Heartbreaker Can't Ruin Chiefs Winning Season
Caldwell girls soccer second half bolsters stock
At the moment, it was very painful for the Caldwell girls soccer team to see Hackettstown screaming for joy in the waning seconds of the Group II North II state final game.
Hackettstown's Shannon Browne scored with less than 30 seconds remaining against the Chiefs to end Caldwell's season with a 2-1 loss on the road in the sectional final.
The Chiefs had come into the sectional final on fire in winning 10 straight matches, but the momentum did not pull them through to win the sectional title.
"It was a tough loss," said senior forward Katie McDonnell. "After winning those 10 games in a row, we weren't use to losing. The game just didn't go our way."
Caldwell head coach Mike Teshkoyan agreed with his senior striker. "It was a heartbreaker since we had come so far and did so well," said Teshkoyan, whose team finished with a 14-7-1 record. "At first you are disappointed, but then you look back and reflect at how well the team played."
It was probably a credit to the Caldwell defense led by senior Amanda Rodriguez and sophomore Ashley Davidson along with goalie Carleigh Trivino that the Chiefs kept the game tied at one. "The ball was in our end for most of the half," said McDonnell. "It was only a matter of time."
But a few days later Caldwell looked back at their season that included that 10-game winning streak at the end of the season and the pluses outweighed the minuses.
At one time during the season Caldwell was 0-4-1, but that all changed in the waning minutes of a game at West Essex to start October.
Sophomore Gabby Roselle would score the game-winning goal at West Essex to give the Chiefs a 2-1 victory and its first victory of the season.
"It just propelled us to win 14 of 16 games," said Teshkoyan about the win over rival West Essex. "It helped believe in ourselves. We wanted to peak at the end of the year."
In turn, Caldwell would win 14 of its next 16 games, including coming from behind in the Group II North II first round game when they were down 2-0 against Madison.
Again it was Roselle who would get the game winning goal, this time in overtime to get the golden goal in the first extra session.
While the state tournament run was impressive, Caldwell gave a little taste of what was to come in the final games of the regular season.
The Chiefs would dispose of two of the best Essex County teams in the final week of the regular season in Millburn (2-1) and Montclair (1-0). "It gave us some the momentum and confidence as well going into the state tournament," said McDonnell, who took pride especially in beating Millburn who would go on and win the Group III title. "We had not beaten them (Millburn) in my four years at the school."
In terms of the postseason honors, McDonnell led the way being named to the All Super Essex Conference first team with 19 goals and 17 assists. "She was our quarterback and play maker on the field," said Teshkoyan about McDonnell who will be playing at Fordham University next season. "We almost ran everything through her. She just has a deadly shot."
On the second team is Trivino, who helped keep Caldwell in most of the games in the 2010 season and averaged in double figures for saves and ended up with nine shutouts. "She improved so much since last year," said Teshkoyan about Trivino. "She had to work hard because she had a lot of new faces on defense in front of her."
Also on the second team was Roselle who had 13 goals and six assists. "She got the big goals and has a great shot," said the Caldwell head coach.
Also on the second team was Davidson. "She takes on the best players on the other team," said Teshkoyan about Davidson who would shadow Livingston's Kate Schwindel and Montclair's Maya Pitts. "She did a great job of marking the best players."
Rodriguez was named to the honorable mention All SEC team despite missing games at the start of the game. Her return to the field almost mirrored the start of the streak for Caldwell. "She was injured at the beginning of the year and was a first year starter," said Teshkoyan. "She came back and solidified the backfield."