The Bordentown Regional High School girls’ soccer team will rely on its skilled players to have a bounce-back year for the upcoming season.
Coming off of a 2018 season when Bordentown finished 3-7 in the Burlington County Patriot Division and 6-13 overall, coach Dominick Castaldo revealed that he is optimistic this fall.
Although Castaldo said the team’s challenges in previous years may have resulted because of a young squad, the upcoming talent and experience among the team may hold potential for a successful season.
“The last two years we have struggled because we have decided to go young,” Castaldo said. “Last year, the majority of my starting lineup was made up of freshmen and sophomores. That was all because we started seeing a better talent pool coming in, and it continued here.”
The Bordentown coach explained that as he continues to watch his team grow and experiment with the youthful squad, more experience can possibly help them become a talented group.
“We are looking to make strides on last year because they now have time under their belt,” he said. “We are starting to see the benefit of that as some of our scrimmages have gone on. I’m still testing things out, I may be self-destructing myself, but it’s because I want to see in scrimmages what I have and what I can expect.
“Going into this season, I feel good about it. Our schedule has improved. We are seeing some better teams as a challenge to make us ready, but I think we are going to do a lot better,” he added.
As the Scotties prepare to get their regular season schedule underway, their offense will be led by sophomore forward Lexi Mazella.
Mazella was the top offensive player a year ago as a freshman when she led the Scotties with 18 goals and five assists.
With Mazella situated at the top of the pitch for Bordentown, Castaldo said he not only anticipates another strong individual performance from her, but pointed out her teamwork abilities as well.
“She is going to get a lot more attention, but she sees the game really well,” he said. “She is really smart. She can score goals, but more importantly, she is making the people around her much better.”
Meanwhile, on defense, the coach pointed to junior Haley Russell to hold down the back of the pitch. Castaldo said he anticipates Russell’s experience to help stronghold the defense.
“She is more or less anchoring our efforts, defensively,” he said. “She really helped solidify things in the back last year. This year, I expect better things from her.”
Castaldo has noticed improvement in his midfield, too.
“We are talented through the midfield, but it’s just [that] they the need to get used to each other right now. We are a well-rounded team,” he said.
But as the Bordentown squad kicked off its 2019 campaign on Sept. 4 with an away game at New Egypt High School, he said that he is most looking forward to coaching what he believes is a hard-working team no matter the end result.
“I just like working with them,” Castaldo said. “The last couple years, it has been great. They want to learn; they come out here and work hard every day, and they are striving to be both better on the field and off the field. That’s what we want.”