On Wednesday afternoon during a game against Manchester, St. Joseph’s Elese Serio received the soccer ball 30 yards away from the goal and did not hesitate. With a powerful kick, the ball soared straight to the corner of the goalpost and was in the back of the net before the goalie knew what happened.
Serio, a freshman, raised her arms in triumph. It was the first goal she had scored in her high school career.
“That was amazing. It was something I knew I could do,” Serio said. “It feels great to score my first goal.”
Serio’s score has been just one of many benchmark moments the St. Joe girls soccer team has reached this season. Comprised of seven freshmen, this year’s Irish have the potential to be quite the force in future seasons.
“That goal for Elese was a big thing,” said St. Joe coach Jana’ Slay. “We are having lots of positive things happen like that. Two games ago Sophia Jones also made her first goal, and then she made her second one in the next game. Every day they are building. They are building that personal pride. If they keep doing this, they are going to be superstars.
Along with Serio and Jones, the other St. Joseph freshmen on this year’s roster are Abigail Duthu, Madolyn McGaugh, Julia Claire Martar, Anna Claire Donham and Mary Patton Myer.
These freshman are learning how to win thanks to both the help of their coaches (including assistants Robby Greco, Kristen Swatford and Craig Mandolini) and the leadership of the Irish upperclassmen. Junior Caroline Meyer, for instance, is the sweeper and a team leader who helps to lead the freshman by her encouraging her younger teammates.
“It is not just me because everyone on the team is just so encouraging. We are a fun team, and we have great coaches,” Meyer said. “I am looking forward to seeing how much we can grow in the future.”
Along with Caroline Meyer, the younger Fighting Irish are also receiving plenty of leadership from the three seniors on this year’s team in Cha’Koreia Holmes, Gracie McGaugh and Jasmine Ross.
“These seniors are our dedicated captains, and they are going above and beyond what is asked of them,” Coach Slay said.