WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The Caldwell girls soccer team's first season under new head coach Kelli Josephsen-Fernicola turned out to be a rousing success.
Caldwell defeated Glen Rock, 2-0, on Sunday to win the North East B sectional championship.
Anne Gustavsen and Megan Blankenship scored goals, and Cassidy Brown and Victoria Rebimbas had assists, as Caldwell (8-6-1) scored one goal in each half en route to the title. Shayne Stafford made four saves for the Lady Chiefs.
Josephsen-Fernicola, a graduate of Caldwell High School who played for the 2009 state championship team, took over this season for retiring coach Mike Teshkoyan, who stepped down after 35 years and close to 400 career victories. Teshkoyan started the girls soccer program at Caldwell in 1985, and he was Josephsen-Fernicola's coach.
“We are a brand-new team. I am tremendously proud of the teamwork that our girls put forward, and the effort. We want to be the team that never stops," Josephsen-Fernicola said.
Ironically, Caldwell entered the sectional tournament having lost four close games in a row. But once tournament play commenced, the Lady Chiefs caught fire, with a 5-0 victory over Becton Regional and a 9-2 rout of Fort Lee preceding their championship triumph over Glen Rock.
The team appears to have a bright future, too, as its top two scorers this season are both juniors. Gustavsen finished with 16 goals and two assists, and Angela Nicol had 13 goals and one assist. Stafford, the team's goalie, is a sophomore.