With only one senior graduating, Queen of Peace’s girls’ soccer team has plenty to look forward to for the 2013 season.
The Golden Griffins hope that this season’s 12-6-1 record is just a precursor for big things next season when it comes to the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference and the state playoffs.
Despite being knocked out early in the state tournament second round, 5-3, at third-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy, the sixth-seeded Golden Griffins showed their coach that they have a lot in them and something for next season.
To start the second half against MKA, Queen of Peace went down 3-0, but rallied to tie the game with three points, two from their top scorer, Marissa Dundas.
“I was ecstatic this season,” said Queen of Peace head coach Mike Flynn, who was also happy to come back against MKA. “We played really, really good soccer.”
And the Golden Griffins only have starting defender Stephanie Ruiz as the lone senior graduating.
Two players that will be back are junior midfielder Dundas and sophomore goal keeper Lia Rodriguez, both who were All North Jersey Interscholastic Conference first team players.
With her 37 goals on the season, Dundas ranked third in the state goals and was the top scorer in Bergen County.
Rodriguez would keep the Golden Griffins in every game, especially the Bergen County Tournament game, a 7-0 loss at Northern Highlands. Queen of Peace actually lost 7-0 to the Highlanders, who would go on to win the Bergen County title. Rodriguez would make 28 saves in the loss to the Highlanders. “When she came off the field, the other team (Northern Highlands) actually clapped, it was quite amazing,” said Flynn. “She (Rodriguez) just had a phenomenal year.”
One of the girls that broke out on the scene was sophomore midfielder Michele Mastrofillippo who collected 16 goals and 17 assists. Her twin sister, Michalla Mastrofillippo, a sweeper will be back in 2013 to help the defense.
For next season, Flynn would like to add another scorer to take the pressure off Dundas and Michele Mastrofillippo in the scoring category. Flynn said that he might find one from a good incoming freshman class next fall.
Like in the loss to Montclair Kimberley, Flynn knows what his team needs to work on before kicking the first ball next September. “We just give up too many corner kicks for goals,” said Flynn.
Heading into the second half the Golden Griffins were down 2-0. “I told the team that we could not give up another goal,” said Flynn at halftime. “In the first minute we gave up a goal and I didn’t think we had a chance.”