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Aug 30, 2022

Saint John Vianney Girls’ Soccer Will Showcase Up and Coming Players

By Les Pierce

Sophomore defender Milani Thompson (left)

Last year, the Saint John Vianney girls’ soccer team posted a 14-3-2 record, captured the Shore Conference B-North Division championship, advanced to the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A final and finished the season ranked in the top 20 statewide by NJ.com. However, 13 members of that squad graduated last spring. It seems there will be a gaping hole in this fall’s roster. Still, third-year Head Coach Heather Bailey appears confident that the team can recover from the mass exodus.  

“We graduated a talented and hardworking senior class, for sure,” Bailey said. “However, we have quality programs across all levels, and I do believe we will be able to still compete at a high level with new additions to our varsity team.”

Expected to lead the offense in 2022 are Leah Notaro (Sr. F/M), Cate O’ Grady (Sr. F/M), Madison Pieloch (So. F/M), Oliva Baczor (Jr. F/M), Bella Merrfield (Jr. M/D) and Hayley Jaegar (Jr. M). Pieloch put up three goals and three assists as a freshman last season.  

The Lancers posted 11 shutouts in 2021. This season the defense will be sparked by key players Kamyrn Javier (Jr. D), Milani Thompson (So. D), Hailey Brennan (Jr. M/D), Lindsay Chapman (Jr. M/D) and Meghan Dorr (Jr. D).  

The Shore Conference B-North division is loaded with tough teams including Colts Neck, Manasquan and Ocean Township.  SJV’s out-of-division schedule includes the likes of Middletown South, Wall, Pingry, Toms River North, Toms River East, Jackson Liberty, and Jackson Memorial.

“Our goal as SJV soccer program is to compete hard, play together and play smart,” Coach Bailey said. “We have new pieces this season, but I believe we have the potential for a successful season, as long as we continue to work hard and get better as a team every day. This season, we will be competitive, and as a program, we intend to compete hard in every game that we play.”

Named as captains for the 2022 Lancers are Leah Notaro, Cate O’Grady and Lauren Hewski.