The GSB Girls’ Soccer program kept getting stronger as the season progressed, collecting signature victories that are sure to carry momentum into next year.
The Knights finished their 2022 campaign with a final record of 8-9 while going 6-4 in Conference play to earn 3rd place int the Skyland-Valley Division. Head Coach Donna Bednarsky was especially proud of the team’s resilience, as she rejoined the Girls’ Soccer Program as Head Coach this season.
“It was an overwhelming feeling to come back to coaching Gill soccer with Coach DeFalco and Coach Cascini by my side”, said Coach Bednarsky. “We have an incredible history together and it came full circle.”
While the season may have started slow, the team stayed together to show an incredible amount of trust and perseverance, finishing the last four games of their regular season 3-1 with key victories over Montgomery, Mount St. Mary, and Warren Hills. Beyond their regular season success, the Knights also picked up a 5-1 1st Round Somerset County win against Bound Brook as well as an upset 4-1 victory against Lodi Immaculate in the NJSIAA State Tournament.
“The team went further in the states than they have in a while, so getting a taste of that type of competition has really motivated them to go further next year,” commented Coach Bednarsky.
The Knights were paced offensively by a strong season from Forward Dana Lotito ’24, who earned 1st Team Skyland Conference recognition. Lotito’s 20 goals and 5 assists helped carry the team in crucial situations, including a two goal, one assist performance in the Knight’s State Quarterfinal victory against Lodi Immaculate. She is 11th in program history for career goals.
Sophomore Meredith Klosek (2nd Team Skyland, All Prep Honorable Mention) served as the Knights key offensive distributor, finishing the season tied for 19th in the state in assists (16) while also chipping in 5 goals. Other key offensive contributors included Senior Grace Crimi (1st Team All Prep, 2nd Team Skyland), Senior Jadyn Mapura (1st Team Skyland) and Freshman Ava Hearn (2 goals, 3 assists).
The Knight’s defense was highlighted by Senior Lauren Rossiter (Skyland Honorable Mention), Senior Ava DiCesare, and Senior Goalkeeper Ankora Sant’Angelo (114 saves), whose tenacity and work ethic made them cornerstone pieces on the field.
Above all, Coach Bednarsky credits this year’s success to her senior captain’s leadership qualities.
“We could not have asked for four better captains for our inaugural season,” said Coach Bednarsky. “Jadyn, Grace, Lauren and Ava were the consummate team players and role models for our team.”