WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange High School varsity girls’ soccer team enjoyed a sensational season last fall. The Mountaineers didn’t lose a game in regulation as they finished with a 13-0-5 record.
With a good returning nucleus, head coach Sean DeVore’s team is looking to continue that great success this season.
The Mountaineers will open the season Sept. 7 against Millburn in a Super Essex Conference-American Division game.
WOHS last season had a final ranking of No. 18 in the state by NJ.com/The Star-Ledger. Among the five ties were two heartbreaking penalty-kick decisions in the county and state tournaments. In the county semifinals, the team was eliminated by Montclair Kimberley Academy on PKs, while in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 state tournament, the Mountaineers came up short in the quarterfinals against Livingston, which prevailed in the PK shootout.
DeVore is excited about this year’s team, which returns nine starters: sophomore forward Emma Mitchell; senior forward Katie Charles; junior midfielder Natalie Nevins; senior midfielders Hannah Villasin and Morgan Clark; sophomore midfielder Kaya Schultz; senior backs Nyah Harper and Mya Bembry; and junior back Kiara Machuca.
The Mountaineers also welcome a pair of freshmen in Tori Rideau-Winds, who plays in the back, and goalkeeper Kiley Capstraw.
The captains are Charles, Harper, Clark and Villasin, who are all four-year varsity starters and have been in the program since DeVore took over the helm in 2015.
“They have had great success both in high school and club,” said DeVore of the captains.
DeVore cited the team’s strengths.
“We defend very well and are organized,” he said. “We also can possess through the midfield and are dangerous on set pieces.”
The Mountaineers’ goals for the season remain the same: to win Super Essex Conference, county and state championships.
“All will be extremely difficult with the teams we will have to beat, but if the girls continue to work hard at the end they should have a shot,” DeVore said. “Should be a fun year!”
The other teams in the SEC-American Division, which is the top division in the conference, are Montclair, Livingston, Montclair Kimberley Academy, West Essex, Glen Ridge and Columbia.
Sept. 7, Millburn, 4 p.m.
Sept. 12, at Glen Ridge, 4 p.m.
Sept. 17, Montclair Kimberley Academy, 4 p.m.
Sept. 20, at Livingston, 4 p.m.
Sept. 25, Caldwell, 4 p.m.
Sept. 28, Columbia, 4 p.m.
Oct. 1, at Nutley, 4 p.m.
Oct. 4, at West Essex, 4 p.m.
Oct. 9, at Montclair, 4 p.m.
Oct. 11, Mount St. Dominic, 4 p.m.
Oct. 13, at Newark Academy, 11 a.m.
Oct. 15, at Belleville, 4 p.m.
Oct. 22, Morris Hills, 4 p.m.
Oct. 25, Union City, 7 p.m.