By Joyce Erekson
The St. Mary’s girls soccer team had to reshuffle the deck this fall after graduating eight players and losing it’s top four scorers to a combination of graduation, injuries and a transfer.
Coach Jim Foley admitted that heading into the season he really wasn’t sure where his offense was going to come, but judging from the first few games, it has arrived.
Sophomore Codi Butt, who took home tournament Most Valuable Player honors, scored two goals, bringing her three-game total to nine. Freshman Kayla Demers contributed a goal and an assist to lead the Spartans to a 5-1 win over English in the Lynn City Soccer Tournament championship game held Saturday at Manning Field. This was the 11th year for the tournament and the ninth time St. Mary’s has brought home the trophy.
The Spartans took a while to heat up, but once Demers scored the ice breaker with 27:43 remaining in the half, there was little English could do to hold back the tide. The Spartans scored five goals in just under 28 minutes to take an insurmountable 5-0 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.
English got one back in the second half on a Rachel Calnan goal with 16:13 left in the game.
Athough Foley couldn’t be happier about opening the season with three wins, what really makes him smile these days is the fact he’s getting the bulk of his offense from a freshman (Demers) and a sophomore, Butts. Butts, who missed a good chunk of last year with a broken ankle, scored nine goals in the team’s first three games.
“She (Butts) worked hard in the off-season,” Foley said. “She’s a great athlete and her confidence has grown since she realized she can put the ball in the back of the net.
The pack of young guns also includes sophomore Jill Gentile (who assisted on Demers’ goal), freshman midfielder Gaby Diaz-Martinez and freshman sweeper Morgan Mackey. Sophomores Sherly Feliz (she scored the third goal with Demers getting the assist) and Joslyn Deschenes (she scored the fourth goal unassisted) have also had a major impact as have a number of other young players like freshman midfielder Gaby Diaz-Martinez and sophomore midfielder Jenna Foley, just to name a few. Foley has 12 freshmen/sophomores on the team and a solid group of returning players whose experience complements the up and coming talent.
“The future looks bright,” Foley said.
Last year the Spartans made it to the Division 4 state semifinals before losing to East Bridgewater. Among the key players lost to graduation were Taylor Capozzi and Kaylin Deschenes, both major scoring threats, and Marnelle Garraud, who transferred to Nobel and Greenough. Mia Nikolakopoulos , a junior midfielder and a captain along with Casey Fraher and goalie Emily Stephenson, is out with a torn ACL.
The Classical girls and boys teams defeated Lynn Tech in the consolation games.