Mount Soccer Over Newark Academy
MSDA advances to the Semi-Finals of the ECT
BY: Gianna Mangili
Mount Saint Dominic beats No. 17 in the state
On October 6, 2021, Mount soccer played Newark Academy in their first round of the Essex County Tournament. Seeded at 13th, Mount received a bye, or pass, for last week’s game and spent the week preparing for the awaited face-off against Newark Academy, the 4th seed. Head Varsity Coach Angelo DelVecchio, otherwise known as Coach D, told his players all week, “You never know what could happen. The higher seed does not always win.”
Mount Soccer proved just that.
Earlier this year, Mount Saint Dominic took on Newark Academy in a conference game and fell 3-0. Since that game, Newark Academy continued to dominate the conference and was undefeated up until yesterday’s game. MSDA was the first team this year to break the Minuetemens’ winning streak.
Before the game began, Coach D gave a pep talk unlike any in the past. He shared his idea on how the team could play the game based on three numbers, 10-20-10. These three numbers were the order in which the players were instructed to play the game mentally. Being that one-half of a high school soccer game is forty minutes, breaking it up into three parts, giving the players something to focus on in each of those intervals.
In the first 10 minutes, the girls were instructed to come out hard and energetic and win as many 50/50 balls as possible. The incentive there was to take Newark Academy by surprise and show them to not take Mount St. Dominic lightly. As for the 20, the incentive was to connect passes by sending diagonal balls to the outside midfielders. The last 10 was to dig deep and finish the half strongly. “It [10-20-10] definitely motivated us to keep pushing through, especially toward the end, that final stretch,” says Captain Maria Holeves ‘23. 10-20-10 quickly became the motto of the game.
1-0 Newark Academy at Halftime
Ava Cole for Newark Academy netted a goal for the Minutemen before the first half was over making the score at halftime 1-0 Newark Academy. For the halftime speech, Coach D reminded the girls of the same mentality of 10-20-10. He went on to tell the team what they were doing well and what they needed to change going into the second half. “We have nothing to lose, so just play hard!” Coach D told the girls before they ran back on the field.
The second half was a turning point for the Mount soccer team. Only being down by a goal, and after hearing an uplifting halftime speech, the Mount was determined to put a number up on the scoreboard. Early on in the second half, Captain Maria Holeves did exactly that by scoring the first goal for Mount Saint Dominic. “Especially because we were down 1-0… it was an amazing feeling. I had all my teammates huddle around me after it happened.” Holeves said.
Shortly after, Captain Gianna Mangili scored the second goal breaking the 1-1 tie to 2-1 Mount. The energy on the field was indescribable! Every single player was smiling and cheering and had all the parents on their feet clapping and whistling along. Ten minutes into the second half, Mount had already netted two goals.
Not only was the energy on the field, but the bench was extremely enthusiastic as well. “The bench was really rowdy,” says team manager, Brianna Monroy. They were cheering loudly for their teammates encouraging them to keep playing hard and to push through the rest of the half.
For the remainder of the half, the Mount continued to create scoring opportunities offensively and keep the ball in Newark Academy’s half. Mount Saint Dominic’s defense remained strong and worked hard to keep the ball away from their goalkeeper, Christina Piparo.
When the final whistle was blown and the clock read 0:00, Mount Saint Dominic excitedly rushed the field and formed a huddle in the middle of the turf. Together, they celebrated their win advancing to the Quarterfinal round of counties.
Pictured Above: Mount Saint Dominic Academy celebrating on the field once the game ended
Pictured above: official Box Score of the game
This win demonstrated immense growth after losing to Newark Academy almost a month ago. Junior Saheli Davitt ‘23 says, “Not only myself, but the team, we worked so much better together than we ever have this whole season… We are also communicating and growing as a team which is really good to see. ”
Pictured Above: Left to Right (Left Mary Hladik, Gianna Mangili, Maria Holeves, Amanda Galasso)
Not only was this win important to proceed to the next round, but more importantly, Mount Soccer proved to themselves and the county they are a team not to be taken lightly and capable of accomplishing great things.