ht soccer

Erin Sherden is a big offensive weapon for a Holy Trinity girls soccer team that has a new coach, a new formation and a goal of getting to the state tournament.

There have been some big changes around the Holy Trinity girls soccer program since last season.

“We have a new coach, new season, new formation and we have bigger goals this year,” senior Averie Schweitzer said. “I think with our formation, we’re going to be able to execute more. We already have so far. We’re playing harder teams than we did last year, which is helping us compete more.”

Taylor Pitts has taken over the program from Joey Messina, who did an excellent job of coaching and building the Tigers back into perennial postseason contenders.

This year, the players are aiming a little higher.

“We want to make it to state this year,” Schweitzer said. “We’ve never had this goal, but we think that this year, as we progress, we’re getting better already and it’s only the second game of the season.

“Our biggest hope is to win districts, and we think we can do that this year. And then, once we get past there, we can only go up from there.”

With an offense led by sophomore Greer Reynolds, senior Erin Sherden and junior Kaileigh Smith, the Tigers certainly have the firepower to threaten defenses. And with experienced players like senior Emerson Euziere, sophomore Catherine McCarthy, junior Lani Watt, senior Bianca Fontanin, junior Charna Black, sophomore Ava Knight and Schweitzer, there is plenty of talent behind them.

That’s not all on a roster full of returners and a nice mix of newcomers that includes senior keeper Evie Rittenhouse, senior Raina Wamsley, sophomore Valentina Velarde, senior Thalia Schrumpf, freshman Evie Flickinger, junior Reagan Haridopolos and freshmen Julianna Balda, Cailyn Easton, Virginia Lacey, Julianna Pedicini and Ella Shannon.

“I think our team dynamic is really good and we’re working really hard,” Smith said.

Pitts laid out his reasons for switching the Tigers to a 3-6-1formation.

“We want to compete against some of the bigger schools and they have a few more club players than we do,” he said. “If you look at our roster, we have quite a few younger players. I just felt like that’s the shape that’s going to allow us to maximize what we have.

“We’re able to pull girls off the bench and put them in, versus possession-based system. A lot of other schools play a high possession-based system and I just felt like if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to pull too many girls off the bench.”

While it’s going to take time for the Tigers to completely adjust to their new formation, they’re confident it will pay off.

“I feel like if we can get our formation down, we can definitely be really good,” Euziere said. “There’s still a lot of work we can do, but it’s getting better each game.”

Other changes Pitts has made include 6 a.m. practices, film study, work in the weight room and more participation at team dinners.

Pitts not only had the players come up with this year’s team goals, he also had them list what they will need to do to achieve them.

“In the locker room now, they have their season goals posted on the wall, and then they have their non-negotiables,” he said. “These are the things we need to be able to do to make it to the state tournament.”