CALDWELL – The Mount St. Dominic Academy soccer team finished the season with a 9-11-1 record, but those numbers don’t convey how well the team played.
“The first half of the season, we were up and down,” said head coach Angelo Del Vecchio. “However, during the second half of the season, we played more consistent soccer, and by the end of the year, we were playing our best soccer. Overall, we performed well, and I am extremely proud of the progress we made.”
The Lions were the fifth seed and advanced to the semifinal round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Non-Public A tournament. They lost to top-seeded Immaculate Heart Academy, 4-1, in the semifinals.
They were the 13th seed and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Essex County Tournament.
“Some highlights of the season were a first-round Essex County Tournament win over Newark Academy, a team we had lost to earlier in the season,” Del Vecchio said. “We then took Montclair Kimberly into double overtime in the quarterfinal game, losing in a shootout. In the state tournament, we made it to the semifinal round of the sectionals, losing to eventual overall winner IHA. We had a 1-0 lead at halftime, but to IHA’s credit, they came out in the second half and played very well.”
The team was led by several players. “Our top scorer was senior forward Gianna Mangili, who had 20 goals this season and was one of the team’s leaders,” the coach said. “Junior center mid Maria Hoelevas and sophomore center mid Eliza Haghighi helped win balls and controlled the center of the field. Junior defender Amanda Galasso had a great season and helped anchor our defense. Sophomore outside mid Caitlin Caufield had a great second half of the season, scoring a total of eight goals.”
Two freshmen made an impact on the team this season, he said. “Center mid Mary Hladik and defender Maddie Natale played well, and we are expecting big things from them in the coming years.”
The team will lose three seniors to graduation.
“Our three graduating seniors, outside mid Christina Kurtz, forward Gianna Mangili and goalie Christina Piparo, will all be sorely missed. Their leadership and guidance to the team was a huge factor in our success not only this year but in previous seasons.”
Many returning players will contribute to next year’s team, Del Vecchio said.
“Much of our team will be returning next year. Juniors outside mid Saheli Davitt and defenders Julia Camporeale and Hailey Murphy will help lead the team. Sophomore center mid Kaitlyn Ferris, who gave us a spark off the bench, will be expected to contribute even more. Sophomore goalie Frankie Mansfield gave us minutes in net this season and hopefully will give us even more.”
He concluded his fifth year as head coach of the Lions.
“I am very happy to have coached this team, and I am proud of what we’ve achieved. I very much look forward to next season.”
- In the News