SPOTSWOOD, NJ - After finishing second in the Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division for the past three falls, the Spotswood High School girls varsity soccer team is eyeing a title as the 2019 season opens this week.
"We expect to compete for the Blue Division title," Chargers girls varsity soccer head coach Mike Reid said. "After finishing in second place for the past three seasons, this is the year where we feel that we can take the next step as a program. We also want to put the team in a position where we can advance further in the GMC Conference Tournament and win a Central Jersey Group One State sectional title. Last season we lost in the Central Jersey Group One sectional semi-final."
The Chargers were 14-6 last season and have one of the top-rated goalkeepers in Middlesex County backstopping the team. This will be 14 years on the bench as the Chargers' head coach for Reid who is also a physical education teacher at the Spotswood School District's Appleby School. Reid has 152 victories as Spotswood High School's girls varsity soccer coach.
"Goalkeeper, Julia Masucci is already considered one the the top goalies in the county and is only a junior," Reid added.
In addition to Masucci, the Chargers have three other All-Blue Division players returning to the lineup. Seniors Randi Wells and Kaylee Leonard and sophomore Kirti Craig were all tapped to the GMC All-Blue team for their performances on the field in 2018.
"We have a lot of talent and experience from our seniors down to our freshman," Reid continued. "We have a good number of players ready for varsity level games. This is important due to the talented and experienced senior class that just graduated."
The Chargers lost Carolina Fernandez, Amber Meagher, Alexa Reilly, Alessia Tavella and Megan McCook to graduation. Fernandez and Meagher were both part of the Chargers' varsity lineup for four years.
Joining Wells, Leonard, Craig and Masucci on the varsity roster are other key returning players with varsity experience including senior defenders Jamie Zavala, Britney Canalas and Lauriana McLeod, junior midfielder Amanda Mendez and junior forward Sofia Vieira and sophomore midfielder Giana Oelkers, sophomore forward Laci Brown and sophomore defender Denise Carroll.
The 2019 varsity lineup is rounded out by a group of talented newcomers. Sophomore forwards Vada Leaver, Haiden Gonzalez and Cailin Lennan along with freshman midfielder and defender Kayla Sabo and freshman defender Stephanie Yarnall will all be looking to make their mark.
"Senior captains of Jamie Zavala, Randi Wells and Kaylee Leonard will lead the way this season," Reid added. "Junior Mandee Mendez and sophomore Kirti Craig have the ability to take over a game at any time. A lot of talented underclassman will have their chance to make an impact this season."
Spotswood opens the 2019 girls soccer season on the first day of school in the Spotswood School District for students. The Chargers host Carteret High School on Thursday, September 5 at 4 p.m. on the Spotswood High School Varsity Soccer Field. Spotswood travels to Iselin on Saturday to take on John F. Kennedy Memorial High School on Saturday, September 7 at 10 a.m.