WEST ORANGE, NJ - The end of August represents two things: the beginning of a new school year and fall sports. This year, the West Orange Girls’ Soccer Team is back and ready to win. Although the team was not very successful previous years, the team has spent the off season determined to improve their 4-12-1 record.

“Our goals include continuing to improve both collectively as a team unit and individually as player,” said Coach Lou Mignone, who has trained the girls for five seasons.

He continued, “We value effort over the need to win but feel that through each player giving 100% each day, the wins will come and our match result will be greatly improved from last season.”

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The team has progressed much over the course of the pre-season. The girls have been adapting well to various systems of plays and the players are demonstrating remarkable versatility in terms of playing multiple positions and roles within the team.

Coach Mignone adds, “We are increasing our overall speed of play and this is being accomplished through daily training within environments that offer frequent decision making opportunities under reduced time and space conditions.”

The girls have been practicing most of the summer. There were captain’s practices for most of the summer and form the start of pre-season, they have been practicing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every evening.

Some key players to watch out for include: Seniors Maya Younker (central midfielder), Maggie Brown (right back), and Janelle Gerald (center back).

Coach Mignone explains that they have “demonstrated leadership on and off the field. Each look to keep the team focused each day on the topics of training and recognize appropriate moment to provide motivating encouragement for their teammates.” The girls are not only star players, but positive role models.

The team is all pleased with the chemistry within the team. Janelle Gerald admits that, “the great chemistry between us will take us places this season.”

Another senior, Vicky Tezapsidis (striker) explains, “We are too caring. We don’t want to be selfish and sometimes that works against us.” The difference between West Orange Girls Soccer and any other team is that they are bent on succeeding together, not individually. 

Michael Marconi (senior outside midfielder) admits that she is a much better player because of the girls she plays with.

“Although the previous seniors had a lot of talent and morale” Maggie Brown continues, “this year we have a lot of upcoming talent.” Also, the team does not have any individual stars who are taking over making it more of a team game.

Collectively, the girls agree that due to the great chemistry everybody is playing for each other and not for selfish reasons.

 Maya Younker concludes by saying, “no matter how good you are as a player, if your team doesn’t work together then your success is limited.”

West Orange Girls Soccer take the field in style on Friday, September 6, at 4 p.m. in Verona.