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Sep 07, 2021

Holmdel Soccer Players Relying on Talent and Teamwork to Repeat Success

By Tim Morris

Lexie Wojie

After a historic 2020 season, the Holmdel High School girls’ soccer team is looking to maintain that excellence.

“We want to prove that we’re still one of the Shore Conference’s best,” Hornet Head Coach John Nacarlo said. “We want to repeat the success we had.”

That is saying a lot, considering the Holmdel girls put together the program’s first-ever undefeated season, 15-0, and were A Central Division champions. They ranked first in the Shore and top five in the state. Still, a repeat of that success is not out of the question.

“We do have a lot of experience and some newcomers who are going to step up for us,” Nacarlo said.

The Hornets lost some talent from last fall, but they also return some terrific players, led by co-captains Lexie Wojie (Sr. MF) and Katie Vassilakos (Sr. F) as well as Taylor Bielan (Jr. F).

“They work well together,” said Nacarlo, adding that Wojie is a field general. Everything runs through her from midfield. In Vassilakos and Bielan, Holmdel has one of the best one-twos in the Shore, if not the state. “We expect big things from them.” Vassilakos and Bielan combined for 59 points in 2020. Bielan had 13 goals and five assists while Vassilakos had eight goals and a team-leading 12 assists.

Among the newcomers stepping in to help out is promising freshman forward Lily Reardon.

Last year, Nacarlo used two goal contenders.

“It was the first time I split keepers,” he pointed out. “It worked. They pushed each other.”

The keepers, Hailey Sharpe and Katrina Walier, now seniors, are back, and Nacarlo is content to split time again. They only surrendered six goals and registered nine shutouts.

Adrianna Morales (Sr.) is Holmdel’s stopper on defense. Nacarlo noted that she is the team’s best “one-on-one” defender. This year, she’s moving from the outside to center back where she will be the focal point of what is an outstanding defense. Nicole Worobel (Sr.), Sydnie Nied (Sr.) and Izabella DeMatos  (Sr.) are all returners from the defense that pitched nine clean sheets. Holmdel has experience and talent in the back to keep teams off the scoreboard.

“We have a great back four,” said Nacarlo.

Mia Giamanco (Sr.) returns at midfield where she works well with Wojie.

Julianna Kolbasovsky (Sr.) played defensive midfielder last year. This season, she will be playing more of an attacking role from midfielder, and you can expect her ’20 stats (five goals, six assists) to increase.

Nacarlo expects his Hornets to be every bit as prolific offensively as they were last year. Holmdel’s success in 2020 was predicated on more than talent. What separated the Hornets from the field was their teamwork. Holmdel scored 64 goals, and 56 of them were assisted.

“It was nice to see the girls come together like they did,” said Nacarlo. A repeat of that teamwork and the Hornets will again be stinging opponents. “We’re very balanced from the back to attack.”