The fall athletic season opens this week and all seven programs at Haddonfield Memorial High School enter the season as the reigning Colonial Conference champions. Expectations are high, as they always are for the Bulldawgs, with not only conference success, but deep playoff runs the goal.
Before the action gets going this week, lets take a brief look at the teams that will be in action over the next few months.
Editor’s note: The Haddonfield football preview is still to come.
The graduation of leading scorer Katie Johnston and goalie Kellie Riley left major holes for the Bulldawgs to fill this fall, but the program is used to not only filling in gaps, but doing so without missing a beat. The team will be anchored by senior sweeper Olivia Blaber, who is coming off of a First-Team All-Conference season. Defenders Gretchenn Kiep, Bridget Yako and Carly Bonnet also return to form one of the most experienced and talented back lines in South Jersey.
Keeping possession in the midfield has always been a trademark of the program and juniors Lauren Roberts and Grace Baccare will be tasked with keeping that tradition alive as will junior Kylie Kirk, who established herself as one of the top underclassmen in South Jersey during her sophomore season.
Up front, senior Emily Carson will look to pick up some of the scoring that left when Johnston graduated, while freshman Taylor Sehdev will provide the last line of defense as the team’s goaltender.
Head coach Glenn Gess believes Haddon Heights will be a real challenger
in the Colonial, but Haddonfield once again enters as the team to beat.
Haddonfield made it all the way to the Group 2 semifinals last season, losing a 2-1 decision to Holmdel to finish 19-4-1. The Bulldawgs once again figure to be the class of the Colonial, with Haddon Heights their biggest challenger. Alex Johnson, who is a threat to score every time he comes in possession with the ball returns as the team’s top scorer.
The team will once again be built on the foundation of a suffocating defense. The Bulldawgs recorded seven shutouts last season and only allowed more than two goals once. The team will need to replace graduated goalie Vincent DelDuca, but return several players in the defense and midfield.
Haddonfield enters the season with a wealth of experience, returning five starters from the 2011 team, which went 28-1, winning he Colonial Conference, South Jersey Group 2, and New Jersey Group 2 titles.
The returning starters are led by No. 1 singles player Taylor Ng, who enters her senior season with a career record of 110-11. Last year, she became the first player in Haddonfield history to win the state singles championship, and was named the South Jersey Tennis Coaches Association’s High School Player of the Year.
Junior Amanda Lanciano returns to the No. 2 singles position after a 33-6 record last year, and junior Erica Pascocell, fresh off a 36-4 season. Pascocell played third singles last season, but is slated to play doubles this season. Junior Victoria Martinez (43-1 last season), who won the state doubles tournament last season with partner Catherine Senopoulos, is moving to third singles. Sophomore Rosalind Senopoulos also returns, giving the Bulldawgs five returning starters made the SJTCA’s All-South Jersey first team.
Seniors Sylvia Strauss and Jillian Magenta, sophomore Raegan Sehdev and freshman Chelsea Brown will also be competing for time on a varsity team that is heavily favored to repeat in the conference and in Group 2.
The Bulldawgs had another remarkable season in 2011, advancing to the state semifinals before falling to Camden Catholic. The team went 22-2, winning a South Jersey title along the way.
The team should still be a serious contender in Group 2 this season, but will have to find replacements for some big-time producers. The team graduated one of the best goalies in program history in Maura Trotman, whose standout career was topped off with 14 shutouts last season. The team will also miss the scoring of Carolynn Clark, who is now at Villanova and the standout midfield play of Megan Johnsson. Both players were four-year starters.
Senior Maddie Betley and juniors Tenaya Clark and Ali Lamania should see an increased role as the Bulldawgs look to earn their 19th Colonial Conference title. West Deptford figures to be one of their chief competitors once again. Last season, Haddonfield went 3-0 against the Eagles, winning the South Jersey championship tilt 1-0.
The Bulldawgs should once again be a force in the conference as Shelby Cain returns as the team’s top runner. Cain was a top-10 finisher at the Group 2 Championships in 2011, completing the race in 18:41. Senior Megan Malloy is also back, giving Haddonfield the area’s best 1-2 punch. Malloy placed seventh at the Sectional championships, with a time of 19:12. Also factoring into the team’s success will be sophomore Lauren DeCoursey who should slot in as the teams third runner. Junior Molly Bulinger and senior Sophie Matin are also runners to keep an eye on.
Haddon Township and West Deptford figure to be the Bulldawgs best
competition, but with two of the areas top runners leading, look for Haddonfield to bring home another conference title.
Led by senior Greg Halla and juniors Patrick Shea and Alex Gigliotti, the Haddonfield boys’ cross-country team is once again loaded up for a big season.
Halla placed sixth at last year’s Sectional Championships, with Gigliotti and Shea placing 10th and 12th, respectively. Halla is listed as one of NJ.com’s Runners to Watch in 2012.
Also back are senior Robert Speath and Junior John Greenberg, who helped the Bulldawgs advance to the Championships.
Haddonfield will miss the consistent running of Miles Devine, who often went stride for stride with Halla, but has plenty of talented runners ready to step in and help the team once again be a contender in Group 2.