Photo: The PDS Girls Varsity Soccer team celebrates a victory together.
The PDS Girls Varsity Soccer team continued its winning ways from recent years with another dominant season playing some of the toughest competitors they have faced in recent years. Although pandemic circumstances limited athletic competition and Tournament play was canceled, preventing the team from an opportunity to win a seventh consecutive Prep State championship, the team made the most of this unusual season. They racked up an impressive 10-1 record with a ten-game winning streak after their tough opening loss.The Trentonian declared the Panthers the best girls soccer team in Mercer County in a recent article.
Photo: Kelly Beal '21 looking to secure the ball and make a play
The high point of the season was their resounding win over Hunterdon Central High School, the reigning New Jersey State Champion and the top-ranked team this season heading into the game with our Panthers. The team picked up this game on 24-hours notice after games against rival Pennington and Bridgewater-Raritan were canceled. The team looked at the sudden matchups against Hunterdon Central, as well as the subsequent additional game against Camden Catholic two days later, as if they were tournament games and responded the way they normally do; with two aggressively played victories.
Photo (courtesy of PDS parent Melanie Miranda): Sophia Miranda '21 on the ball against Hun School
This year's team featured six senior leaders who were key figures in the team's success both on and off the field throughout their tremendous four-year careers: Kelly Beal '21, Britney Chia '21, Vanessa Devin '21, Anna Elwood '21, Sophia Miranda '21 and Jules Romano '21. These seniors played integral roles in the three preceding championship seasons and were the driving force in leading the team through the challenges of returning to the field during the summer and throughout this fall. See our previous news story on the Girls Varsity Soccer Senior Day ceremony here.
Photo: Jules Romano '21 possessing the ball while working through defenders
Key contributors across the roster included goalkeeper Veronica Vogelman '22, Aislynn Macco '22, Grace Romano '23, Kirsten Ruf '23, Adriana Salzano '24 and Ali Surace '22. Standout freshman Salzano led the team (and all local prep teams) with nine goals on the season and also contributed six assists. Salzano, Beal, Macco, Ruf and both Romano sisters were all at the top of the Prep scoring leaders list for the state.
Photo: Adriana Salzano '24 weaves through the St. Rose High School defense in PDS Girls Varsity Soccer's 5-0 victory. Salzano scored two goals in the game
The future of the program looks bright, as many key upperclassmen will return and Salzano and fellow freshman Tochi Owunna will look to build off of strong first varsity seasons. Salzano recently received public recognition in a recent NJ Advanced Media poll in which over 300,000 fans voted to determine the top girls freshman soccer player in the state of New Jersey. Salzano won the honor, receiving a whopping 73,311 votes and topping the runner-up by over 50,000 votes! See the NJ.com sports page here for more.
"These girls are warriors. It's a season where we know there are no tournaments that we are playing in, so for them to be up for these big games just shows their character. They played with a lot of heart all season and I am proud of how they came together as a team. Our six seniors have led the way and their enthusiasm definitely rubbed off on the rest of the team from start to finish," Head Coach Pat Trombetta remarked.
Coaches: Head Coach Pat Trombetta, Howie Powers and BrieAnne Nomejko
Players (in alphabetical order): Kelly Beal '21, Britney Chia '21, Ava D '23, Vanessa Devin '21, Anna Elwood '21, Jesse Hollander '24, Chloe Johnson '24, Cailyn Jones '22, Chloe Knerr '22, Aislynn Macco '22, Ava Mattson '22, Julia Miranda '24, Sophia Miranda '21, Madeline Nowack '22, Tochi Owunna '24, Tyler Robinson '22, Grace Romano '23, Jules Romano '21, Kirsten Ruf '23, Beatriz Saldana '23, Adriana Salzano '24, Leah Schlenker '22, Haley Schragger '23, Ali Surace '22 and Veronica Vogelman '22.
Team Schedule and Results:
|10/1||vs. Monroe HS||L 3-2|
|10/3||@ Hillsborough HS||W 2-0|
|10/10||@ Hun School||W 6-1|
|10/15||vs. Bishop Eustace||W 3-2|
|10/19||@ Moorestown Friends||W 3-0|
|10/23||vs. Montgomery HS||W 5-1|
|10/31||vs. Hun School||W 6-0|
|11/2||@ Mater Dei Prep||W 4-0|
|11/7||@ Hunterdon Central HS||W 2-1|
|11/9||@ Camden Catholic||W 3-1|
|11/11||@ St. Rose HS||W 5-0|
See our Flickr album for photo highlights from the 2020 Girls Varsity Soccer season