RANDOLPH, NJ- With only three players lost to graduation from last years’ squad, experience will be abundant for the 2019 Randolph Girls Soccer Team. Coming off a 10-6-4 season in 2018, the Lady Rams return 10 seniors, three juniors, and a few sophomores who all saw time on the varsity field last season.
“This team is mainly all returning, in addition to the three sophomores we brought up this year,” said senior Captain Becca D’Egidio. “Our familiarity with each other is something that can certainly be a strength for us this season. However, we continue to instill the mentality that we have what it takes - but it will still take everything that we’ve got to be successful.”
Coach Colleen Suflay, in her 24th year at Randolph, described D’Egidio as being “Mature, reliable, consistent, devoted and organized.” She then added, “A tremendous leader who is selfless and giving at all times.”
With a three-year returning starter in net, and all four of last years’ starters on defense back, the Lady Rams should be strong defending their own end of the field.
Along the back line on Defense, D’Egidio will lead the group, along with fellow seniors Alyssa Alfieri, Brenna McConnell, and Haley Tamres. All four have seen the varsity field since their sophomore year. Sophomore Ariana Krone will work in on defense when needed as well.
Senior Goalkeeper and team captain Ellie Sciancalepore returns in net having earned 11 shutouts last season.
“The defense is coming together very well, and we have a strong group of seniors who are eager to make this year the best one yet,” said Sciancalepore. “Although we have a large group of returners, we understand that nothing will be handed to us, and in order to achieve our big goals this season, we must work harder and smarter than ever before.”
When asked about her Goalkeeper, Suflay commented, “Ellie is enthusiastic, synergist, dedicated, and responsible. She always works hard, is responsible and a great role model.”
Seniors Karen Hull, Lauren Robles, and Loni Alnor, along with Juniors Claire Doto and Olivia Mancuso will spend time at the Striker position, where they will be counted on to provide scoring punch. Sophomore Lauren Alley also is working in at Striker.
At the Midfield spot, senior Dylan Bodnar brings speed and experience, having been on the varsity squad for the past two years. Bodnar will be joined by junior Kiki Ianacconni and sophomore Audrey McConnell, both of whom played significant minutes last season. Senior Julia Yan, along with sophomores Maddie Donnally and Kaley O’Meara will also work in providing support at Midfield.
“We try to continue to work hard and get better every day,” said Suflay. “We focus on the concepts of soccer with basic principles of play to develop a more comprehensive soccer player with key understandings of the game.”
When asked for her teams’ strength, Suflay offered, “We continue to work on togetherness and overall game understanding. We are fit and competitive.”
Off the field, coach Suflay makes an effort every season to get her team involved in a project outside of soccer to “give back” to the community; helping her players to grow into responsible young adults.
“We developed a new, player inclusive, community service project for Breast Cancer Awareness with Morristown Memorial Hospital as our focal point,” said Suflay. “This will include hospital visits, creation of supply bags, supporting and funding supplies, and helping with other resources for patients and their families.”
Sciancalepore offered some final comments on the message the team has been internalizing during pre-season training camp.
“Coach has been preaching to us that nothing will come easy this year, and that we must step out of our comfort zone in order to be successful,” said Sciancalepore. “If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”
The Lady Rams open their season on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at home against Morristown. Game time is 6:00 pm.