WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Progress, both on and off the field, is the annual goal for Wood-Ridge girls head soccer coach Jerry Cala.
Looking to improve off of last season’s 6-15 team, Cala is excited for the upcoming season. In his third season at the school, he has seen interest grow in the program, not only on the field, but in the community as well.
“We have 31 girls this year in the program” Cala stated. “For the first time we have enough girls in the program to have a full jayvee team in addition to a full varsity squad. It enables us to go from two games at a junior varsity level last year, to twelve. It is a big thing for our continued development as a program to be able to play those games, to get girls that much more actual playing time.”
Cala is happy with what he sees as more awareness of girls soccer in Wood-Ridge, which he credits to the girls and how they present themselves in the community.
“We had eight freshmen come out this year, which is a good number for the program,” Cala said. “Additionally, we had a few sophomores come out who did not play as freshman. I give credit to the girls for some of that. Kids see that we have a good thing starting to develop and want to be part of it."
Goalkeeper: Senior Angela Picheo will handle the goalkeeper duties for the Lady Blue Devils this season. One of the team’s tri-captains, Picheo was a first team All-NJIC Meadowlands selection in net a season ago. A four year starter, she provides experience and leadership as well as skill to the position. Her backup is her sister, sophomore Ava Picheo.
Backs: Samantha Eckert, Shaye Whaley, Vivian Dang, Lia Wollerman. Eckert, a junior, will lead the group on the backline. A second team All-Meadowlands selection a season ago, she will be joined by Whaley, a senior, and Dang, a sophomore, who saw playing time a season ago. Freshman Lia Wollerman is penciled in as the fourth back.
Midfield: Stephanie Turi, Kimberly Burniston, Natalie Cala, Emily Gardella, MIranda Avila. The lineup has not been completed yet, but Cala said that four of these five will start in the midfield to begin the season. Whoever does not, will get plenty of playing time.
Gardella, a First Team All-Meadowlands a season ago, and Cala, an Honorable Mention selection, are a pair of juniors who have been starting since their freshmen years. Turi and Burniston are also entering their third year of varsity play as juniors. They are experienced and used to being on the field together. Gardella is also one of the Lady Blue Devils tri-captains.
Avila is a sophomore who is pushing her way into the lineup.
Forwards: Kaylyn Coppola, Victoria Drotos. Coppola, a senior, was the leading goal scorer a season ago, and is one the team’s tri-captains. Drotos, a sophomore, burst onto the scene a freshman last year. Burniston will see time up front as well.
Junior Julia Chankowski, along with three freshmen, Jaylin Schultz, Sophie and Sabrina Basich all should be expected to see significant playing time during the year. Schultz is a midfielder, while the Basich twins can play both midfield and forward.
"This is the first time since I have gotten here, I feel we have the depth we need," Cala stated.
|Wood-Ridge High School Girl Soccer Schedule|
|Thursday, Sep 5, 2019||4:00PM||Weehawken||Wood-Ridge High School|
|Monday, Sep 9, 2019||7:30PM||Cliffside Park||Wood-Ridge High School|
|Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019||4:15PM||Dwight Morrow||Dwight Morrow High School|
|Friday, Sep 13, 2019||4:00PM||Becton/Wallington||Ridgefield Park|
|Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019||4:00PM||North Arlington||New Overpeck Park, Ridgefield Park|
|Thursday, Sep 19, 2019||4:00PM||Hasbrouck Heights||Hasbrouck Heights High School|
|Sunday, Sep 22, 2019||6:30PM||Saddle Brook||Montclair State University|
|Monday, Sep 23, 2019||4:00PM||Lodi High School||Lodi-Memorial Field|
|Friday, Sep 27, 2019||4:00PM||Weehawken||Weehawken Waterfront Park|
|Tuesday, Oct 1, 2019||4:15PM||Dumont||Dumont High School|
|Thursday, Oct 3, 2019||4:00PM||Immaculate Conception||Immaculate Conception: Pomponio Field (Redneck Ave. Moonachie)|
|Monday, Oct 7, 2019||7:30PM||Immaculate Conception||Wood-Ridge High School|
|Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019||4:00PM||Elmwood Park Memorial||Elmwood Park Memorial High School|
|Friday, Oct 11, 2019||4:15PM||Ridgefield Park||TBA|
|Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019||4:00PM||Becton||McKenzie Field|
|Thursday, Oct 17, 2019||4:00PM||North Arlington||North Arlington:Rip Collins Field|
|Monday, Oct 21, 2019||7:30PM||Hasbrouck Heights||Wood-Ridge High School|
|Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019||4:30PM||Saddle Brook||Wood-Ridge High School|
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