Ascension Episcopal has had some solid girls soccer teams in recent seasons, but this year’s squad just might be its best yet.
The Blue Gators are ranked No. 1 in Division IV after a 6-1-1 start in which they’ve scored 24 goals while allowing only four, pitching shutouts in all six wins.
However, the Blue Gators have five starters quarantined because of COVID-19 issues and will be without them until Jan. 13.
“Before the holidays we were gelling well,” coach Kevin Mooney said. “Our back-line defense has been solid, but we need better distribution in the midfield. Our set pieces have been organized, especially on corner kicks. We defend well as a team, we’ve given up less than a goal a game.”
Two of the five starters quarantined are senior team captains Camille Blanchard and Anna-Kathryn Charbonnet.
“Camille is our key in the back,” Mooney said. “Anna-Kathryn is our rock in the midfield. We talked about sitting the weekend out, but we’ll play as of now. It’s a team effort, not just individuals. It’ll be big shoes to fill, but we’ll have to accept it and step up.”
Goalkeeper Lily Dore helps keep the Blue Gators in every game. She’s allowed only 0.5 goals per game.
“Lily Dore has been solid as our goalkeeper,” Mooney said. “I was a goalkeeper myself, and I always set a goal to allow less than a goal a game, so that’s what you want to see as a goalkeeper.”
Emma Godwin, Adele Mooney and Kendalyn Morgan are the Blue Gators’ main scorers, and other key players include Avery LeBlanc in the back along with Sarah-Kathryn West and Katherine Voigt in the middle.
The Blue Gators haven’t lost a game since their season opener, and they’ll look to keep their winning streak going despite being short-handed.
“We were kind of out of sorts the first game,” Kevin Mooney said. “We haven’t looked back since. The girls have come together and bought into the system. It’s been a challenge with COVID-19. We’ve had to move players around. It’s going to be a challenge.”
The good news for the Blue Gators is that they’re on track to have their full lineup back in time for their district opener next week on Jan. 13 against ESA.
“I’m definitely confident,” Kevin Mooney said. “We had a break for the holidays, and now we’re just getting our chemistry back.
“The girls are anxious to get back together. They’ll be all rested up, and I know they’ll be anxious to come back. As long as we pick where we left off, we’ll be fine.
“We understand what made us successful, we’ll just have to carry it over when we get back. The first third of the season we’ve done phenomenal, now the focus will be on district and then the playoffs.”