by Tom Utescher
While half a dozen soccer players graduated from Mount St. Joseph Academy’s 2018 varsity, this year’s team will still have plenty of experience thanks to a total of 14 returning seniors and juniors.
One of the Mount’s most talented athletes, forward Madison Hornig, suffered a preseason injury last summer, but now the Magic forward is back in action as a senior tri-captain, along with defender Caroline Kelly and returning starting goalie Gina Sassane.
Their classmates on the roster are a second goalkeeper, Hannah Phelan, as well as Angelina Alcaro, Kasey McMahon, Kate Taulane and Grace Thompson.
Back after spending their sophomore season on varsity in 2018 are Tara Boyd, Emily Friel, Cayla Higginson, Emily Jones, Ava Picofazzi and Alex Ritter. Another current junior, Paige Metzler, was a varsity/JV swing player last fall, as were sophomores Kate Kelly and Cam Mailey.
Two other current 11th graders, Megan Braun and Brynn Lynch, are coming up to the varsity from last year’s JV. So far, swing players for this season include juniors Clare Moxey and Margaux Rawson, sophomore Anna Shields and freshmen Sophia D’Alonzo, Meghan Klemick and Kat Zampirri.
Head coach Bill Naydan, also a member of the Mount faculty, is back for his fourth season in the lead role, and also returning are assistant coaches Kerriann Kane, Lisa Roman (Mount ’13) and Bill Naydan, Sr. Coming in to spearhead the junior varsity program is David McCauley, a veteran club coach who played collegiate soccer at Penn State Hazelton.
A key objective for the 2019 Magic will be increasing their offensive production. Last fall, the team kept pace with most opponents up and down the field, but had a great deal of trouble putting the ball in the net. The result was one non-league win and one Catholic Academies victory.