BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Caitlin Colendenski, a senior on the varsity girls soccer team, has proven to have the right finishing touch in front of the goal this season to help her championship team to their undefeated 11-0 season to date.
While Colendenski has seen varsity time since her freshman year, she is now a crucial piece to the offense which is outscoring their opponents 41-6, with five of those goals coming off her foot.
"Caitlin's finishing in front of goal has definitely improved from last year to this year, especially with her weaker foot," said head coach Mike Roof. "She's getting forward into positive areas and has been taking advantage of opportunities that come her way. She has always had the ability, especially within the last two years, to get herself out of 1v1 challenges with an array of dribble moves and that creativity has helped us in the offensive third."
This week, the Lady Highlanders have a bye week as the No. 4 seed of the Union County tournament, behind county power houses Cranford, Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Westfield. [Click here for latest schedule updates.]
For her four years of dedication and contributions to the undefeated season, Caitlin Colendenski is named Valairco Heating and Cooling Highlander Athlete of the Week.
The following are comments from Caitlin about her past, present and future:
TAPinto: After playing varsity soccer for four years, how does it feel to cap off your high school career with a champion level team?
Caitlin: It feels great to know that all of the hard work from every team member has paid off. I’m so proud of how much dedication my teammates and coaches have had to reach that point of success. It definitely feels great that during my four years on the team we were able to reach the accomplishment of being state champions.
TAPinto: How has your game evolved over the past four years?
Caitlin: In the past four years, my game has evolved by gaining more self confidence. I was obviously nervous my freshman year and the more I played in the following years the more comfortable I was with the ball. Also, I learned a lot more about the game from coach Roof, Lez, and Stickle as well as my teammates.
TAPinto: What's your favorite soccer victory and moment?
Caitlin: My favorite soccer victory was when we beat Ramsey in the state final last season. It felt amazing to see all of the hard work and time that we put into soccer every day paying off. We had an original goal of winning the conference, then once we reached that goal, our next one was to win the section and once we won that we were so focused on the winning states and it’s awesome that we were able to reach those goals.
TAPinto: What do you wish you knew as a freshman that you know now about playing varsity soccer?
Caitlin: As a freshman, I wish I knew that confidence is what makes you successful. If you are scared to mess up then you most likely will. Now I know that my strengths and weaknesses and am much more confident when playing.
TAPinto: Do you have a special routine or superstition before you play?
Caitlin: My superstition is that started this season is wearing a certain pair of shin guards. I have always worn this one pair and never wore my other ones but when I put my other shinguards on I scored so I only wear those ones now.
TAPinto: How did you become interested in soccer and who has had the most influence on your game?
Caitlin: I became interested in soccer from a very young age just by playing for my towns league. Someone who has influenced me was my Club coach in 7th and 8th grade. Coach Eric always commented on how hard I would work and hearing that from him from a young age just encouraged me to always work hard, not just soccer but school and anything in life.
TAPinto: What is your training schedule like?
Caitlin: I used to train all season long for club soccer but I stopped because my team fell apart and I was really focused on track. Now, I train every day for high school soccer and in the off season I stay busy doing winter and spring track.
TAPinto: Do you have a favorite professional team or player?
Caitlin: My favorite team is the women’s national team because I love how close their whole team is and I love how they all put in so much work to gain so much success.
TAPinto: What do you enjoy doing when not playing or training?
Caitlin: When I’m not training, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I also enjoy playing the piano for fun as well as skiing, going to Lake George, and painting.
TAPinto: What is your favorite class at GL?
Caitlin: My favorite elective class at GL was advanced TV production because we did really cool things such as make music videos, PSA’s and a tv show.
TAPinto: What are your plans for life after Gov. Livingston?
Caitlin: My plans after I graduate GL is to go to college, possibly Penn state and play soccer not for the school team but maybe for one of the club teams they have. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to major in but I’m thinking about Communications and Human Resources.
Valairco Heating & Cooling is the proud sponsor of the Highlander Athlete of the Week. Kevin McHugh, Valairco Owner and President and Berkeley Heights resident, is an alumni of Gov. Livingston High School.
Valairco Heating & Cooling is celebrating 50 years in business. They are family owned and operated and know that keeping your HVAC systems running smoothly is important to the comfort of our customers, their families, and their guests. That is why their family is dedicated to taking care of yours, no matter what the issue may be. Using only top-quality parts to perform a higher-standard of service and all their services are backed by their 50 years of professional experience and 5-year comprehensive warranties. This means that when you call our team at Valairco, you benefit from their total commitment to your complete satisfaction.