Sutton Girls Soccer Looking to 3-Peat
By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Over the past two seasons the Sutton girls soccer team has put together two impressive regular seasons, earning a 4 seed in 2021 and a two seed in 2022 entering the Division 5 State Championship Tournament. Once in the post-season, the Suzies have gone 10-0 capturing the state title both years. In 2021 Sutton scored 14 goals while only allowing its opponents 5; last fall while still only allowing it’s opponents to score 5 times, Sutton was able to tally 23 goals and defeated the number one seed Monson 3-2 for its second straight Division 5 State Championship.
Having only lost a few starters from last year’s squad Coach Jensen Shipp and his team is looking for its third straight state championship.
“We lost a few and some of the girls are going to have to step up if we are to be successful once again,” the Sutton Coach said. “There are some holes to fill, but we have some talented individuals who should rise and with new leadership taking over we are looking to be in good shape.”
Juniors Addy Jerome, a center forward and Anna Joseph, a center midfielder, along with sophomore Ava Magnuson will be the Suzies tri-captains this fall hoping to guide Sutton back into the post-season.
Despite losing a handful of seniors to graduation, Sutton has 16 returners coming back from last year’s team. Over the last two seasons Shipp has seen growth in his team and if they can come out and control possession and dictate the game he firmly believes this team will be right back in the finals.
“We want to be the aggressors and take control, letting the opposition have to adjust to us,” Shipp said. “We have experience with so many of our returners and our expectations are high.”
When it comes to goals the Sutton coach confirmed that the team discusses that behind closed doors, and it stays within the team. However, they do want to take their past success and raise the bar this year; especially since they have a new challenge n moving up to Division 4.
“Overall, we are not sitting still. We are not satisfied with what we’ve done over the past two seasons,” the Coach said. “We want to come out and try to do some things that we haven’t been able to accomplish.”
If Sutton can come out and improve upon their success over the past few seasons the Suzies will be looking real good come next fall as the squad has only two seniors (Keira Fadden and Erica Wallace) on this year’s team. Fadden will rotate with the center forwards looking to help the team up top, while Wallace can play just about anywhere on the field and will provide some positive things for the team; she too, like Fadden, will be coming off the bench.
With only two seniors Shipp will be relying on his big junior class to keep the team moving in the right direction over the next two seasons. With so many talented juniors roaming the field, they all find ways to lead the team in their own way.
Offensively, Sutton will look to Magnuson and Jerome to be the main threat in putting the ball into the net. According to Shipp, each girl should be able to score at least 20 goals this season for the Suzies. They are both experienced players that do a fantastic job with the midfield and will also be able to create scoring opportunities for the other members of the team.
Joseph, who does a little of everything for the squad in the middle, is exceptional at moving the ball up and down the field and her defense usually goes unnoticed, especially in the stats. Shipp feels despite Jerome putting ups some quality numbers she is an underrated individual.
The center backs will be sophomore Aby Jankins and junior Molly Jenkins, two incredibly solid back line players. As the two have gotten older their voices have been starting to get louder on the field in terms of communication. Sophomore Sarah Mendoza will be the third piece back there and will also be a key contributor to the defense on the back line.
The very last line of defense will be sophomore keeper Maddie Nunnemacher. As a freshman last season, she originally split time in goal, but eventually she made the goal keeper position her own. With the goal being her domain, the then freshman made some really big saves for Sutton, especially in the State Championship game.
“Her confidence has continued to rise,” Shipp said. “During the off-season she worked incredibly hard and came back to the team this year even better and looking to hold down her position.”
Things all seem to be lining up for the Suzies to have another successful regular season as they move toward the State Tournament in hopes of capturing its third straight championship. Although it could be their third title in as many years, this season would be in a tougher division.