Stafford Leader sports preview

Southern Regional Girls Soccer Has Obstacles to Overcome

Sep 09, 2016

The season had not even started and already the Southern Regional High School varsity girls soccer team encountered a difficult obstacle to overcome. Senior forward Rachel Rizzo, the top goal scorer the past two seasons, suffered a knee injury in practice and will be sidelined for the year.

“She scored 15 goals for us last year, and we were looking to her having a big season,”  said head coach Ed Decker. “Hopefully, our other players will pick up and we can improve from last year.”

In 2015, the Lady Rams were 5-15, and winless (0-10) in the Shore Conference Class A South.

“That’s a very tough conference for girls soccer,” said Decker. “In Toms River and Brick, they have a lot more girls playing soccer than we do here.”

Decker said key players include junior defender Shannon Lytle, senior midfielder Bailey Gellis, junior midfielder Sara Lockwood, freshman forward Megan Lockwood and junior goalie Ava Castellano. Sara and Megan are sisters and are daughters of the varsity boys soccer coach, Guy Lockwood.

Decler said the Lady Rams will miss forward Abby Harris and defender Abby Yanicone, who have graduated.

The team opens the season at home on Thursday, Sept. 8, 3:45, against division rival Toms River North. On Saturday, Sept. 10, they have a home game against Pinelands Regional at 5.

“I’m just hoping we can be competitive and get into the playoffs,” said Decker. “It’s going to be a challenge, but the girls are up to it, and all we can do is go out there and play our best.”

— Eric Englund

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