MADISON – The Madison High School girls soccer team opened the season with a 0-0 double overtime result against Morris Catholic on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

With a number of players making their varsity debut for the Dodgers, head coach Kevin Lynott said it was good for them to get exposed to that level of play.

“We saw things that we need to work on and improve,” Lynott said. “We need to finish clear-cut open chances.”

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Madison will depend on its seniors to carry a lot of the load this season. Key players include senior midfielder Sadie Kim, senior forward Nikki Cilenti, senior midfielder Grace Keane, senior defender Clare Culligan and senior goalkeeper Ginny Taylor. A player who has impressed Lynott is junior defender Kate Christos.

“She is very impressive thus far,” the coach said. “She’ll be one to look at.”

Madison graduated 15 seniors from last year’s group that finished 7-7-1 overall.

“The senior class last year had basically been playing three years,” Lynott said. “They were thrown in as sophomores so the team was basically together for three years.”

Lynott tried to figure out what his team’s strengths are over the summer based on the players who did have some in-game experience.

“It was trying to expose some of the younger players to get up to this level,” Lynott stated. “The game against Morris Catholic was a tough game but it was a learning experience for the newer players.”

Two freshmen started the game for Madison in the season opener.

“The reality is freshmen players coming into high school have never experienced that physicality and speed of the game,” Lynott mentioned. “I think it can be very overwhelming. As a coach you’re just trying to prep them, talk to them, try to let them know what to expect. You can’t expect a freshman to play 80 minutes.”

The Dodgers are off until Tuesday’s road contest at Morristown-Beard.


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