The Lenape Valley Regional High School girls' soccer team's record is an impressive 12-2-1. As they prepare for state sectionals, the team is focused on teamwork.
The Patriots are coached by Justin Meeth, and this is his inaugural year at the helm. He has been the school's boys' lacrosse coach for the past four seasons and works at Lenape as an in-class support teacher in the special education program.
“Every program is unique in its own way, but something that makes us so unique this season is how many of the girls returned from last season,” he said. “Building a good culture for any sport requires success and committed athletes. We have both of those with this team."
Captain practices start in July while official practice begins in August.
"They keep the players from getting rusty and build team chemistry at an early stage.”
For bonding, the girls have pasta dinners and get togethers throughout the season.
“Our team as a whole has been strong,” he said. “Our defense stands on its head each day out with the great veteran leadership from senior sweeper Camryn Claesson. Our midfield is probably our strongest position on the field. With both Bridget Dudziec and Rebecca DaSilva (both seniors and captains) running the outside midfield position, we have found ourselves able to attack teams hard from the outside and create scoring opportunities for themselves and their teammates. The whole team feeds off the energy that both Rebecca and Bridget bring to the field.”
DaSilva is commited to play soccer next year at the University of Lynchburg.
“At Lenape, the girls soccer team has so much determination while playing and truly love the game,” she said.
DaSilva agreed that the team has a strong bond.
“On the field at practice we are always smiling and having a good time,” she said.
DaSilva said the team has its sights on becoming conference champions.
“We want to continue winning our games for the rest of the season,” she said. “Also this year we hope to have a good run in states.”
Dudziec is committed to play for Marist College next year where she wants to major in psychology and sports communication.
“This team has been so incredibly amazing,” she said. “The amount of talent and skill that we have on this team is like no other."
She agrees with DaSilva about the team's goals for the rest of the season.
“I’ve seen a lot of other teams fight with each other on the field,” Dudziec said. “That is not us. We will always have each other’s backs and support one another and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful this season.”
She said it would great be to take the division banner home for the first time in Lenape history.
"The last couple of years playing with Lenape the farthest we made it through states was the second round,” Dudziec said. "We are on track to win the conference and look to make a deep run in the state playoffs at the end of October.”