New Egypt High School’s girls’ soccer team is building for the future under coach Janet Carney, with only four starters graduating from a 9-11-2 team that advanced to the second round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group I tournament.
“We definitely have stuff in the works,” Carney said. “It’s exciting, having people fill in at the end of the season where the seniors have been playing for next year. We started moving in that direction, giving more of our younger players time in the spots of the seniors. Hopefully, next year will be our year.”
Starting Dec. 3, Carney will switch her outlook and will live in the present for championship aspirations as head coach of New Egypt’s boys’ bowling team, which looks to repeat as state section champion with only anchorman Cody Campbell graduated from last season’s team, and a girls bowling team intact from last year’s squad that won the Burlington County Scholastic League Freedom Division championship. The boys were division runner-up. The boys are led by Dan Ryniec, who is joined by fellow seniors Austin Horner and Mitchell Mann from last year’s 10-5-2 team. The girls are led by Brianna Biesiada, who is back from last year’s 9-7-2 team with junior classmates Maggie Wickham and Gabby Medina.
They open at Burlington Township High School Dec. 3 and play Maple Shade High School Dec. 9.
Medina also was an instrumental player on the girls soccer team as the stopper. The team had nine seniors and 10 freshmen, half of whom earned starting spots as the season progressed.
“We got the ball from the midfield to forward and created a lot more [scoring chances] than last year,” Carney said, as she plans to develop that tactic even more for next season with freshmen center midfielders Lauryn Lanning and Holly Wetzel, although outside midfielders Lauren Suess and Ashley Brunner graduate. They pushed the ball to freshman Selest Leal and senior Casey McKenzie at forward, with sophomore Sarah Stachowski showing steady improvement to receive increased playing time. Sophomore Allyson Zarriello at sweeper and outside backs Paige Seigel, a sophomore, and Alexis Moore, a senior, joined with Medina in limiting threats against senior goalie Sara Weirsky.
“She had a really good year,” Carney said of Weirsky. “She made quite a few big saves that kept us in games. She handled a lot of pressure well.”
Carney thought the team showed its mettle in a double overtime loss to Deptford High School, 4-3; a 2-1 loss to Delran High School with the winning goal coming in the closing seconds; and a 1-1 tie with a Bordentown Regional High School team that avenged a 3-0 loss earlier in the season.
“We’re up and coming,” Carney said. “We had a really strong young team that came on and hopefully will be strong for years to come.”