Girls Soccer Overview

Girls+Soccer+Overview

By Maddie Galesi, Staff Writer

Wayne Hills Girls Soccer, one of Hills’ most successful sports programs, concluded the 2020 season with a record of 9-2-1 overall.

The 2020 season was one of the best seasons girls soccer has had, despite the COVID restrictions. The girls were unable to practice throughout the summer, plus their season was cut short in late November. The team is used to playing approximately twenty games per season, however this season, they played only twelve. In the middle of the fall sports season, teams were faced with a sudden suspension, putting all sports on halt until November 15th.  Even though the pause in the season stopped practices and training, they pulled through and managed to defeat Roxbury in the first round of the state tournament as their first game back.

The team lost 2 games, the second time they played Wayne Valley and again in the Semi-Final Round of the NJSIAA Girls Soccer Tournament. Senior Julia Galesi says that their second game against Wayne Valley was definitely their toughest. “We beat them the first time we played them then lost the second time,” says Julia. “When we play Valley, our emotions get the better of us and it’s a really intense game. There is a lot of pressure and rivalry that comes into play and I feel that we all focus on beating Valley rather than just playing like normal. The second time was definitely a really tough game for us.”

Senior captain and Rutgers Women’s Soccer commit, Courtney Ruedt, says that the team’s biggest strength was their balance. “We had strength in the attack, midfield, and defense. We were able to score a lot this year and our midfield distributed the ball well. We did not let up a lot of goals this year and had many games with shutouts (zero goals scored against us). We had a very experienced goalie, Janelle Licerio, which is a big game-changer. Our biggest weakness was the schedule change. We had many games where we won by six or seven goals. Then, after all the teams in our county were played, we had more challenging teams to adjust to.”

“What I will most about Wayne Hills Girls Soccer is the girls,” says Courtney. “The culture of the team was special this year; everyone worked hard and always gave a positive attitude which immediately raises the level of any team, creating nothing but positive outcomes. It was an honor to play with all of my teammates and it was an experience I will never forget. The coaches and athletic trainers’ support, guidance, and dedication to the soccer program are truly immeasurable. They are and will always be family to me.”

“What I am going to miss the most is all the players,” says Senior Julia Galesi. “Especially since we were not in school together, I looked forward to seeing everyone at practices and games. I created long-lasting friendships with all of my teammates and I wish them luck next season.”

With nine seniors graduating in 2020, Girls Soccer is losing vital members of their team. Multiple underclassmen show potential to guide the team to success in the future seasons.

When asking upcoming varsity players what will be different next season, Sophomore Lilly Weltman said, “I think that next season will be different due to the absence of the seniors. Courtney Reudt, one of the most valuable players on the team, will no longer be playing with us. This will cause the rest of us to need to step up and rise to the challenge. Next season hopefully will not revolve around COVID and the regulations. Therefore, we will be able to get in more playing and practice time before the season for even better results.” Lilly expects that in the 2021-2022 season the team will have a good record if the team continues to push themselves and work hard. “There are a lot of good players and if we work together as a team, I predict great results,” Lilly says. 

“Next year will be very different without our seniors,” says Junior Mia Lombardi. “We lost many key players including Courtney Ruedt. With this past season being shortened, next year we are hopeful for a more normal season with both of the county and state tournaments. Next season, I expect a very successful season. We have great team chemistry between the older and younger players that I think will grow stronger with time. We also have a lot of talented players returning next year that play in all areas of the field. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish in my final season next year.” 

Most players are very optimistic and excited for next season. Make sure you support Girls Soccer next year and congratulate the players on a phenomenal season.

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