CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Cedar Grove girls soccer started off the season with one goal -- to make history and win the school’s first conference title.  Chalking up 11 goals and four assists, Noelle Nicosia helped make that goal a reality for the Panthers. She 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. 

Coach Thomas Moogan credited Nicosia’s work ethic for her success and noted her hard work off season has paid off.  Nicosia delivered two goals and two assists in a divisional game against Orange, which secured at least a share of the divisional title, and she scored one of Cedar Grove’s three goals against Newark Central on Friday, to help the Panthers win their first divisional title.  

“Noelle has played an important role this year both scoring goals and creating opportunities for others at her forward position,”  Moogan said. “She has been a role model for the younger girls both on and off the field and has displayed tremendous leadership qualities throughout the season.  We look forward to working with her once again next year in her final season.”

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A junior, Nicosia said the division title has been a team goal since she was a freshman.  This season everything aligned and the Panthers made history.  

“I think we all came into the season with the same goal, to win the division title, and that was very important,” Nicosia said.  “That common goal pushed us. We had a young team, but the underclassmen really stepped up and the chemistry came quickly. To be the first team from Cedar Grove girls soccer to win the division was really exciting.”

Though the underclassmen rose to the challenge, Nicosia said the youth of the squad was a challenge that they worked to overcome.

“Because we were a young team we had to overcome the mental challenge of the game.  I think that’s something we have to work on as a team as a whole -- to be confident and to not give up when things aren’t going our way,” Nicosia noted.

Reflecting on the season, two games really stick out for Nicosia -- an early season game against Science Park and the final conference game against Newark Central.  

“We had several tough non-conference games, but the hardest conference game was definitely Science Park.  It was under the lights, and we knew it was going to be our toughest competition. Jaime came through with the hat trick which was great, but it was a real team effort.  We went in knowing we had to win, and we did,” Nicosia said. “In our last conference game it was just great to see how we all game together. I think it really reflected on how our team was all season long.”

With her junior season completed, Nicosia is excited to see where the team goes next year in her final year of CGHS girls soccer.  

“I’m  looking forward to next season.  They’ll be six of us seniors and I’m excited to see how the underclassmen step up and how they play as they get more confident,” Nicosia said.  “We’ll be playing in a tougher conference so it will be great to see how we do and if we can keep our heads up no matter what the score.”

The Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley, Allstate Insurance Agent, 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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