Girls soccer team looks to peak in postseason
When Parkland girls soccer head coach Al Haddad looks up and down his 2019 roster, he can smile knowing the talent and experience he will have back for the defending District 11 Class 4A champions.
Eight players from last year’s squad graduated, including four that are on college teams this fall. But the Trojans still boast talent at just about every position on the field.
“We have a depth of talent with plenty of big game experience from last year,” said Haddad, in his 14th season running the program. “Although we have been carrying large squads over the years, the ability to get them meaningful minutes has helped them prepare for the season ahead.”
Preseason All-American senior Ava Schaller, juniors Zoe Schutter, Alex Marstellar and Jocelyn Fowler, senior goalie Zia Reed and junior Maeve Leonzi will be key returning starters. Those players all had a hand in the success of the last couple of years.
Some newcomers to varsity playing time that Haddad hopes to fill some holes from departing seniors include sophomores Demi Olatilo and Marissa Olenwine, senior Emily Leiby, juniors Emma Schock and Zuzu Mohamed, senior Adriana Aubele, and juniors Maddy Amadio and Teresa Gonzalez.
“Like every year, this is still a new squad that needs to find its chemistry and stride,” Haddad said. “New leaders are expected to step up and the pace in which that happens will dictate how things go early on.”
Looking forward to another year, Haddad and his players enter this season with the same lofty goals and expectations as years past.
“Like every year, we want to peak in late October, being healthy and playing our best soccer,” said Haddad. “Doing that will put us in a position to challenge for league and district crowns.
“Our team goals never change from one year to the next. We will put forth our best effort in the classroom, work within the community and do our best to play an attractive form of soccer that has become our standard expectation.”
Parkland begins its 2019 campaign on the road at Central Catholic on Saturday, Aug. 31, in the season-opener. It will then have games at home against rival Emmaus and Northampton the following week.