The J. Taylor Finley Middle School girls’ soccer team concerned itself less with winning than with generating interest in the sport and player development. By that measure, the fall season was a raging success.
Finley’s roster swelled this year. There were 42 players on the team, which was coached by Linda Costello-Roth and Ysrael Gonzalez. The seventh and eighth graders displayed various levels of ability, but all made strides along the way.
“We did exceptionally well considering we carried 41 athletes and got most of them into all games,” Costello-Roth said. “All of the girls improved on their game and skills. We also had many players who never played organized soccer before.”
The team included seventh graders Angie Amador Martinez, Kimberly Ardon Chaver, Lilebeth Banegas-Barahona, Kayleigh Bender, Tess Calabria, Jeiry Chavez Merlos, Veronica Cocoman, Lea DeVoe, Casey DiGioia, Emersen Evans, Rob-Myrna Geneus, Rebeca Guardado-Flores, Jacqueline Gutierrez, Yuliana Hernandez-Perla, Jada Joseph, Marley Joseph, Ellie Kaufman, Samantha Koepele, Sophie Lange, Jessica Maixner, Jannel Marroquin, Caroline McGreevy, Riley Murtagh, Emily Nunez-Ulloa, Reese Rinaldi and Maya Sakellarios and eighth graders Mackenzie Ahern, Sana Amin, Abagail Baade, Miranda Bellissimo, Hope Bilkey, Ava Brandine, Emely Cruz, Britany Delao-Romero, Ella Kamenstein, Renee McKean, Gabriella Miller, Margaret Morrisroe, Jillian Panos, Estefany Quijada-Mojica, Neha Rathore and Haleigh Smith.
There is a nucleus of skilled players that is expected to form a very strong group as it makes its way toward the high school varsity level.