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Green girls soccer team showing improvement this season

10/18/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — Head coach Mandy Gamble said hard work and improved teamwork have paid off for the Green High School girls soccer team this year.

“This group of girls has been a joy to coach,” she said. “They are unique in so many ways. They have bought into the system of play and worked very hard to earn respect.”

Last season, the Green girls soccer team finished with a 3-13-2 record.

“Off the field, we have worked a lot on team building and growing together as a team,” Gamble said. “On the field, we have worked on our attack and how we can better possess the ball to get into the attack.”

The improvement has been evident as Green has hit the .500 mark. The team’s record stands at 8-8-0 as of Oct. 16.

“This group has grown in so many ways,” the coach said. “The efforts we have put into the mental side of competition and building confidence have made a big impact in how the team works together. On the field, the girls have grown to trust each other and work together towards a common goal. Play has improved due to this growth in confidence and trust in each other.”

Gamble said this year’s team features a “good mix” of youth and experience.

“We have five seniors that start and a good number of juniors and underclassmen that contribute significantly,” she said.

According to the coach, the strength of this year’s team is the leadership provided by the experienced varsity players.

“We have five strong senior leaders that have exemplified what it means to be a leader for their peers,” she explained. “They have taken on the roles required of them and are well-respected by their teammates and coaches.”

The seniors on this year’s team are Maggie Caswell, Megan Woods, Gia Vaccaro, Morgan McCarthy and Colleen McCombs.

“This is an exceptional group of girls,” Gamble said. “They are unique in that each one of them brings an important dynamic to the program. They have played together all through youth, been through a lot together growing up and truly care about each other in a unique way. They are positive, hard-working and have the ability to push each other and their teammates to be successful.”

Gamble called the seniors “a special group.”

“I feel privileged to have been able to coach [them],” she said. “Each one of these girls has impressed me with their determination, work ethic and desire to leave an impact on this program.”

The coach said her team also has received key contributions from juniors Jennifer Rodkey, Janie Rodkey, Emily Hooker, Emily Deevers, Melissa Harlock, Courtney Pizzute and Kendra Boldt.

“Our junior class has been integral in the success of the team thus far as well,” she said.

Underclassmen who have stood out this season, Gamble said, include freshmen Lilly Carson (forward), Morgan Suponcic (defense), Haleigh Seman (goalkeeper) and Marisa Lovell (midfield), and sophomores Tarah McCausland (midfield) and Nina Vaccaro (midfield).

“These players have all made a direct impact into the success of the team this year,” the coach stated. “Many of these girls are starting.”

This is Gamble’s 10th year at Green High School. Her assistant coaches are Stacy Messner, Jeff Basone and Mike Smith.

The girls played Lake High School last night, Oct. 18, in the Division I Austintown District game. The winner was not known at presstime.

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