinking positive."