Falmouth Girls' Soccer Ready To Rock & Roll
By: Brooke Henrique
Coach Greg Gilbert is in his 26th year at the helm of the Falmouth High School girls’ soccer program. “I’ve been around since the program started in 1987 and coached two years of the club team before that,” he said.
In those 26 years, the Clippers have had playoff berths 25 times so Gilly knows a good squad when he sees one.
The 2012 team is captained by four seniors, Victoria Sciarillo, Shauna McManus, Aoife Callinan and Sarah Bunker. The coach has nothing but respect for the leadership shown by each and said, “All four are super. They never cease to amaze me and do a nice job being prepared. [They’re] more about the character. Real classy kids. All are incredible in terms of leadership, school and community efforts. McManus is a big part of the offense and a great passer.”
Vying for time on the offense is a group that includes McManus, senior Becca Cox, a fearless first-year varsity player with a great attitude and all-out hustle, and Meghan Ellis, a three-year veteran hoping to make a difference as she transitions to midfield her senior year.
The midfield should see strong action from a large group of contenders. Junior Haley Gagnon, seniors Callinan and Michaela Moran, and sophomores Alexa Johnson, Nicole Gonsalves and Ally Dalton will all look to contribute up the middle for the Clippers.
“Moran is another third-year player and incredibly gifted. She’s a powerful player and has got the biggest shot. Callinan controls the middle of the field. Johnson is the fastest and Ally is key, doing a great job playing stopper right now and also plays in the midfield,” said Coach Gilbert.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior Emily Turner, freshman Sam Theroux and seniors Alexa Panepinto and Katie O’Sullivan will all compete for time, with Bunker dominating the sweeper spot. “ O’Sullivan really worked hard in the off-season and is probably most steady. Panepinto is a second-year player who is extremely valuable and moved to a back position from midfield and forward,” the coach said.
Sophomore Kelly Ferreira is new to the Clippers this year and will likely share time in goal with Maddie Scavotto, who is also listed as a midfielder. Scavotto received all-league honors last year as a freshman.
The Clippers are also holding roster spots for strong, four-year defenseman Sciarillo and junior Katie Solien who are both injured.
All in all, the 11-4-5 finish last year’s team put up can easily be matched or bested by the veterans on the field this year. The strong leadership of the senior class and the defense will be hard to outmatch. Nine seniors mean tons of experience all over the field, especially with the show they put on in last year’s tournament. The Clippers went two deep, defeating North Quincy, 2-0, before being eliminated by Oliver Ames, Division 1 South Champions, 2-3.
“We played a great tournament game. The big thing is we were very close to beating them and we gave them the best go in the whole tournament with a narrow loss,” said Coach Gilbert.
Despite losing five seniors to graduation, this year’s club is ready to compete with the best.
The Clippers open under the lights against Bridgewater-Raynham tonight at 6:30 PM. They face a tough opening schedule, facing Barnstable and Marshfield within the first five days, a true test of the team’s toughness.
Coach Gilbert is assisted by his “consistently-good” 24th-year JV Coach, Ken Jaquith. Nadina Hatcher also contributes as game-day assistant, giving positive support and help for the last eleven years. So whether you’re looking on the field or the sideline this season, you’re seeing a rare combination of coaching and playing experience sure to impress.
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