Huskies See a Solid Week on the Soccer Pitch
The Morgan girls’ soccer team is off and running in the 2022 season with hopes of staying atop the Shoreline Conference following its championship win last year. Head Coach Steve Sullivan is looking for the Huskies to put a few wins on the board early with their sights set on achieving some bigger goals at the end of the season.
Morgan is sporting a record of 3-1-1 through the first two weeks of the fall campaign. In recent action, the Huskies played Coginchaug to a tie and then earned one-goal wins over Cromwell and Portland in last week’s matchups.
Morgan hosted Coginchaug on Sept. 12 and played the Blue Devils to a 1-1 draw at the Indian River Complex. Senior Emily Smith scored the Huskies’ goal on a penalty kick. Junior Samantha Way made 3 saves in net.
Then on Sept. 15, Morgan played a road game versus Cromwell and claimed a 1-0 victory against the Panthers. Freshman Sadie Passante scored the lone goal of the day in the 64th minute of the game on an assist from junior Glenda Zhiminaicela to lift Morgan to the win. Way had 9 saves in the game.
Two days later, the Huskies were back on the road to face Portland and posted a 1-0 shutout over the Highlanders. Zhiminaicela scored from junior Maeve Madura in the 65th minute for the lone goal of the contest. Zhiminaicela’s goal was a full-volley strike off a superb cross by Madura. Way made 2 saves for another shutout in net.
Last year, Morgan had an undefeated regular season and then claimed the Shoreline Conference title by earning a 2-1 overtime victory versus Portland in the league final. The Huskies went on to reach the second round of the Class M State Tournament, ultimately finishing the year with an overall record of 12-1-7.
Coach Sullivan feels confident that the Huskies can put together another solid season. Morgan enjoyed a historic campaign last fall, and Sullivan believes that his club can once again be a Shoreline Conference contender in 2022.
“The kids have come in pretty focused this year and determined to try and continue where we left off last year. Myself and the other coaches were very impressed and the energy level and the effort of the kids in the preseason,” Sullivan said. “I do think [last year’s success] had a positive effect. We’re optimistic this could be another successful year.”
Morgan’s captains for the new season are Katelyn Martin and Eve Gardner. Martin earned a spot on the All-Shoreline Conference Second Team last year. Coach Sullivan feels that both captains are unique leaders among a special group of seniors.
“Both of them in a different way. They’re both very organized,” said Sullivan. “I’ve been very impressed so far with their leadership skills and everything they’ve organized.”
In the senior class, Coach Sullivan is looking forward to seeing the creativity provided by forward Caeley Ayer on the pitch. Ayer earned All-Shoreline Conference First Team accolades last season.
Sullivan is also anticipating stable play from senior Emily Smith on defense. Smith earned All-Shoreline Conference Second Team honors last year, and Sullivan calls her the “rock” of the Huskies’ back line.
Senior midfielder Logan Pernal is another player who Sullivan believes will make a significant impact on the field this year. Morgan’s senior class also includes Melissa Scheurer.
“We’ve got a few seniors that have shown great leadership as a senior leader, even though they’re not a captain,” Sullivan said. “That has helped in many respects.”
Sullivan likes the pairing that Morgan has at the forward position this season. Sullivan feels that the combination of Ayer’s skillset and the goal-scoring ability of Maeve Madura gives the Huskies a solid 1-2 punch up the field.
Sullivan has also been pleased with the mark that the members of Morgan’s freshmen class have been making thus far. Several of those players are already contributing at the varsity level for the Huskies.
“There’s a half-dozen of them that are just incredibly talented. They have really raised the bar on some of the sophomores, juniors, and seniors,” said Sullivan. “A handful of them have seen some varsity time already this year, so if some of the other kids don’t step up, they’re going to see more time.”
Coach Sullivan is hoping to see the Huskies string together a nice stretch of wins during the regular season like they did last year. Sullivan’s main goal for his team is to ride a winning streak into the Shoreline Conference Tournament and then bring home another title.
“We’re looking to get back on a roll like we were last year,” Sullivan said. “We’ve got our eyes on trying to repeat as Shoreline champions and see if we can hang onto that for another year or so.”
In other to get there, Coach Sullivan knows that the Huskies need to play well-rounded soccer on a consistent basis. While last year’s accomplishments are now in the past, Sullivan believes that Morgan still has the talent, leadership, and attitude to make an impact in both the Shoreline Conference and the state this season.
“My thought right now is to kind of get back on that winning streak. I would really love to go back-to-back years winning the Shoreline Conference, so that’s my initial goal right there,” said Sullivan. “I’m hoping to make a big statement in the tournaments when we get there. We’ll see some different teams, which is nice.”
The Morgan girls’ soccer team’s roster for the 2022 season includes senior captains Eve Gardner and Katelyn Martin; seniors Caeley Ayer, Logan Pernal, Melissa Scheurer, and Emily Smith; juniors Anastasia Luke, Gabriella Navarra, Glenda Zhiminaicela, Chloe Jackson, Maeve Madura, Emely Andino, Katerine Toledo, Liliana Torres, Lillian Tanner, Samantha Way, Mia Digiandomencio, and Madelyn Sacta; sophomores Liliana Luciani, Melanie Pugo, Olivia Ruotolo, Rachel Spaziano, and Liliana Novicki; and freshmen Sadie Passante, Kate Gardner, Brenna Moore, Cora Deming, Ainsley Lyon, Jacquelyn Ciarleglio, Riley Febbroriello, Addison Reed, Allesandra Tortora, Solange Morales-Toledo, and Giovanna Riera.