Manchester High School girls’ varsity soccer off to strong start

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Fri., Sep. 27, 2013
Manchester High School Girls Soccer Team
Marlee Coleman in pursuit of the ball against Glastonbury. Photos by Corey AmEnde.

Expectations are high for the girls’ varsity soccer team at Manchester High School this season, following a 9-5-1 regular season campaign last year. At the halfway point in this season, head coach Jon Cohn is pleased with his team. The Indians were 5-2 overall at press time.

“Any time you enter into a season you look at a few games along the way that are real swing games, and so far we’ve done pretty well in those, opening up with a win against E.O. Smith,” said Cohn.  “We had a great comeback win against Wethersfield, which is something that we’ve done in the past, and it’s important for the kids to believe that they can come back against any odds.”

Manchester trailed Wethersfield 2-0 with 13 minutes left in regulation on Friday, Sept. 20, before they scored two goals to force overtime, eventually taking the 3-2 win in overtime.

The Indians faced a tough match on Thursday, Sept. 26, when they hosted undefeated Glastonbury.  The Tomahawks had only given up one goal on the season entering play on Thursday. Glastonbury struck first, taking a 1-0 lead just under seven minutes into the match. The Tomahawks would add another goal early in the second half to take a 2-0 lead. With just over eight minutes left in regulation, Marlee Coleman scored off a corner kick to cut the lead in half, but the Tomahawks would hold on for a 2-1 win. The Indians will get another chance at the Tomahawks on Monday, Oct. 21, at Glastonbury High School.

The Indians are led this season by the senior captains: midfielder Ashley Feshler, forward Anna Manser, midfielder Dylan Burns and Leah Watson on defense. 

“I think we’ve got the veteran leadership and experience that this is their time,” said Cohn. “They’ve been here for four years and it’s their time to make their mark, so I have high expectations for them to be able to do that.”

Juniors Abbey Costa in goal and Coleman at midfield are also key players.

In order to achieve the goals of 10 wins and a deep run in the state tournament, Cohn said the team must believe in themselves.
Cohn said the strength of the team is the play up the middle.  “We’re very solid in the center midfield,” said Cohn. 

An area where the team will look to gain experience as the season progresses is in the backfield.  “We’re young in terms of experience in the back - not necessarily young players, but players that I’ve moved to the back position but haven’t played there but are doing a really nice job,” said Cohn.

Overall, the future for the program is bright. “We’ve got one freshman who is starting and we’ve got a great freshman class which is encouraging,” said Cohn who added that there are more than 50 girls in the program this season.

Thursday’s game against Glastonbury began a five-game home stand for the Indians in which they will also host East Catholic on Tuesday, Oct. 1, Newington on Thursday, Oct. 3, South Windsor on Monday, Oct. 7, and East Hartford on Wednesday, Oct. 9.  All games are scheduled to start at 3:45 p.m.

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