NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— There are a lot of familiar faces on the roster for the North Salem girls varsity soccer team.
It starts with a familiar face leading the way as coach Bob Martin is set for his 13th year as the varsity coach.
And he has three familiar faces leading the way with three senior captains who have all been on varsity for three years.
“I’ve been playing on Bob Martin’s team for three years and he’s a great coach. We have a great connection with him,” senior captain Amira Flayhan said. “Last year we had a good connection with the team coming together, and this year with the new kids coming up we’re going to be strong. We’ve been playing together pretty much since we could walk, so it’s great to finish up senior year together. Hopefully we can make it an unbelievable season.”
The other two senior captains who have been on varsity for three years are Lydia Werlau and Amy Fetterolf.
Werlau and Flayhan will both play at midfield and forward for the Tigers as they help create the offense and score some goals.
“We should have a good season as long as we continue to work hard,” Werlau said. “We have a lot of girls who have been playing together for a while. I’m really excited to see how we do. It should be fun.”
Fetterolf will anchor the defense as a returning starter on the back line.
“The defense is looking really good,” Fetterolf said. “We lost two seniors from last year, but we have some sophomores coming up who will make a huge impact.”
The three captains are not the only famliar faces on the sideline as the Tigers have 10 returning varsity players who all gained experience on the field last year. There are 11 newcomers on the varsity squad.
North Salem advanced to the Class C semifinals last fall before falling by a 1-0 score to eventual Section 1 champion Haldane. The Tigers finished with a 6-10-2 overall record, and this year they will move up to compete in Class B for the sectional tournament.
“Now we’re in Class B this year, dealing with teams like Bronxille, Pleasantville, Briarcliff,” coach Martin said. “The team developed as the season went along and we have 10 returnees coming back. I’m expecting leadership from the three captains with their three years of experience. We just have to bring it all together.”
In addition to the three captains, there are three other seniors returning with Kelly McCarthy, Katie Wagner and Mikaela Spennicchia all back. Spennicchia will take over as the starting goalie this year for the Tigers.
Junior Grace Curran is a returning starter at midfield and Jenna Murphy is a junior returning starter on defense. Fellow junior Kara Rollins and sophomore Julia DeSanto are also back in the lineup with a year of varsity experience from last year.
The Tigers did suffer a big loss as returning varsity player Kayla Gilbert tore her ACL and is out for the season.
North Salem will compete for a league title against familiar foes like Haldane, Pawling and Putnam Valley. The Tigers open the season on the road at Croton on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and then have their home opener on Thursday, Sept. 7, against Westlake.