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Sports

Green girls soccer team looking to turn in winning season

10/10/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — First-year Green High School girls soccer head coach Nick Fernandez said the team’s No. 1 goal for the remainder of this season is to “finish with a winning record.”

“It’s been a few years since Green has had a winning season and, I think, with the young players on this team, that will make a statement for the coming years — especially with the schedule we play,” he said. “Making a post-season run also would be nice, but we are just focused on getting better each game, playing the game the way it’s meant to be played, and the rest will fall into place.”

Through the season’s first 14 games, Green had a 5-7-2 overall record.

“Having such a strong schedule, I’m pleased with this year’s efforts. We had losses vs. Jackson, Howland, Wadsworth, Copley and Hudson, and these are teams that I am certain will be playing well into November this season,” Fernandez said. “We had a huge 1-0 win over Lake this season. They won the Federal League, and I think it’s great for our girls, as we will be moving into the Federal League in 2015.”

Fernandez said the Green girls soccer team is “very young” this season.

“We start two freshmen in the center of midfield — Kristen McCausland and Lillie McCortney — as well as five sophomores (Lilly Carson, Marisa Lovell, Morgan Suponcic, Kaylee Lengel and goalkeeper Haleigh Seman). Haleigh is just outstanding. She is moving closer and closer to breaking the career record for shutouts,” the coach said. “The freshmen and sophomores have stepped up. The majority of our team will be around for a few years, so it’s a reason to be optimistic.”

Fernandez said this year’s team also features a number of upperclassmen who have played key roles.

“We do have a large group of seniors that come off the bench,” he said. “This group has been together a long time and has set a great example for the young players. Melissa Harlock is a senior captain, as well as Courtney Pizzute.”

In addition, juniors Nina Vaccaro, Ashley Guilmette and Tarah McCausland have been standouts for this year’s team, Fernandez said.

“Nina brings a great level of composure to our back line. She complements some very young players in the back. Her high level of technical ability has a big part in our team’s success in possession this season,” he said. “Ashley and Tarah have shown to be our most dangerous players in the attack this year, with both scoring multiple game-winning goals. Tarah leads the team in points with five goals and four assists. Ashley has been a pleasant surprise this season. She is very quiet, so when I first took the program over, I didn’t know much about her. She quickly showed me she would be an important role for this team.”

According to Fernandez, this year’s team is “very strong in possession.”

“We retain the ball as well as anyone. Our girls are playing a very attractive style of soccer, and win, lose or draw, we are doing what is going to help us get to where we want to be in the longterm,” he said. “We just need to work on our composure in the final third. We do a very good job of creating goal-scoring opportunities, but can’t seem to find the back of the net as much as we want.”

Fernandez said improvements in those areas will come as the team gets more experience.

“The team is young and they have a young coach — I’m only 23 — but I think it’s exciting to think about where this group will be in a few years,” he said. “I think in the postseason, some teams may take us lightly because of our record and youth, but I think we have a chance to surprise a few teams this tournament.”

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