by Tom Utescher
For Penn Charter, the payoff for having a young girls soccer team in 2011 is that a seasoned crew returns to take the field this fall, some of whom have been members of the varsity program since they were eighth graders.
Only three seniors graduated from last year’s squad, although one of them was starting goalie Sarah Butler.
Last year’s JV keeper, Ashleigh Brown, is stepping into the cage as a senior this fall, with freshman Alexa Herskowitz serving as her understudy.
The other seniors for the 2012 Quakers are co-captains Emma Ebert (a back) and Kelly Kubach (a midfielder), and Julia Mammone, a reserve defender. Kubach already has her college plans in place, opting to play lacrosse for the University of Michigan.
Her younger sister Kristina, a center mid, is part of a corps of juniors that includes forward Julia Casasanto, midfielders Sydney Stokes and Lauren Flemming, and backs Lauren Dimes, Stephanie Soroka, and Leigh Steinberg. Dimes, Kubach, Soroka, Casasanto and Steinberg were already either full-time or part-time starters back in their freshman season.
Current sophomores Abigail Evans and Eliza Jacobs will provide the team with depth in the midfield, and unfortunately another 10th-grader, Madeline Mahoney, is current out with an injury.
Midfielder Jlon Flippens and back Dominique DeMarco both started for the Quakers as eighth-graders in 2011. Flippens attended the Under-14 National Team Camp this summer, and was singled out for praise by the U.S. Soccer Director of Women’s Development in a report on the camp’s activities. The Top Drawer Soccer website currently has Flippens ranked as the top freshman player in Pennsylvania, and has her fourth nationally among midfielders in the Class of 2016.
Fellow PC freshman Hannah Fox is moving up to start as an outside mid for the Quakers this fall, and classmate Meredith Chernak will sub in as a midfielder or defender.
The Charter booters are hoping to get off to a good start and, in particular, fashion a better finish than the team had in 2011. A little over halfway through the Girls Inter-Ac schedule last fall, the Quakers held a 5-2 record, but they lost all of their remaining games in the league.
Long established PC head coach Eddie Mensah and assistant Ed Marks are joined this season by Brittany Shields, a former soccer and softball standout at Cabrini College.