Reenergized Lions returnto field with veteran squad

Anna Lee Melton and Ariana Montero are Foran High team captains.

Anna Lee Melton and Ariana Montero are Foran High team captains.

David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Foran High coach Casey Blake believes she has the right people in place to engineer a turnaround.

“I’m excited for the whole team,” said Blake, whose Lions in 2018 failed to make the state tournament for the first time in four years when it finished 4-10-2. “What we needed to do — coaches and players — was to determine where we were and where we wanted to be.

“The girls returned, and as a group we have been working hard and having fun. In our scrimmages (with Brien McMahon and West Haven) we started to jell. We are playing with much more patience, moving off the ball, and with this has come more confidence.

“This is a perfect storm with the players and coaches. We can make waves this year.”

Anna Lee Melton and Ariana Montero are team captains.

“Anna Lee and Ariana will be outside midfielders, along with Anna Byars, Izzy Morales and Georgia Malesky,” Blake said. “Lauren Ardolino is a center midfielder and Haley Flynn will be a center back.

“Mia Loewenberg will be a center back, center mid with some time on attack.

“Emily Wheaton is our keeper,” Blake said. “She is a seasoned player and saw some time in goal last season.

“Sara Portoff and Maxine Lynch are on the wings and will anchor the defense. Sara was a center back as a junior and will move to outside back. Brygid Sawitsky is now a sophomore and will be an outside back.

“Courtney Musante is a sophomore returning to play varsity. She was on attack last year. She will see more time at outside back and outside midfield this season.

“Rylee Tondora is a varsity returnee as a sophomore and will play center midfield.

Colleen Ardolino is a freshman at outside midfield and forward.

“Zoe Fallon will also be an outside mid and play on attack.

Lily Smith is a senior who played three years of jayvee. She has worked her way up and will see varsity time.”

Entering her 10th year as head coach, Blake, who for six years was a volunteer before getting the jayvee gig in 2007, appreciates the time being put in by her coaching staff.

“Katie Halleck-Hendrickson is our new junior varsity coach,” she said. “Jess Radecki is back as a volunteer coach and will work with the varsity. Laura Donovan is now a volunteer assistant and will work with the goalkeepers. Christine and Carly Pala are former players who are back coaching with us. Carly will work with our goalkeepers. Christine will work with our center backs and outside backs.”

Key losses to graduation include Gabriella Muoio, Abigail Lucas, Yasmine Lingane, Tessa Malesky, Sophie Lucas, Mya Wheeler and Amanda Schuld.


2019 Schedule

Sept. 12 — at Lyman Hall, 3:45 p.m.

Sept. 16 — JONATHAN LAW, 6:15 p.m.

Sept. 17 — at East Haven, 6 p.m.

Sept. 19 — MERCY, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 — GUILFORD, 6 p.m.

Sept. 28 — at North Haven, 5 p.m.

Oct. 1 — HAMDEN, 6 p.m.

Oct. 5 — BRANFORD, 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 — LYMAN HALL, 6 p.m.

Oct. 11 — EAST HAVEN, 6 p.m.

Oct. 16 — at Mercy, 3:45 p.m.

Oct. 18 — at Guilford, 3:45 p.m.

Oct. 23 — NORTH HAVEN, 6 p.m.

Oct. 25 — at Hamden, 5 p.m.

Oct. 28 — at Branford, 6 p.m.

Oct. 30 — at Jonathan Law, 7:30 p.m.

Home games in CAPS