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Game Summaries & Headlines.


1 year ago by JASON KATES

Youth leading way for Dawgs

Through nine games, the Haddonfield High School girls' soccer team has yet to lose, which would lead some to believe the Bulldawgs are driven by a roster full of upperclassmen.

Think again.

The top three goal scorers for  Haddonfield(9-0), No. 3 in the Courier-Post Mean 15, are sophomores Madison Bee and Wayden Ay, as well as freshman Rachel Bonnet.

The trio has combined for 18 goals, each finding the back of the net six times. For coach Lori Quintavalle, this early success has resulted from a couple of factors.

“I think it is a combination of their concentration in front of the net and the other girls finding them,” she said. “The assists have been great, it’s not just a one-person show finishing.

“A lot of our goals have come off of corner kicks, crosses, great passes through, so it’s coming from the rest of the girls making great passes and then them having really good concentration and finishing.”

Ay, who also has two assists, recognized the team’s chemistry as another cause for the undefeated start.

“All of the girls are so close, and you can tell every day before games in school we’re all psyching each other up and at practice it really feels like a family atmosphere,” she said.

With the underclassmen leading the way offensively and the upperclassmen manning the back line, this balance has led to Haddonfield putting together a complete team that is solid at every position.

Freshman Jordan Siok has three goals and five assists on the offensive end, while senior Jenna Zappetti and junior Annie Stanton lead the defense.

“It’s such a cool feeling to know we have so many good girls above us who are holding it down on defense and then the younger girls up top shows how much of a future Haddonfield has,” Ay said.

PHOTO GALLERY: Haddonfield vs. Haddon Heights girls' soccer

A strong junior class has also impressed Quintavalle, with Ellie Kriebel, Lizzie Mulvenna and Isabella Nugent all making a positive impact.

“The No. 1 thing that I am most impressed with them is their leadership on and off the field,” Quintavalle said. “They are loud in a good way, they’re so positive, they’re always having each other’s back. They’re the girls that are going out there every day at practice and really setting that tone of ‘this is how hard we need to work.’”

The Bulldawgs' offensive production doesn’t just come from the starting 11, either.

Bee and Bonnet both come into the games as substitutes, but the depth extends beyond these two playmakers.

“It’s such a special season where we do have such a deep team, so in certain situations where it’s getting to the end of the game and teams are getting tired, we just don’t tire,” Quintavalle said.

“Fitness is a really big key to that, but at the same time we have a very deep team where anybody can come in at any given time and be a spark and give us the outcome that we need,” she added. “They give us a really big lift off the bench anytime anybody comes in and we just have so many of them, so it’s great.”

In net, the Bulldawgs have been going with freshman Maya Olimpio, who has made 62 saves.

Although her teammate is only in her first year of high school soccer, Ay praised what Olimpio has done up to the point.

“She’s done very well. She’s still young so she has a lot to learn but at the same time she’s very tall and she knows how to get the balls up high,” Ay said. “We’ve had a lot of teams try to shoot high, but that’s her strong suit. I know she’s got a bright future ahead of her.”

Despite a very bright future, Quintavalle said she hasn’t given much thought beyond this season.

“I am living in the moment right now because the girls are just having a lot of fun,” she said. “I’m thinking about today, and that’s as far as I allow myself to. We’re having a good time and I don’t want anything to get away from us.

“People have been telling me for years ‘Oh wait til this group comes up, wait til that group comes up,’ but really you just gotta live in the moment and enjoy it.”
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