RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Girls soccer team finished their 2019 campaign having enjoyed one of the more successful seasons in recent memory. With a Conference title, and the schools first outright Morris County Tournament Championship since 2011, the Lady Rams collected two of the three titles they had set their pre-season goals on.
“We always had these goals in the back of our minds but remained focused on each game individually using our aspirations as motivation,” said senior captain Becca D’Egidio. “The team emphasized the county championship above all others, so attaining that, as well as a conference championship, was something we were so excited about.”
After taking victory in their first two State Playoff games, Randolph fell in the semifinals to a strong team from West Orange by the score of 2-0 on Monday, Nov. 4. Having to play the game without their top two scorers proved to be too much for the Lady Rams against a top 10 team in the Mountaineers. Randolph held west Orange at bay for the first half, but St. Joesph's commit Natalie Nevins ( 26 goals, 23 assists on the season ) flexed her muscles in the second, scoring twice for the Mountaineers to power her team to victory.
The senior laden Lady Rams team will graduate 10 girls this Spring. Most have been Varsity contributors since sophomore year, while also playing together on various teams since they were little.
“After the West Orange game, the seniors and myself reflected on the past 12 years that we have played together; we were very emotional, and our immediate response after the game was not because of the result, but more so the fact that it’s all over,” said Senior Captain Ellie Sciancalepore, the teams Goalkeeper for the past four seasons. “Although sad, as we talked in a circle in the middle of Dasilva, we reflected on the good moments, the great things we have accomplished, and how much we have grown as team.”
That growth as a group came together fully in their senior season, when they could finally claim the team to be their own. With the support of their underclassmen teammates, many of whom also contributed much to the teams' success, the Lady Rams ran up a record of 15-3-3 on the year.
“I remember sitting with my teammates before the season discussing quotes that the seniors choose to appear on our T-shirt’s,” said D’Egidio. “We chose: ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done” and this remained true during the progression of our season.
D’Egidio continued, “Playing girls soccer in Morris county is not an easy task. Being able to attain both the titles we did despite the level of competition makes the victory even more enjoyable and humbling.”
The Lady Rams trademark all season was their stonewall defense, top tier goaltending, smart and shifty midfielders, and a group of ‘quick-strike’ forwards. Randolph held opponents to a ridiculously low total of eight (8) goals in 2019, while posting 39 goals of their own.
When asked what message she preached during the stretch run of the season, Randolph coach Colleen Suflay stated, ”Stay disciplined… winning has a price tag, which is the sacrifice of personal and social time, but the team is bigger than you and they come first."
Suflay then continued, “I have adored this group of seniors for many years. I hope they remember the hard times and the commitment they needed to succeed. I know they all have cherished memories that will last a lifetime.”
Suflay's players had kind words to share about their coach as well.
“I could write a novel about Coach Suflay, she has helped me grow and mature as a person and I could not thank her enough,” said Sciancalepore, who has committed to play soccer at Rider in 2020. “She has been tough on me and all the girls on the team, but it has always been out of love and that’s just her way of showing she cares and wants you to grow. I wouldn’t be the goalkeeper, leader, student, or girl that I am today without her influence and I wouldn’t trade my time with Coach Suflay for the world.”