Lady Knights soccer team climbing uphill

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington - posted Wed., Oct. 5, 2011
Ellington's Hannah Naumec settles the ball coming in from a goal kick during the Lady Knights' 1-0 victory over Enfield on Oct. 3. Photos by Steve Smith.
Ellington's Hannah Naumec settles the ball coming in from a goal kick during the Lady Knights' 1-0 victory over Enfield on Oct. 3. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Ellington High School girls’ soccer team is populating the pitch this season with a balance of younger and more-experienced players that seems to be just right. The Lady Knights’ four senior leaders – defender Emily Cohen, midfielder Kelly Mulka, and strikers Kelly Conley and Hannah Naumec – anchor the squad, with another four juniors and a bevy of sophomores backing them up.

After a thrilling 1-0 victory over Enfield which brought Ellington’s record to 5-1, coach Richard Dyjak said his team is getting noticeably better each game, and he likes what he’s seeing against tough opponents.

“[Enfield] was a real good match for us,” he said. “In the second half, we got loose. Our goalie played well. Our defenders organized much better, and that helped us. We’re very young, but we’re getting better every game. This is our third shutout in a row. We’re looking forward to going uphill.”

The season so far is a welcome refresher from last year’s three-win campaign, but Dyjak said he will continue to press his players to improve and learn the team’s flexible formation. “We’ve still got to shore-up our defense a little,” he said. “We’ve got to shore up that stopper spot. We’re playing a 3-1-2 and we aren’t really used to it. We’re not really sure when to fold into the middle or come back on defense, but we work on that all the time. With the new system, I’ve got enough athletes that we can usually run people into the ground.”

Dyjak called his senior leadership “tremendous.”

“They give us that intangible quality that you don’t get from a younger player,” he said. “The younger kids learn from that.”

Dyjak added that with some very strong underclassmen - including sophomore standouts Olivia Kosilla (All-NCCC midfielder in 2010) and Karlee Alves (outstanding sweeper as a frosh in 2010) - the future looks bright. For now, the team is preparing for the next set of games; The Sports and Medical Sciences Academy on Oct. 5, and Coventry on Oct. 8.

For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.


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