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IN THE NEWS: Conference Title Highlighted MSDA Soccer Season

By NANCY D’UVA The Progress Contributing Writer
Nov 13, 2018

CALDWELL – The Mount St. Dominic Academy soccer team had a strong season, finishing with an 11-6-2 record and a conference championship.

“Our overall performance was great,” said Angelo Del Vecchio, who completed his second year as head coach. “Even though the ball did not bounce our way at times, the season and the effort by the girls was fantastic. Team defense and goaltending were excellent. In 19 games, we only gave up 13 goals. We shut out 11 teams during the season. We never gave up more than two goals in any single game, proving that we were in every game.”

Del Vecchio said the highlights of the season were winning the Super Essex Conference Liberty Division championship with a 6-0-1 record and the team’s strong effort in the North Jersey, Non-Public A state tournament. The Lions were seeded third.

“We received a first round bye and then played a good Kent Place team [sixth seed] and won on a late goal, 1-0,” Del Vecchio said. “We then lost to [second seed] DePaul, 2-1. They scored the winning goal with 3.5 minutes left in the game. The girls played their hearts out and I could not be any prouder of them.”

In the Essex County Tournament, the Lions were seeded sixth. After a first-round bye, they played 11th-seeded Glen Ridge on Thursday, Oct. 18, losing 2-1.

“We lost in overtime to a very underrated Glen Ridge team who eventually went on to lose in the finals,” Del Vecchio said. “They peaked at the right time, and I give them a lot of credit. It was a well-played game.”

Del Vecchio added there were three matches that really stood out this season: “A big win over always-tough opponent Nutley, 2-0, to clinch the Liberty Division; an exciting overtime victory against a tough Montclair Kimberly Academy squad, 1-0; and even though we lost 2-1 on a late goal, an excellent and well-played game against one of the best teams we played this year—DePaul.”

Del Vecchio said many players were key to the team’s success.

“The key to our good defense all season was our backline which mainly consisted of juniors Courtney Hospes ’20 and Alyssa Mastando ’20 and our two center defenders, the anchors of our defense, junior Riley Durborow ’20 and senior captain Nieve Beckwith ’19, both of whom had great seasons,” he said. “We used two senior goalies, Grace Mayo ’19 and Samantha Dias ’19, who combined for 11 shutouts. The center of the field was controlled by sophomore Clare Mulvihill ’21 and senior captain Hannah Maqsudi ’19, who had an exceptional season for us. They were able to distribute the ball to junior forward Megan Robinson ’20 (10 goals, seven assists) and junior captain Dominique Bevacqua ’20 (six goals, eight assists), who both had excellent seasons.”

The squad also had a couple of newcomers who contributed.

“Sophomore Brynn Caufield ’21 gave us more playing time this year and was used in various positions,” Del Vecchio said. “Freshman forward Gianna Mangili ’22 had a good season, scoring five goals and one assist.”

Many Seniors To Graduate

The Lions will be losing multiple seniors to graduation.

“We will be losing our two senior goalies, Grace Mayo and Sam Dias; our first two players coming off the bench who are valuable substitutes, Mia Galvano and Bryannah Pita; and our senior captains Nieve Beckwith and Hannah Maqsudi,” Del Vecchio said. “They have all meant so much to the program during the past four years but especially this year. We are not only losing their skills as soccer players but also their leadership on and off the field. All will be hard to replace and will be sorely missed.”

Del Vecchio is already looking forward to next year.

“I am very optimistic about next season,” he said. “Currently, we have a strong junior class that I am confident will lead the way. All the players will be working hard in the off-season to improve their skills. I believe we will be a very competitive team just like this season.”

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