2016 Fall Sports Preview: Girls Soccer


Peter Warren

photo by Peter Warrenscreen-shot-2016-09-16-at-2-45-52-pm

   After a very successful 2015 season, when the girls soccer team finished 20-2-1 and won their sixth straight county title, the Raiders are looking to perform even better in 2016.

   The team, which was ranked eighth in the NJ.com Top 20 Preseason Ranking, has high expectations for the upcoming season.  The team has won 57 games over the past three seasons and are again contenders for the county, sectional and state titles.

   “We always have the same expectations to win our conference, counties, hopefully get to the sectional finals and eventually the state finals,” senior Andrea Leitner said.

   The team is very experienced this year and is led by Leitner and seniors Sophie Brause, Alyssa DiFrancesco and Christina Rodgers.

   As four-year varsity players, the four girls are ready to lead their teammates and create a great team environment.

   “We want to be close and like a family,” Rodgers said.

   Brause, DiFrancesco, Leitner and Rodgers all have committed to a Division I college. Brause is going to James Madison University; DiFrancesco is committed to Wagner College; Leitner will play at SUNY Albany; and Rodgers is headed to Providence College.

   “I expect them to be leaders on the team and to show the underclassmen the commitment it takes to be successful,” head coach Kevin Ewing said.

   Brause and Rodgers were both named to the preseason All-American game watch list and will be key players in the midfield with DiFrancesco.

   On the goal-scoring end, juniors Erika Muskus and Kerri McNeely are the team’s two leading returning goal scorers, with 11 and ten goals respectively.

   Other key returners include senior Erin Hayes and juniors Taylor Diggs, Gina Farenholtz, Amanda Logie, Danielle Mrozek, Katie Mrozek and Ashley Vincent.

   “We have a lot of depth in various positions on the field,” Ewing said.

   Even with the experienced squad, Ewing knows that he cannot let the girls get ahead of themselves.

   “We want to be competitive in every game and get better with each and every match,” Ewing said.

   With an experienced group returning and expectations sky high, the girls soccer team is ready to meet their goals in 2016.

   “That is what Scotch Plains Fanwood girls soccer is about,” Ewing said. “Commitment to the team and hard work.”