North Pocono girls enjoyed a solid campaign on the local pitch
Defending their Division I title was a top priority for the Lady Trojans as they embarked embarked upon the 2017 Lackawanna League season back in August.
“We had won the division last year and made repeating that the team goal this season,” said senior captain Lacey Rinaldi.
“We were glad we were able to do that. It’s a nice way for the seniors to go out.”
Hot & Cold
The Lady Trojans went 5-1-0 in divisional play, notching a 3-2 win against Honesdale at the start of the season.
A 4-0 win versus Scranton and an 8-0 trouncing of West Scranton came on the heels of back-to-back losses to Paupack and Scranton Prep in non-divisional contests.
They notched their only cross-league victory at Valley View by a 3-2 margin but then suffered losses to Delaware Valley and Abington Heights, also in non-divisional play.
The local lasses closed out the regular season with a trio of divisional matches: beating Scranton 7-0; falling to Honesdale 3-2; and ending with a 6-0 win at West.
Winning the division gave them a three-seed and a first round bye in the District Two AAA playoffs.
Sadly, for North Pocono, they were upset by sixth seeded Wyoming Valley West, 8-0, in the district quarterfinals.
“It certainly wasn’t the way we wanted to end the season,” admitted Head Coach Alisa Rickard.
“We struggled this season. We were happy that we were able to repeat winning the division, but we went 7-11 overall. We had the first-round bye in the playoffs but against Wyoming Valley West we just had a bad day.
“There’s a lot of talented players on our team but nothing seemed to be working and nothing was going our way.”
A grand total of eight ladies are departing the varsity squad this year.
Of which, five were solid starters, but all contributed with leadership both on and off the pitch. Many of them have been playing together since youth soccer and came up through the middle school program as teammates.
For the past four seasons they’ve all struggled and succeeded together.
“This group of seniors will leave a lot of gaps,” said Rickard. “The core group of our team will be replaced next year.
“The underclassmen have a lot of big shoes to fill, but that leaves a lot of opportunities for other players to step up.
North Pocono placed seven players on the Lackawanna League Division I All-Star team this year.
Filling the spots for the strikers were Mason McGurrin and Rinaldi, who also was named as the division MVP and appointed to the All-State team.
Midfielders were Alex Guse, who was divisional MVP runner-up, and Jenna Schmidt. On defense was Emily Leggiero and Alana Wright as well as keeper Amber Goffredo.
Down the Road
Next autumn is a long way away and Rickard sees changes coming in a number of ways.
A possible divisional realignment could put North Pocono is contention with new schools or even out of the division all together.
Coach Rickard is optimistic about many players such as sophomore Jenna Montana and junior Susan Nitch as key midfielders, McGurrin taking on more offense, and Goffredo further progressing in the goal.
She also also understands that the team will be likely going through a rebuilding phase.