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St. Francis Prep senior leads young soccer squad

TimesLedger Newspapers

Success isn’t supposed to come this early for a roster dependent on the play of a host of freshmen and sophomores. That’s why Aimée Kasmally couldn’t help but crack a smile of approval when asked about this year’s St. Francis Prep soccer squad.

“It’s a very young team and it’s crazy how much they have picked up in a matter of two weeks,” the senior sweeper said. “It’s amazing.”

Terriers girls’ soccer Coach John Jenkins still fancies his club a defense-first bunch with Kasmally, arguably the best player in the city at her position, and fellow senior Gina Baglieri in the back line along with sophomore goalie Samantha Cobotic. It’s something they will need to be up against the best clubs in top division CHSAA Nassau/Suffolk.

But unlike recent St. Francis Prep teams there isn’t a reliance on one or two players to score goals. They can come from anyone, at any moment and from any part of the field because of veteran-like chemistry they have developed on offense.

“We keep getting better, knowing where each other is going to be,” sophomore midfielder Angela Careddu said. “We are getting used to one another.”

St. Francis Prep has six different goal scorers — Careddu tallied twice — in a dominant 7-1 win over rival Archbishop Molloy last week. Lightning-quick senior Allison Ferraris, freshman Sabrina Blaskovic and sophomores Sophia DeLeon and Teresa Colletti outran defenders at the front of the attack. Junior Alyssa Argento and freshman Autumn Brown showed great poise at midfield feeding the wings.

“Now not only are we amazing defensively, we also have a strong attack,” Kasmally said. “It really evens it out.”

The balance is a key to the early success that hasn’t surprised Jenkins. He praised his seniors, especially Baglieri for her steadiness. Jenkins also believes the Terriers focusing on ball skills and working for two weeks with New York Fury strength and conditioning Coach Mike Dimakis in the preseason is a big reason for their start. SFP is 3-0-2 as of this week, including a scoreless tie with league power Kellenberg.

“I think the difference with this group is they were nurtured last year,” Jenkins said. “A lot of the kids who were on the team last year and didn’t do much suddenly came into their own.”

Even so, the squad’s youth means they will only get better and further the growth they already have to shown, especially as the competition stiffens.

“Each game we get better and better,” Kasmally said. “It’s just amazing to watch.”

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