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South Philly Review Spotlights - Lady Saints

Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 by GH3
The September 10th edition of the South Philadelphia Review wrote an excellent story about the playoff hopes of our N-G Lady Saints. Here's Bill Gelman's article:

High kicking
A group of girls from 10th and Moore are chasing history by making a serious run at the division crown.

The Neumann-Goretti girls’ soccer program never has gotten a taste of the postseason.

Even with its solid 8-3-1 league mark in 2008, the Saints missed the cut for the second spot by a just one point. Overall, the squad from 10th and Moore streets finished with a 10-5-1 record and an 8-3-1 in league action. This fall, the odds have greatly increased with six of the seven Catholic League Blue teams qualifying for the bonus round.

This time, a third-place finish isn’t going to be enough to satisfy these hungry Saints. The target is the division crown, which comes with a first-round bye and a home playoff game.

The coaches and players share a confident outlook, thanks to a wealth of experience.

“Now I actually have a nice, little luxury of knowing who is playing where,” coach Jim McBride said. “Playing in that comfort zone is going to help us greatly. They’re playing with so much confidence right now it’s not even funny.”

Tuesday, Neumann-Goretti opened the season with a 5-0 victory over West Catholic.


Senior forward Tonia Russo, a returning First Team All-Catholic, is the Saints’ top offensive threat. She tallied 10 goals last fall. Sophomore sweeper/back Nicole McAfee, a Second Team All-Catholic, is what McBride refers to as “the glue to the defense.”

“I never have to worry about [defense] anymore because I know she is going to clean it up,” he said.

Third Team All-Catholics Gabby Mastero, a junior, and Melanie Carmichael, a senior, are returning to provide support in the backfield. Midfielders Adriana Sciascia, a junior who tallied eight goals last season, and Laura Polito, a senior, were Second Team selections in ’08. The deep talent pool has McBride excited about the current year.

“They’re going to be gunning for us this year,” the coach said of the opposition. “Now we’ve got to take it to the next level.”

The Saints biggest hole is in the net as a result of losing First-Teamer Sara Kelly to graduation. Freshman Alaina Zepp, who comes with experience, has filled the void. Fellow First Team standouts Nica Meccariello and Jamie Millorey also have departed the squad.

As far as the coveted battle for the division crown goes, McBride predicts a four-team race between Archbishop Prendie, Hallahan, Cardinal Dougherty and his squad. Lansdale Catholic — last year’s champ — joined the larger enrollment schools in the Red Division. For the overall league title, the path most likely will go through back-to-back defending champion Archbishop Ryan, who plays in Red. If Neumann-Goretti can stay healthy and win the majority of its contests, there could be reason to celebrate at 10th and Moore next month.



2009 schedule


Sept. 8, West Catholic, W

Sept. 10, at Cardinal DoughertY, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 at Delco Christian, 1:30 P.m.

Sept. 14 at Interboro, 7 p.m.

Sept. 15 at Friends Select, 3:45 p.m.

Sept. 17 Bonner/Prendie, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 20, Kennedy-Kendrick (at Cabrini College), 10 a.m.

Sept. 24, Hallahan, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 28, at Bishop Mcdevitt, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 30 at Chichester, 3:45 p.m.

Oct. 1 at West Catholic, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 6 Cardinal Dougherty, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Bonner/Prendie, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 14, at Kennedy-Kendrick, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 16 at Doane Academy, N.J., 3:45 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Hallahan, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 Bishop McDevitt, 3:30 p.m.

All homes games are played at the SEYAA sports complex, Seventh and Bigler streets.


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