BLOOMFIELD, NJ – While getting ready for the start of the season, the Bloomfield High School girls’ varsity soccer team is coming along nicely in terms of learning a new system under first-year head coach Jon Aliaga.
Ball movement and an aggressive style on both ends of the field are the main components that Aliaga has been emphasizing, as the Bengals look to achieve another stellar season.
The Bengals, who finished with an impressive 16-4-1 last season, will open the season Sept. 9 at home against Belleville at Brookdale Park at 4 p.m.
Aliaga said he has about 15 players who can see quality time.
The strength of the team lies in the backline with seniors Jalia Santos (stopper), Christina Johnson (left back), and Sarah Bsales (right back), and sophomore Melanie Rodriguez (sweeper). Bsales is one of the captains.
The starting goalie had yet to be determined as of Sept. 2.
Grace Perrotta will lead the midfield. Aliaga has been impressed by the junior captain’s work ethic. “She is a very solid, hard-working player. She has improved drastically,” said Aliaga, who grew up in soccer-rich Kearny.
Sparking the attack will be junior returnee Anatalia Pena, who scored a team-high 18 goals last season.
The Bengals have moved up to the Liberty Division of the Super Essex Conference, looking to make some noise.
“I am hoping we can stand out and make a little bit of an impact,” Aliaga said. “The beauty is nobody knows what we’re coming in with into the conference. If we can break the 66 or 70 percentile win record, that is something I am looking forward to.”
BHS also will visit both Whippany Park on Sept. 10 at 2 pm. and divisional foe West Orange on Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. and host Montclair Kimberley Academy on Sept. 14 at 4 p.m. MKA is in the American Division, which is the top division of the SEC.
Sept. 9, Belleville, 4 p.m.
Sept. 10, at Whippany Park, 2 p.m.
Sept. 12, at West Orange, 4 p.m.
Sept. 14, Montclair Kimberley Academy, 4 p.m.
Sept. 19, Mount Saint Dominic Academy, 4 p.m.
Sept. 21, at Orange, 4 p.m.
Sept. 23, at Livingston, 4 p.m.
Sept. 26, at Verona, 4 p.m.
Sept. 28, Glen Ridge, 4 p.m.
Sept. 30, Newark Academy, 4 p.m.
Oct. 6, West Essex, 4 p.m.
Oct. 8, at Nutley, tba
Oct. 10, at Montclair, 4 p.m.
Oct. 14, at Columbia, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22, at Bernards, 3 p.m.