Bendick, Anderson expect to pace NEHS soccer team


The New Egypt High School girls soccer team has lost some key players from last fall’s 7-9-4 team that reached the South Jersey Group I state sectional tournament for the first time, but the Warriors have a solid supporting cast back that should assure the squad of another fine season in the Burlington County Scholastic League Patriot Division.

“We lost four starters [from 2009], so we are looking to close the gap from what we are missing rather than completely rebuild,” said coach Jen Kashuba. “When we made the [state] playoffs, it changed the outlook of the team and how the game was played.”

Once again, Kashuba will be joined on the sidelines by Kevin English, who also coaches the Warriors’ softball team.

Seeing the success of the softball team apparently has heightened the enthusiasm of the soccer players, including two who played on the softball team — Sam Bendick, at center halfback, and goalkeeper Haley Anderson. Both young women will be juniors this fall.

“Anderson did very well. She is very feisty,” Kashuba said of Anderson, who shut out two opponents last season. “She goes after what she needs to and makes up for mistakes that are made out there.”

Bendick has a key role playing in the middle. Kashuba said that for the 2010 season, she is “looking for the team to control the ball in the midfield. I’m looking for us to get back into the playoffs.”

The Warriors are playing in the Ocean County College summer league and have held summer workouts among themselves as they prepare for the opening of practice Aug. 21.

The Warriors will open the season Sept. 9 at Maple Shade against the team that eliminated them from the opening round of the state tournament

in November.

“This team is very willing to work together and put the best for the team ahead of themselves,” Kashuba said of the Warriors.

Key graduates from the 2009 team are center halfback Melissa Galaz and the Dey twins, striker Michelle, who scored 23 goals, and outside fullback Erica.

Heather Dey (no relation to the twins) will be back for her senior season after leading the Warriors with 24 goals last fall. Julie Ciak, who will be a junior this fall, is anchoring the defense at center fullback.

The rest of the lineup, according to Kashuba, will be solidified as the team heads into practice and she gets a good look at the players who want to move up from the junior varsity.