Barnegat Leader Fall Sports Previews

Girls Soccer, Field Hockey in Excellent Shape for Barnegat This Fall

By David Biggy | Sep 20, 2019
Photo by: David Biggy SCORING PUNCH: Jill Jankowski co-lead the Barnegat girls soccer offense last season with 11 goals, and the junior is a major player again in the offense this fall.

Barnegat — Last fall, the Barnegat High School girls soccer team struggled for victories, ending up with five for the season, despite the fact the Bengals had numerous seniors on the pitch in every contest.

However, the younger players, some who played and others who received some decent substitute minutes, benefited from the experience. That should bode well for coach Rick Blasi’s squad this season.

“We graduated eight senior starters and only have five upperclassmen this season,” Blasi said. “We have large, talented freshman and sophomore classes. If we have a few of these underclassmen step up in key spots and can compete on a varsity level, and our key returners produce like they did last year, we will be very competitive. It definitely is a rebuilding year, but the potential is there to have a solid season.”

“Solid” may be slightly understated, heading into the third week of the season. The Bengals already have won as many games this fall as they did last year.

Still, whether the young squad can maintain its consistency, both with scoring and defensive prowess, will remain a mystery until mid-October when the Shore Conference Tournament rolls around.

Nonetheless, Barnegat has enough talent to carry the load. It starts with the offense, which again is led by junior forward Jill Jankowski and sophomore midfielder Isabel Guiro, who delivered 11 goals each to go along with eight and four assists, respectively, a year ago. Senior midfielder Torre Stanish, junior forward/midfielder Erin Breyta, junior midfielder Ashley Pringle and sophomore midfielder Kelsea Jecas also will help make the offense go, while sophomore defender Adrianna Kappmeier is the lone returner for the backfield.

Speaking of the backfield, Blasi is relying on a very young crew to prevent goals. Among those who will see significant time on the defensive side of the field are freshmen Calli Dunn, Mya Gomez, Meghan Cheney and Maya McBee, in addition to freshman goalkeeper Angelica Laudati. Freshman midfielder Sofia Gianella also figures to get into the mix on offense.

The rest of the squad includes senior Alaina DeSanti; sophomores Victoria Farley, Alexis Sugden, Mikayla Dobbins, Brielle Schuber and Tiana Rauch; and freshmen Riley Bringoli, Delaney Dobbins, Emma Schaab, Brianna Matos, Cara McCoy, Priscilla Pires, Morgan Dobbins, Sofia Irizarry, Amanda Hise and Amaya Lorentz.

Barnegat’s torrid start continued on Sept 16, as the Bengals cruised past Long Branch, 6-1. Stanish delivered three goals and Jankowski contributed two goals and three assists to lead the way. Jecas scored the other goal, while Guiro and McCoy each gave out assists. Laudati made four saves in goal to help out. During a 4-0 win over Keyport on Sept. 13, the Bengals scored three times in the first half and never looked back. Jankowski scored twice and gave out two assists, while Breyta added a goal and assist, and Jecas scored once. Laudati made five saves to record the shutout.

A day earlier, Guiro buried the only goal of the contest during Barnegat’s 1-0 victory over Lacey, as Laudati managed 15 saves to preserve the goose egg. On Sept. 10, Jecas and Guiro each scored to give the Bengals a 2-0 win over Point Pleasant Borough, while Laudati came up with 20 saves. Barnegat started the season on Sept. 4 with a 2-1 victory over Mater Dei Prep.

The Bengals toughest game on the schedule is still ahead, with a Shore Conference Class B South tilt against Pinelands slated for Sept. 24 – a result which could decide the division title.

Field Hockey

Solid Again

One team within Barnegat High School not hurting for experience is coach Jaime DiStefano’s field hockey crew. Despite the loss of senior Maddy Santorelli to knee surgery, the Bengals are loaded with experienced and talented players and again should be in the hunt for the B South division crown.

“We expect to make an impact in B South,” DiStefano said. “Our team has a lot of chemistry, since they have been playing together since middle school and we have nine seniors. This team brings great energy and skills to the field.”

Indeed that is case. Not only should the Bengals score plenty of goals to win games, their defense is good enough to hold down most opposing offenses. The results likely will speak for themselves, as Barnegat aims to improve on their 10-9-1 season of a year ago.

Leading the charge will be a large group of seniors: forward/midfielder Shannon Schiverea, midfielder/defender Maddie Schleicher, midfielder Brooke West, midfielder/defender Faith Wolf, forward Mikenna Reiser, forward/midfielder Saira Desai and goaltender Patricia Tanola.

Senior forward/midfielder Heather Dwyer and senior defender Veronique Gleghorn also bolster the experienced roster, along with junior midfielder/defender Alexis Jackson and forward/midfielder Haleigh Dengler, as well as sophomore forward/midfielder Julianna Cannizzaro and sophomore forward Ava Kennedy. Also expected to make an impact are freshmen Camryn White and Patience Mares.

The rest of the squad includes juniors Alexis Osborn and Ashley Sojak; sophomores Madison Kubicz, Jessica Notaro and Nicole Schiverea; and freshmen Kacie Lucas, Chidinma Mbah, Summer Schmalz, Emily Sellers and Isabella Szukalski.

The Bengals started the season 4-1, posting victories over Mater Dei, Lacey, Donovan Catholic and Keyport. Their only loss through Sept. 16 came against Point Pleasant Borough.

In its latest win, Barnegat scored all 10 goals in the first half against Keyport, with Shannon Schiverea burying three and Dengler and Kennedy each adding a pair. Against Donovan on Sept. 13, West scored the only goal of a 1-0 victory on an assist from Schiverea.

West scored unassisted in overtime during the Bengals’ 1-0 win over Lacey on Sept. 9.

— David Biggy

Barnegat senior Maddie Schleicher. (Photo by: David Biggy)
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