The Hopewell Valley Central High School girls’ soccer team used its loss in 2018 as a rally cry in winning a state sectional championship this fall.
Hopewell Valley returned to the final of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Central Jersey, Group 3 sectional tournament this season after it fell to Brick Township High School in the title game on penalty kicks in 2018.
Hopewell Valley claimed its eighth state sectional championship when it knocked off its rival in the Colonial Valley Conference Allentown High School, 4-2, on Nov. 6 at Ackerson Field in Hoprwell.
In the Group 3 semifinals on Nov. 13, the Bulldogs came up just short of playing for a state championship when they fell by a score of 1-0 to Ocean City High School in Hopewell.
Ocean City went on to win the Group 3 state title with a 3-0 victory over Ramapo High School on Nov. 16 at Kean University in Union.
“I’m proud of how our girls finished out the season,” said Hopewell Valley coach John McGinley. “Our focal going into the season was to make it back to the finals and build off last year. We had a different group of kids that worked hard to get us back. It was great to see us win it this season. The last few games of this season showed what type of team we are and I am proud of that.”
Losing in the sectional finals last year against Brick Township, Hopewell Valley roared to victory this season.
Led by a game-high two goal performance by sophomore Nicola Mosionek, the Bulldogs were crowned state sectional champion for the first time since 2016 with the victory over Allentown.
Both junior Emily Cooke and freshmen Faith Doldy each connected on a goal to contribute to Hopewell Valley effort to secure the state sectional championship.
Hopewell Valley was a scoring machine in the postseason. The Bulldogs knocked in a combined 15 goals in four games on their way to winning the state sectional title.
Helping set six of those goals was Mosionek, who finished with six assists in the four games to go along with her two-goal performance in the sectional championship games.
Mosionek finished with eight goals and a team-high 12 assists on the season.
“If everyone does their job and do what they can to help the team, then we’re successful,” McGinely said. “We want our girls to always compete at the highest level to help us be the best team we can be. I’m very proud of how our team’s effort in the postseason.”
Senior Charlotte Hare was stellar throughout the sectional tournament for the Bulldogs. The only four-year varsity player on the team, Hare stepped up big time in the sectional tournament by scoring six goals in the first three games of the playoffs to help lead Hopewell Valley back to the finals.
The senior had an assist in the championship victory over Allentown.
“Charlotte stepped up big time for us in the postseason,” McGinley said. “She really did a good job stepping into a leadership role this year. She finished the season showing the type of player she is.”
Hare recorded 11 goals and had six assists in her senior season for the Bulldogs.
Hopewell Valley finished the season with a record of 18-7-1.
Back-to-back years of making it to the sectional finals looks to be just the beginning for the Bulldogs.
Hopewell Valley is geared up for future success with the talent it has.
Team-leading scorer Emily DeNero will be expected back after a terrific junior campaign, scoring 18 goals and dishing out three assists.
Both Mosionek and Doldy will return after each scored eight goals this fall for Hopewell Valley. Sophomores Sarah Yancey and Lara Paoloni are expected to make a big impact after each player had a solid 2019 season.
Claire Tellier and Mea Allex will be back to anchor the back line for the Bulldogs, as will goalie Lucy Fleming, who had a great freshman season in net for Hopewell Valley.
“We want to build off this past season and take it to the next level next year,” McGinley said. “We want to win counties and make it back to the sectional finals again. Hopefully will be able to make it back to the state semifinals and then get a shot to play for a state championship.”
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