Jackson scores two as Huskies edge Smithfield 3-2
Sophomore striker Thea Jackson scored 2 goals as the Mt. Hope girls soccer team edged Smithfield 3-2 in a Division I game on Thursday night. …
Jackson scores two as Huskies edge Smithfield 3-2
Sophomore striker Thea Jackson scored 2 goals as the Mt. Hope girls soccer team edged Smithfield 3-2 in a Division I game on Thursday night. Senior midfielder Caitlyn Terceiro also scored, junior goalkeeper Emily Moran made 7 saves and freshman Sara Nencka tallied an assist for the Huskies who beat Portsmouth 4-0 in their first game of the season and suffered their first loss to Chariho 3-2, on Friday night.
“After the first few weeks, it is clear that the teams in our division are all very talented and balanced,” said head coach Kerri Giarrusso. “We feel that we are right in the mix and are only growing to see our full potential.”
Mix of talented veterans and new freshmen
The Huskies sport a mix of talented veterans with a bunch of new freshmen, who went undefeated and won the middle school championship last season. Freshmen Emma Goglia, Elise Lanoie, Sarah Nencka, Kendra Ascoli are all varsity starters with Aubrey Cummings getting a lot of playing time off the bench, said Coach Giarrusso.
Veteran starters are senior captains, Terceiro and Hannah Rezendes, who provide strong leadership for the younger players on and off the field. Senior Kailey Ascoli, juniors, Lilliana Redman and Emily Moran and sophomores, Jackson and Madison Butterworth all are back in the fold.
Jackson and Terceiro currently lead the Huskies in scoring. The skilled and speedy Jackson has scored 4 goals in the three games. Terceiro, a talented central midfielder, scored 3 goals. Rezendes, the Huskies right midfielder, has also turned heads this season with her scrappy, hard nosed play.
Moran, the Huskies goalkeeper, made 11 saves in the 3-2 loss to Chariho. She now has 22 saves for the season. She established herself as the keeper last season and is looking more polished and playing with confidence.
Seniors Jazelle Nunes, Lydia Fernandes and Claire DeBlois also come off the bench with sophomore Miley Boucher.
Coach Giarrusso brought the team to the Providence College women’s soccer game for a team building experience last Saturday. “The girls had a blast,” she said.
Huskies continue growing pains, lose three in a row
The youthful Mt. Hope soccer team continued to experience growing pains as they followed up last year’s winless season with loses to South Kingstown, Barrington and Tolman to start their Division I season 0-3.
“We’ve definitely have some growing pains,” said goalkeeper Evan Garies who made 12 saves during their loss to Barrington on Thursday night. “But we are just going to have to grow as a team. That’s all we can do.”
The 6’ 2” sinewy sophomore is becoming a blue chip for the Huskies. He made several highlight reel variety stops with his quickness, strength, leaping ability and brazenness. Garies made saves of a Barrington direct kick, a penalty kick, a corner kick and several shots from less than ten feet out.
“He’s a very good goalkeeper and an even better human being,” said head coach Gavin Ward. “I love his attitude. I love his personality. I hope that he gets everything he deserves.”
Garies began playing goalkeeper in youth league at age 9, and has stuck with it ever since.
“I love playing goal,” he said and added when asked about his fearlessness, “I just go out there with my head cut off and try to save every ball I can.”
“If it wasn’t for him, the score would have been a lot different,” said co-captain Talan Aguiar, the team’s center back. “He’s saved plenty of shots, plenty of other times and I’m very grateful that we have him.”
The Huskies are working hard and trying to grow as a team for second year coach Gavin Ward, new assistant Henry Fernandez, and captains Aguiar, Jesse Wilson and Maddox Canario.
“We are going to stick to our plan, play as a team and stick together,” said Canario a skilled junior midfielder. “That was the biggest thing coming into this season. We knew we were a young team. We went though some adversity last year. This season we have a lot of new players and we are just trying to bring that message that we can compete, we can play, we can work hard and be hard to play against.”
The Huskies have just three seniors, Wilson, Aguiar and Liam Reich and two juniors, Canario and Miguel Ferraz. The rest of the team is made up of 9 sophomores and 3 freshmen, which begs the question, what is the interscholastic league thinking, keeping this team up in Division I.
The team was moved up in 2021, after making a playoff run under then coach, Alex Couto, that stalled in the Division II semifinals. The Huskies lost 11 seniors to graduation that year. Coach Couto left the program and the only players left from that team are Wilson, Canario and Aguiar.
The Huskies have been struggling ever since. To their credit they are making the best of it and refuse to give up.
“We came in with a positive attitude,” said Wilson. “We put in a lot of work this summer. We are working hard and we’ll be focused on that.”