by Tom Utescher
Early indications are that Penn Charter has returned a girls’ soccer team that has a solid shot at winning a third straight championship both in the Inter-Ac League and in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools (PAIS) tournament.
Jlon Flippens, who scored two goals and assisted the third in PC’s 3-1 victory in the 2014 PAIS final, is back as a senior co-captain along with defensive mainstay Dom DeMarco. Both already made college commitments as juniors, Flippens opting for the University of Maryland and DeMarco for Colgate University.
Multi-sport standout Hannah Fox is the third senior who has been a starter, and classmate Devon Loftus has signed on this fall, having helped the Quakers win the PIAS softball title this past spring.
Last year’s two varsity soccer seniors were contributors but not major impact players. As it turns out, though, those weren’t PC’s only losses from the 2014 roster. Two of last year’s underclassmen are pursuing different sports this fall, and a third, “Frenchy” Pellerito, has transferred.
As a freshman last year, Pellerito scored the game-winning goal in the Indy Schools championship game and assisted on one of Flippens’ markers.
PC still has a potent young offensive threat in DeMarco’s sister, Giovanna, who as a sophomore this autumn is already entering her third season as a varsity starter. Another key member of PC’s successful softball team, junior Brigitte Gutpelet, will help the elder DeMarco control the defensive end of the pitch along with her classmate Alexis Hnatkowsky, a starting basketball guard for the Quakers. The strong junior class also includes seasoned varsity regulars Alex Kuper and Macaul Mellor.
In goal, Mackenzie Listman nailed down the starting job while still only a freshman last season, and one of the reserve keepers, current junior Mireyah Davis, was a freshman starter back in 2013. Adding more depth to the position is another 11th-grader, Mary Jane McGlinchey.
Last fall, Ally Paul was the only eighth-grader to make the varsity team, and as a freshman this year she has three companions in her class, Emma Maley, Mia Monheit, and Mia Murphy. Once again there is an eighth-grader on the varsity roster; Maggie Boyes is a new arrival at the school.
Head Coach Darci Borski is back for her third season with the Quakers, as is assistant Ashley Maher. Chelsea Cznarik, who played Catholic Academies soccer at St. Basil, has moved up from Penn Charter JV coach to take on a varsity assistant’s role, and working with the goalies will be Katherine Myhre, a former University of Pennsylvania keeper who graduated this spring.
Penn Charter will have to face a strong challenge in Inter-Ac and PAIS competition from Germantown Academy, the other Indy Schools finalist in 2014. Last year’s championship match was a one-goal game until Charter put away a late insurance goal, and the Patriots have added new talent to an already formidable group of returning players.