St. Joseph girls soccer searching for players

September 23, 2018

The St. Joseph’s girls soccer program is looking for a few good girls.

The Spartans need all hands on deck to avoid canceling the season and not fielding a girls soccer team for the first time in the program’s near 20-year history.

At last count, St. Joseph has six players committed to playing this season.

“We graduated a lot of seniors, and that’s what hurt us,” said St. Joseph athletic director Susan Sullivan. “We’re still in the process of putting our team together. We’re trying to determine our numbers and where we’ll be.”

The situation marks the first challenge in Sullivan’s tenure since taking over as the school’s athletic director Aug. 16. Sullivan and first-year girls coach Lou Ammon are scheduled to meet this Thursday.

“When you’re in a small school, you want to share your resources,” Sullivan said.

Despite what comes out of the meeting between Sullivan and Ammon, there’s still time to fill the roster. St. Joseph is scheduled to open the regular season Sept. 5 in a nonconference matchup at Apollo-Ridge before starting Section 1-A play Sept. 9 at home against Riverview.

There’s not many programs that would look the same, or be able to recover, after graduating 10 seniors. The loss is magnified even more for a school the size of St. Joseph, which has an enrollment of about 200 students from grades 9-12.

“That group of girls was very much into athletics, and they would play everything and anything,” said Sullivan about last year’s seniors.

Four players -- juniors Julia Ammon and Brooke Kindler, sophomore Marissa Ostrosky and freshman Leeann Parsi -- regularly attended preseason practices despite the lack of numbers.

Ashton Thieret would have been the Spartans’ lone senior this season but will be lost for a good portion of the season after breaking her arm.

“That threw things off, and she was one of the anchors to our team,” Sullivan said. “It appears right now that she won’t be able to play.”

Sullivan said she and Ammon are working on contingency plans. One idea is to bring together a co-ed junior varsity team and play a junior varsity schedule. The boys team has 17 players.

Sullivan outlined the unique opportunities St. Joseph provides its student-athletes by giving younger players the chance to get on the field earlier in their careers than they would at a larger school.

“The opportunity here is just tremendous, and they need to take advantage of it here,” Sullivan said. “You can come in here and do things that you can’t do at other schools.”

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