VERONA, NJ - The Verona girls soccer team hopes a combination of youth and experience will result in a successful 2019 season.
“It’s a challenge, but it’s exciting when you get a handful of new girls coming in and you get to build something around them,” said Head Coach Kerrin Goosman.
In a year where several key starters were lost to graduation Goosman is taking the impressionable newcomers and hoping to build for sustainable success.
“I think we’re just focusing a lot on our communication and being effective at it instead of just spewing words at one another,” said Goosman
The squad will be very defensively focused this season as a majority of their offense was lost.
“We’re playing a lot of these Group 4 Teams which have a lot of talent so we’re looking to switch our mentality to ‘ok if we’re not going to put the ball in the net how many goals are we going to be able to stop’ and I think that has been huge for our girls because we don’t have to win by four we can win by one,” said Goosman.
In net Verona will boast Skyler Freedman as their starting goalkeeper. Freedman saw limited action last year, but is eager to take the reigns from the back end for the squad.
“I expect her to be a sound communicator, to direct her teammates whether it be to move the ball in a certain direction or fly back on defense…I’m really looking for her to motivate the team,” said Goosman.
Defensively the Hillbillies will have their most experience with Captain Maggie Lonsinger leading the way. Lonsinger will be joined by fellow senior Olivia Vogel to head up a unit that expects to see plenty of work given the youth on the squad.
“Those two are very tough, they are falling into their senior roles as communicators for the team and I think just being veterans and knowing who we play they will be a really great asset for us moving forward.
In the midfield Captain Gabriella Montagna will also help to move the transition into the attack. Montagna collected a goal and two assists last season for the squad. She’s credited for “controlling the game” and will be joined by Brooke Rienecker in the unit as a returning veteran.
In the attack Verona returns Grace Madigan as their key offensive threat. Last season Madigan collected five goals and two assists, which was good enough for third on the team.
‘[Madigan]’s top speed is undeniable, she’s going to really put it all out there, I think up top she’s going to do a lot for us offensively,” said Goosman.
Verona will open their season on September 5 against Bloomfield.
“Bloomfield is a very aggressive team and we’ve been working diligently to make sure our girls will be up to the test,” said Goosman.
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