Photo: Riley Felsher '20, Jules Romano '21 and Ariana Jones '20 at Mercer 33 Awards Ceremony
Congratulations to Riley Felsher '20, Ariana Jones '20 and Jules Romano '21 for being honored at the 25th Annual Awards Ceremony last month by Mercer 33 as three of the top Mercer County High School girls' soccer players. All three players were also named to the All Prep first team by the Trentonian and were instrumental in the Panther Girls Varsity Soccer team's continuing reign as Prep B State champs. The team has earned five NJISAA Prep B State Championships and one Mercer County Championship over six consecutive seasons and is poised to continue its winning ways with these returning players.
At the ceremony, Coach Trombetta shared insights about the character and skills of each of these stars and highlighted their accomplishments:
Riley Felsher '20 has been a two-year starter and is a first-year Mercer 33 recipient. She had a tremendous season in goal with six shutouts, including clean sheets in a couple of big-tournament games. Riley played a significant role in securing wins in the last two Prep B championships. As a goalkeeper, she has great hands, which rarely allowed opponents second-chance goals off of rebounds. Her awareness, agility and positioning allowed her to deny goal-scoring opportunities on numerous occasions. Her judgment about coming off her line was excellent throughout the season. Riley's tireless commitment to work on her skills is second to none. We look forward to continued contributions and success from Riley in her senior year.
Ariana Jones '20 is a junior striker and second-year Mercer 33 recipient. Recognizing that we needed scoring power this season, we asked this natural defender/midfielder to perform a critical role again for us this season, and she shone as the team's leading scorer. With her physical presence and strength, she was a true target player, exhibiting the ability to play with her back to the goal and hold the ball until the team got numbers forward. She also displayed the skill to turn on a defender and get behind the defense. Her footwork often pulled defenders the wrong way, allowing her to fire off shots. Throughout the season she shot with velocity from distance with both feet. This year, Ariana earned her second career hat trick and scored points in more than half of this season's games. Another one of her strong attributes is her long throw, which often resulted in excellent scoring opportunities. Her versatility also allowed her to cover midfield when needed. We anticipate a great senior season for Ariana next year.
Jules Romano '21, a sophomore midfielder and first-year Mercer 33 recipient, had a tremendous season and was our team's second leading scorer. She possesses the ability to score from distance as well as create scoring opportunities. Comfortable with the ball at her feet and when under pressure, her solid dribbling skills allow her to beat defenders one on one and open the field for her teammates. With her ability to identify opportune times to make runs into space, Jules played a major part of our transition game. Plus, her superb fitness resulted in her rarely coming off the field in almost every match. As tremendous as these attributes are, the progress she made since freshman year in becoming a leader of our midfield was perhaps most impressive. The next two years promise to be exciting ones for Jules.
Congratulations, Riley, Ariana and Jules, for your Mercer 33 honors and your many contributions to the Panther Girls Soccer team's great 2018 season and latest Prep B championship. And congratulations to Coach Trombetta for fantastic coaching! -Melanie Shaw