Girls putting together a good season
It was deuces wild for a pair of Kids as Northampton netted eight goals in last week’s girls soccer win over Stroudsburg.
Striking for those two goals were Alex Benedict and Becky Galicki. Head coach Michael Missmer said that both players stepped out of their usual roles to tally their first goals of the year, sparking the victory.
Benedict’s role has been primarily assisting other players on goals this season. Missmer said that Benedict is prone to going wide and looking for passing lanes to set up her teammates. In Friday’s match, the junior was able to cut inside and get a good look at the goal, turning those opportunities into successful strikes.
“It worked out really well,” said Missmer.
Galicki’s role is a “holding midfielder” in Missmer’s system. She plays behind the other two midfielders, making sure she can support the defenders during an offensive attack.
“She does a great job with that,” Missmer said.
Against the Mounties, Galicki joined the offensive attack and got some open looks when teammates played the ball back to her. Missmer said that Galicki was able to score on those chances, demonstrating her versatility.
The game wasn’t quite two minutes when Isabella Nota found the back of the net to begin the onslaught.
However, it was the Mounties who had the first opportunity to get on the board, earning a corner kick within the first half-minute of play. The Kids thwarted that opportunity and immediately created their own scoring chance with Nota delivering, one of six players to score in the game.
In addition to Benedict, Galicki and Nota putting a ball between the posts, Raine Korpics, Madison Eisenhart and Miranda Heffelfinger also scored goals for the Kids who are now 5-2-1 on the season.
Missmer was pleased with the production from a wide range of players this season.
“It’s nice that we’re getting everybody to score,” said Missmer.
Missmer has been able to take a team that finished 7-11 last season, and 1-9 in the Skyline Division of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, and shape them into a conference championship contender. They currently rank third in the power rankings among the District XI 4A schools, having lost to only Emmaus and Parkland, the two teams sitting above them in the rankings. Moreover, those losses were each by a goal, serving notice that the Kids are in the same ballpark as their EPC counterparts.
He said he saw their ability from an opposing sideline last year and saw the inherent talent, but was baffled by their subpar record.
When he took over the reins this season, he immediately sought to change their outlook and that began at the Lehigh University Summer Soccer Camp were they emerged as champs.
That was made possible by Missmer instilling what had been previously untapped, and it’s carried over to the season. He knew it was there; they just had to find it.
“I’m able to get them to see things in themselves and get them to believe,” said Missmer. “And that’s when the magic happens.”
That summer success and subsequent fall fortunes have positioned them as one of the strongest teams in the league.
“I think we’re right at the top, we’re right at the top with everybody,” Missmer said.
As for the remainder of the season, Missmer believes the team’s in a great spot. He said that their focus is to make the district tournament, a fate that will be sealed with four more wins.
Still, he understands that they must play Skyline opponents one more time in arguably one of the toughest divisions in the state, let alone the EPC.
He also expects them to stay competitive no matter what the schedule throws at them. Every game matters.
“If we put our cleats on, we’re coming to win,” he said.
And now he’s looking for his team to bring home an EPC Championship. It’s not just pie-in-the-sky since they’re armed with confidence, an extremely valuable asset.
“These girls believe that now,” said Missmer.
The girls scored five second half goals on their way to a 5-0 win over Liberty on the road.
Abbi Czarnecki scored twice in the game and got help from Raygen Beck, Raine Korpics and Kyleigh Straub who had one goal each.
Assists came from Alex Benedict (2), Czarnecki, Korpics and Isabella Nota
Payce Korpics made five saves and Olivia Vajda had four
Liberty’s Kayla Bowman stopped 19 NHS shots.