CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Coming back from an ACL tear, Jaime Dente missed all of CGHS soccer's summer league and worked hard to get back to practices in August.  According to her coach Thomas Moogan she came back strong and ready to be a leader for the team, tallying nine goals and two assists so far this season. Dente is the Allstate Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week.  The Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley, Allstate Insurance Agent, 471 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove. 

“We weren’t sure if Jaime would be able to come back because it was her second tear in two years, but to our pleasure she came back healthy and ready to put in the work needed to help the team be successful,” Moogan said.  

For Dente it was especially important to come back strong and end her Cedar Grove soccer career on a high note.  

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“The season has been pretty good so far.  I think we’re doing especially well at connecting passes and communicating,” Dente said.  “Everyone knows each other and knows how they play. I really couldn’t have asked for a better team to play with my senior year.”

With a solid 5-2 start to the season, the Panthers are performing well, however, Dente feels they have more to prove.  

“We have a new coach this year and I think we all knew we had to step it up,” Dente said.  “We dropped to a lower conference, so we know we need to raise a [conference] banner, and we have to win every game to do that, so I think we all have a really positive attitude and are motivating each other to raise that banner in the gym.”

The Panthers moved closer to that goal this past week -- Dente scored two goals against East Orange, but Moogan said it was a game against Science Park where she really came through for the team delivering a hat trick.

“We knew Science was going to be one of our toughest competitors in our conference, and we had to make minimal mistakes against them.  In the first few minutes of the game, we were awarded a penalty kick because of a handball in the box. I called on Jaime to take it, and she placed a hard, accurate shot to the top right corner to put us up 1-0,” Moogan said.

Science Park tied the game in the first five minutes of the second half, but the Panther continued to battle and were awarded another penalty kick.  Dente stepped up again to give Cedar Grove a 2-1 advantage.     

“With about 15 minutes left in the game, we were able to counter-attack them and Jaime got the ball on a fast break and slipped it right past the keeper to go up 3-1, which would be the final score,” Moogan noted.  “As a coach, there's not much more you can ask of an athlete. She stepped up big when we needed her most and played a key role in our victory. She has been a leader both on and off the field, and we look forward to finishing the season strong with her.”

Dente is enjoying her senior season and taking it one game at a time while keeping her eyes on winning that conference title -- and perhaps proving a few teams wrong as well.

“I’m looking forward to playing Belleville because we lost to them last year in a close game and it was their senior night.  I want to play them again and show how we’ve improved and what we’re capable of -- that we won’t be an easy win for them," Dente said.  “Scoring has been fun -- getting the hat tricks -- but honestly I wouldn’t be able to do that if my team wasn’t giving me the opportunity to score.  At the end of the day it’s not the amount of goals you score, it’s how you play as a team and the connection on the field that really matters.”

The Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley Allstate, 471 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove. 

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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