Baldwin girls soccer takes first steps on path to winning program

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Friday, October 25, 2019 | 5:18 PM


The month of October wasn’t kind to the Baldwin girls soccer team.

The Highlanders wrapped up September with a 3-6-1 record but didn’t win a game down the season’s home stretch, finishing 3-12-1 overall and 3-11 in Section 2-AAAA.

“If you look at the wins and losses, you could be deceived,” said Tom Dongilli, the team’s first-yead coach. “In coming to Baldwin, I wanted to create a system, an infrastructure for growth and development. That is going to take some time.

“The encouraging part to this season was some of the statistics I was looking for — more goals scored than last year, more wins than last year and to be competitive every time we stepped on the field. I think we accomplished these and then some. I had some players really step up as leaders and improve their skill level drastically.”

The Highlanders were 2-3-1 in the season’s early stage but stumbled against section competition as the year wore on. The Baldwin girls accounted for 27 goals this season.

“We had 19 different players score goals, a big step in the right direction,” said Dongilli, a Whitehall resident. “With the first season under our belts, we should be able to grow now as a program.”

The majority of goal scorers for the Highlanders will be back in 2020, offering hope for the future.

The list is led by the junior class. Almost half of the team’s 19 goal-scorers were juniors, consisting of Tori Dicesare, Robyn Sopata, Kelly Maloney, Morgan Bell, Adriana Marina, Addie Carr, Roshna Bhattarai, Ashley Kubiak and Kaitlyn Pollard.

Others who scored at least once were sophomores Mia Dicesare, Megan Leary and Morgan Woods, along with freshmen Cadence Morton, Olivia Seiler and Taylor Bommer.

Four seniors, Riley Nolan, Elizabeth Knight, Veronica Briones and Darryn Sleeman, rounded out the team’s goal scorers in 2019. Knight was the starting goalkeeper.

There were five seniors, 12 juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen in the Baldwin program this season.

Junior defenders Makenzie Aul, Elena Zandier and Bell, and senior forward Maddison Beardsley, served as captains.

Carr and sophomore Isabel Swanson also were key members of the defensive corps.

Girls who will have three or four years of varsity experience next season include Sopata (F), Tori Dicesare (MF), Marina (MF), Bell, Auel and Carr.

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