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Jackson Memorial girls’ soccer team leaning on experience

Drew Gibson, the Jackson Memorial High School girls’ soccer coach, will call on his veterans in an effort to build off a successful 2016 season this fall.

Jackson Memorial posted a 14-4 record and advanced to the semifinals in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association South Jersey, Group 4 semifinals. Jackson Memorial fell in that state game to Toms River High School North to end the season.

Gibson, who is in his 16th season at Jackson Memorial, believes that the team’s experience last year will help propel it this season.

“Our biggest strength, I believe, is the experience we have,” Gibson said. “We have eight seniors back who either started or played a lot in every game last year.”

Gibson wants his team to get off to a fast start this year.

“Last year, we started out slow in some games and gave up early goals, which we had to battle back from,” Gibson said. “We need to get better at starting games strong.”

Gibson is confident that his team will be able to execute better this year due to his veterans.

“The seniors, they are a strong group, and I am expecting a big year from them,” Gibson said. “We are extremely excited about the season.”

Those seniors include midfielder Lindsay Bathman, defender Alexis Casella, midfielder Carissa Eckel, forward Alyssa Fernandez, forward Emily Jacoby, goalkeeper Kylee Sullivan, midfielder Madison Taylor and forward Allison Wanzor.

The Jaguars open their season on Sept. 5 at home against Wall High School at 3:45 p.m.

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