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High School Soccer:
Vineland Girls Complete Successful Season

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

By Jerry Amari
SJSports Special Correspondent

The Vineland High School Girls Soccer Team, coached by Joe Ardito, recently completed the Fall 2001 season. The Fighting Clan's record of 14 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie, is one of the best records ever for the Vineland girls soccer program. The girls' season ended at Brick Memorial with a 3-1 loss. The loss was in the second round of the NJ Group IV Regional tournament.

Vineland had quality wins over Cherokee (2-1, 1-0), Eastern (3-0), Absegami (3-1), and Delsea (3-0). A 0-0 tie against highly ranked Ocean City, and a late season loss to Absegami (0-2), kept Vineland from winning the American Division of the Cape-Atlantic League. The girls played well in 1-0 loss at top rated Shawnee late in the season. Vineland held high powered Lenape High School to one goal in each half in a South Jersey Coaches Tournament quarterfinal match.

Vineland held a 1-0 lead over Brick Memorial with 24 seconds to play in the half. A Mustang direct kick was awarded 30 yards from the goal, due to a Vineland foul. The kick clanged off the crossbar and Brick Memorial was able to knock home the rebound to tie the game with 12 seconds to go. Brick took a 2-1 lead with 28 minutes left in the game. Vineland's Becky Tobolski appeared to tie the game just four minutes later. Unfortunately, a questionable hand ball call against a Vineland player negated the goal. Although Brick Memorial scored an insurance goal late in the game, Vineland never quit.

This year's team was anchored by its outstanding goalkeeper, (Jr) Jill Loyden. Jill had 13 shutouts and made several incredible saves during the season. Her particularly athletic save against Ocean City preserved the 0-0 tie. Forward (Fresh) Kristina Brenner led all VHS scorers with 16 goals. Brenner started hot with seven goals in her first seven Varsity matches. After a short slump, she bounced back with important goals against Millville, Eastern, Cherokee and Brick Memorial. Sophomore forwards, Erin Leech and Courtney Cavagnaro had 10 and 9 goals respectively. Leech had several game winning goals. Cavagnaro has good outside speed, and helped make the Vineland frontline hard to handle.

Midfielders (Sr.) Katie Amari, (Fresh) Nina Montero, (Jr) Cara Bergamo played evenly for Vineland. Center midfielder Cara Bergamo slick ball handling skills helped control the ball in most games for Vineland. Bergamo was able to feed the Vineland forwards with through balls for plenty of great scoring opportunities. Bergamo and Amari led the team in assists on goals scored. Bergamo, Amari and Montero made offensive "halfback" runs that converted into 10 goals for the Fighting Clan. These three girls had the stamina to play most games with little or no substitutions.

Although Vineland had alot of skilled offensive players, its defense was its strong point this year. Stopper (Jr) Erin Freeman was a pleasant surprise for the Clan. Freeman's soccer instincts stopped most offensive units that played Vineland. Fullbacks (Sr) Betsy Tobolski and (Soph) Julia Pustizzi were excellent on defense for Vineland. Tobolski often times marked our opponents leading scorer. Pustizzi played most of the season with reoccurring knee problems. (Sr) Becky Tobolski was the glue that kept the Vineland defense together. She is the Senior Captain the squad. Becky was a rock at sweeper. She never quit, and kept the girls focused and challenged to meet their individual goals.

Key substitutes for Vineland were (Soph) Cindi Tobolski, (Sr) Meagan McQueeney, (Sr) Lindsey Edelstein, and (Jr) Ali Tobolski. Cindi (Betsey's younger sister) could be counted on to be the first substitution in most games for Coach Ardito. Tobolski subbed at midfield and fullback for Vineland. She started several games on defense, while Julia Pustizzi was injured.

Megan McQueeney and Ali Tobolski played quality minutes for Vineland. They both filled in at center midfield while Cara Bergamo was out with a mild concussion. Edelstein's speed made her the perfect sub for the front line of the Clan. Her most important goal of the season, came in the SJ Coaches Tournament victory over Eastern. Coach Ardito subbed (Jr) Jana Marchesano, (Soph) Kim Toscani, (Soph) Katie Marcacci, and (Fresh)Jamie Bradford in spot duty to help prepare for next season.

The parents and coaches congratulate the Vineland High Girls Soccer Team of 2001 on their fine season. We wish all of the seniors well in their endeavors, and we wish next year's team continued success.

Photos by Jerry Amari

©2001 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.