MIDDLETOWN, NJ: There are several strong attributes that are on the side of the Middletown North High School girl’s soccer program this year. Among the most noteworthy of those attributes perhaps being that win, lose or draw the Lions are determined to put forth their finest effort on the field.

This, of course goes for performances in practices as well.

After completing a considerably tough 2019 schedule with a winning record of 11-9-1 and earning a berth in the NJSIAA North 2 Group 3 Sectional Tournament, Middletown North has already tasted victory on the pitch this year.

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The Lions advanced to the North 2 Group 3 semifinal round before losing to Cranford last fall. They defeated Mendham and Summit to reach the semifinals. Middletown South won the North 2 Group 3 Sectional crown last year.

Now, not surprisingly Middletown North is faced with staunch competition on their schedule this fall-but they are proving to be up to the challenge-by improving more and more as the season moves forward.

Among the key returning student athletes to the varsity roster for the Lions are Carly Binn (senior, defender), Allie O'Keefe (senior, midfielder), Ashley Dietrich (senior, forward), Rett Schnoor (senior, forward) and Ellie Kacen (senior, goal keeper).

Promising newcomers to the varsity roster for Middletown North this year include Caroline Mascone (junior, midfielder) and Tiffany Brickle (junior, defender).

“We have a core group of returning players and seniors this year, led by Carly Binn, Allie O'Keefe and Ashley Dietrich,’’ Middletown North head coach Patricia Misciagna said. “Carly will control the defense, Allie will do a good job running the midfield and Ashley will be our leader up top.’’

Middletown North competes in the always formidable Shore Conference A-North Division. They are scheduled to travel to play Middletown South on October 20. Two days later, the Lions return home for a rematch with Middletown South. On October 27, Middletown North is slated to host Manalapan.

“I'd like for our team to play together as a team and be successful on the field,’’ Misciagna said. “We are in a very competitive A-North division and I'd like to win as many of our Division games as possible. We are very excited that there will be a post season Sectional State Tournament, and we hope to make it far in the post season. 

“I think our team will be a contender in the competitive A North. Every team in our Division will be a good, competitive game. The coaches and players are ecstatic to be back on the field and playing together and are looking forward to starting games.’’