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Northampton girls soccer team finding success Northampton girls soccer team finding success

Northampton girls soccer team finding success

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by Scott Pagel spagel@tnonline.com in Sports

The Northampton girls soccer team continues to play well this season, and is even starting to get recognized throughout the Lehigh Valley in various top-10 rankings as the squad sites at 6-3-1. That’s something that hasn’t happened in quite some time, according to head coach Chaz Saul.

Recently against the Freedom Patriots, Abigail Czarnecki factored in all three Northampton goals in a 3-0 victory. She scored twice and assisted on Alexandra Benedict’s goal. Benedict also picked up an assist in the game as did Autumn VanHorn.

The girls fell to Emmaus in a continued game. The team trailed 1-0 when the game was halted and the Hornets would tack on another goal to win 2-0. But, the girls would bounce back on the road at Pocono Mountain West, recently, where they won 2-0. Isabella Nota and Benedict would score in this game as Miranda Heffelfinger added an assist.

“It has been an interesting start to the season,” Saul said. “There had to be a lot of buying in to the changes this year and the players have responded pretty well.”

Saul commented before the season that it took a little longer to get his plan in place, but the team found some success in his first season in 2016. That success seemed to translate right into 2017. Also, because of last year’s success, the girls didn’t want to limit their goals coming into this year.

“Since the team had such an improvement from a competitive standpoint last year, there wasn’t really a goal-setting agenda so to speak,” Saul said, “but you could certainly tell that they felt like they could accomplish so much more. They prepped and spent some extra time in the offseason which has paid huge dividends for them now.”

So far this season it’s been a total team effort. But that actually started behind the scenes, and the results of changes has set the stage for what everyone hopes is a run in 2017.

“There have been so many players providing contributions to the beginning of the season, but the emergence of players who accepted new roles and have played in new positions which they have never played in all of the years of playing soccer has to be one of the highlights,” Saul said. “It is never easy to change but their willingness to try another spot has had such a positive impact - it solidified our defense and allowed other players to help move our offense forward.”