Barnegat Leader

Barnegat Girls Soccer Looks to Kick Up Scoring

Sep 21, 2018

At times last season, the Barnegat High School girls soccer team looked brilliant. At others, goals were hard to come by and the Bengals lost close games. This fall, new head coach Rick Blasi is hopeful his squad will score consistently enough to stay in games.

“Our team consists of a large number of returning players who saw limited varsity playing time last year,” Blasi said. “We hope to improve on last year, when our team was 6-12-1, with a talented group of eight seniors leading the team. If we can score some goals, we will be a tough match for anybody.”

Scoring goals is only part of the battle in soccer, of course. The biggest question for Blasi’s squad is whether it will be able to prevent good teams from scoring too many. And that’s where at least some of the experience may come into play.

Leading the defensive crew this fall are seniors Ashley Walter, who will be the cornerstone at sweeper, along with senior Sydney Boyer at stopper. Sophomore fullback Hayley Jankowski also will play a major role alongside the seniors on defense, mainly as a marking back.

As for the offense, the Bengals will have to work well from the back and will be relying on senior Gabby Pelechaty to help control the midfield, while seniors Samantha Soccodato and Jamie Landron try to boost the scoring clout closer to the front of midfield. Expected to play significant roles as forwards will be sophomore Jill Jankowski and freshman Isabel Guiro.

In fact, Guiro already has made an impact by scoring three goals in the season-opening, 4-1 victory against Mater Dei on Sept. 5. Jill Jankowski delivered a pair of assists, while Pelechaty added a goal and freshman goalkeeper Brielle Schuber managed six saves. In the next game against Keyport, Guiro scored again, along with Jill Jankowski and Walter, and Guiro, Jankowski and Landron each had assists as well.

Unfortunately, the Bengals (2-3) haven’t won since – losing shutouts of 1-0 to Long Branch and 6-0 to Lacey, followed by an 8-4 defeat at the hands of Brick Memorial on Sept. 14, during which Guiro and Jankowski each tallied two goals and an assist, while Landron and Soccodato gave out assists.

The Bengals were scheduled to meet Shore Conference Class B South rival Lakewood on Sept. 20, before taking on a tough Pinelands squad on the road Tuesday, Sept. 25. Barnegat will be back at home against Manchester on Sept. 27 and then host Ranney on Sept. 28.

— David Biggy

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