IN THE NEWS: MSDA now playing 'best soccer,' coach says

IN THE NEWS: MSDA now playing 'best soccer,' coach says

Mount team now playing 'best soccer,' coach says

CALDWELL – The Mount St. Dominic Academy soccer team has been playing well as the regular season winds down and the state tournament is set to begin.

“Since the start of the Essex County Tournament, we have been playing our best soccer,” said head coach Angelo Del Vecchio.

The Lions (6-10-1), who were the 13th seed, played to a scoreless tie but didn’t advance in the ECT quarterfinal round against fifth-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy on Oct. 9.

“We played very well against MKA,” Del Vecchio said. “We are playing our best soccer of the year.

“The game was decided by a shootout after two overtimes. It is a shame that one of the teams had to lose that way since it was such a well-played game. I was very proud of the way we played.”

The Lions upset fourth-seeded Newark Academy, 2-1, in the first round of the ECT on Oct. 6.

“We knew Newark Academy would be a tough opponent,” Del Vecchio said. “We had lost to them earlier in the season, but we are a different team now. We are playing better soccer than we were earlier in the season.”

Gianna Mangilli and Maria Hoelevas each scored a goal for the Lions against Newark Academy. Mary Hladik and Amanda Galasso each registered an assist.

A handful of players have been leading the Lions.

“We have been led by senior forward Gianna Mangilli, junior center mid Maria Hoelevas and sophomore center mid Eliza Haghighi,” the coach said. “We have also had good defensive play from junior defender Amanda Galasso and freshman defender Maddie Natale.”

The state tournament seedings were to be determined Tuesday, Oct. 26. The state tournament is set to begin Tuesday, Nov. 2.

“It will be a tough go no matter where we are seeded because there are a lot of good teams in our group,” Del Vecchio said.

To advance in the state tournament, the team has to continue to improve, he said.

“We have to continue to get better each day. This has been our goal throughout the season. We have to play the kind of soccer that we have been playing recently.”

The Lions’ latest victory came over Paramus Catholic, 4-1, on Oct. 11.

Mangilli and Caitlin Caufield each scored twice. Natale, Hoelevas and Saheli Davitt each had an assist.

The Lions lost to Montclair, 3-0, on Tuesday, Oct. 19 and to Summit, 5-2, on Thursday, Oct. 21. Mangilli scored twice, and Galasso and Erin Murphy each added an assist.

In their most recent game, the Lions lost to Livingston, 1-0, on Monday, Oct. 25.

The Mount is scheduled to play James Caldwell High School on Friday, Oct. 29 in its final regular-season game.

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