Masuk girls’ soccer team strives to be competitive in tough SWC

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Junior Grace Sheehan is expected to be one of the soccer team's top scorers this fall.

MONROE, CT — During the past couple of years, graduation, injuries, and the 2020 coronavirus-altered season has left the Masuk High girls’ soccer team in a bit of a rebuilding mode.

“With COVID still being an issue this year we’re hoping to complete the season,” said Coach Jason Golesky, whose goals are to qualify for the South-West Conference and state tournaments and ideally go deep into both.

“There’s a lot of good competition out there this year,” Goleski said.

Pomperaug of Southbury, Newtown, Weston, Immaculate of Danbury are among the teams expected to be the toughest, said Golesky, adding: “Every team in the league now is definitely a competitor. There’s not going to be an easy game and we’re looking forward to every game.”

Masuk is led by captains Marianna Maltese and Haley Lemoine (both center defenders) and outside defender Bridget Pfau.

Golesky anticipates a great deal of the team’s offense to be provided by junior center midfielder/forward Grace Sheehan. Another junior who is among the key returnees is Alyssa Iannucci who will play outside midfield and forward.

Masuk and other teams had games canceled due to the impact of the coronavirus last fall.

“I’m super-excited. Last year, with COVID, there were so many restrictions. It kind of put a damper on the season,” Sheehan said.

Teams had to divide into cohorts and participate in conditioning-only drills to begin a delayed preseason, and the regular campaign did not start until October and was shortened a year ago. Sheehan said she is happy to be back with all of her teammates under traditional preseason circumstances.

The Panthers get the season going Saturday, Sept. 10, with a visit to non-South-West Conference team Fairfield Ludlowe at 10 a.m. The conference schedule gets going in game two when last year’s SWC South Division winner, Weston, comes to Monroe at 7 p.m.

Masuk visits North Division champ New Milford Sept. 17 at 6 p.m., and goes to Southbury to play Pomperaug Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.

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