defending Region 19 champs were not expecting to be 0-3 after three
games. But after their rocky start, the Vikings women’s soccer
team pulled together and began to produce positive results, ending
the season with a 9-6-2 record.
According to Shelly Dearden,
now in her 10th season as head coach, four talented sophomores,
all of whom earned post-season honors last year, provided stability
and leadership: midfielders Cassandria Zulla, Krystal Schnarr, and
Jennifer DePersio, and defender Lisa Walters. Talented newcomers
included forwards Rosanna Collars, Jeanine Foster and Lauren Dunn,
midfielders Kristina Connors, Marissa Forte, and Jenna Scaccetti,
and defenders Nicole Hover and Catherine Amey. Leading scorers for
the Vikings were Schnarr, with 12 goals and 5 assists, DiPersio
with 7 goals and 4 assists, and Dunn with 7 goals and 4 assists.
Defending the goal was capable freshman Leah Sachs, who earned six
Mercer women entered the Region 19 tournament in a dead heat with
Sussex, a team they had tied 3-3 earlier in the season. Sussex won
the coin toss and the semi-final game was played at Sussex. The
Vikings, accustomed to playing on fast, flat artificial turf, were
at a disadvantage on the slower natural grass. After 100 minutes,
the game was tied 1-1, with Kristina Connors scoring Mercer’s
lone goal. In the penalty kick round Mercer was outscored 3-0, and
after all their hard work and struggle, the season was over. No.
1 seed Ocean County went on to defeat Sussex in the final.
Schnarr, Scaccetti and Zulla were named to the All-Region and All-GSAC
teams. Dearden credits her players for their talent and tenacity,
noting their speed and solid passing skills, and the scoring contributions
of many players. She was assisted this season by Kristine Tramo,
Jessica Harris and Cindy Astore.