WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - With 17 underclassmen on a 25-player roster, the Wood-Ridge will need to rely on youth in 2017. Under first-year head coach Jerry Cala, the Blue Devils will look to return to the NJSIAA state playoffs after last season's 9-12.(Overall) 7-9( NJIC) season. Despite their youth, Wood-Ridge returns some impressive talent in 2017.
Led by seniors Carly Cook, Amy Camacho and Melanie Izurieta, the Blue Devils still have several players with playing experience from a year ago.
Start with Cook, a first team All New Jersey Interscholastic Conference Meadowlands Division choice a year ago returns at center back. Izurieta will join her on the back line, complementing Cook. Camacho will direct the Blue Devils attack from the midfielder poisition. The play of the three will be pivotal to the success of the Blue Devils season.
“All three girls are great role models” Cala stated. “Carly Cook is an outstanding player. She will play a vital role in keeping our back line organized. Melanie is quick, and really starting to read the game well. Amy has good field vision and is a really intelligent, technical player. “
Sophomore Angela Picheo will handle the goalkeeper role.
“For a very young player,” Cala said. “she is a very technical goalkeeper.”
Fellow second-year players Kaylyn Coppola, Shaye Whaley, and Alessia Guerriero all gained valuable experience a season ago and will be counted on to continue to improve. Returning senior Alyssa Matos, Amanda Donohue, Sabrina Elkeshk and Gabriella Guerriero will also see plenty of playing time for the Blue Devils.
They will all be challenged for playing time by freshmen Kimberly Burnison, Natalie Cala, Gia Cannarozzi, Samantha Eckert, Emily Gardella and Stephanie Turi.
Cala spoke about taking over the Wood-Ridge program, which is only six years ago was part of a co-op arrangement with Hasbrouck Heights.
“We are really starting to develop an identity as a program,” Cala stated. “We have put measures in place to raise our fitness level as a team, create a technical program, and expand our tactical knowledge. The girls have done a great job so far, we are off to a great start. “
Wood-Ridge Blue Devils Roster
|1, 25||Picheo, Angela||Sophomore|
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