Girls Soccer Looks to Improve on Last Season


by Kate Shanahan

Two returning seniors, Ashley Nitschke (left), and Megan Wilke (right), prepare for finale seasons on their superb high school careers.

Nick Holt, Editor-in-Chief

Following a heartbreaking loss in the quarterfinals to Hunterdon Central, the girls look for revenge on their opponents as a fresh season brings new hope for their squad.  Going 9-8-1 overall, the Raiders look to get over the middle of the pack hump, turn into a real competitive team, and catch some wins early in the year.

Though this season will be much different, a season which looks to be diminished to just a five games, the girls start their season on the road at Phillpsburg, then return home for one of their only two home games this year against Hunterdon Central, who unfortunately sent them packing last year.

The team lost some key players from last year, especially Shelsea Rigby, who had a huge impact on the team’s scoring attack in her final year as a Raider.  Rigby took her talents to play at the Universtay of Illinois at Chicago this year after leading Hillsborough in goals scored and becoming a member of the All-Skyland Conference team.

Head coach Lennaert Bitter feels that they can still bring the intensity and make the jump forward as a team.

“We are a solid group with a bunch of players that have varsity experience that can surprise any opponent like we did against North Hunderton last year,” Bitter said, “That is what we need to build off and get more surprises which I am confident we can do.”

Bitter also emphasized that he is eager to get some new faces in the spotlight this season, saying he “will try to keep the players eager and compete for a spot on the varsity team, this year we will use some rotation players that will get a chance to step up to varsity to prove they should be on there.”

Some of the returning stars from last year are seniors Ava Curtis, Kara Magliaro, Megan Wilke, and Ashley Nitschke along with juniors Mady McGowan, Sophia Iovino, and Sarah Wnorowski.  All had a significant impact on the team last year and are ready to take on some major roles this season to help the team win.

Per usual, Hillsborough always seems to have someone circled on their schedule, and this year it’s Hunterdon Central, Montgomery, and of course, Bridgewater.  Though it’s all in high regards as Coach Bitter had nothing but praise for the three schools, relaying that Central is once again coming back with a strong class, along with Montgomery and Bridgewater, which are always competitive neighboring match ups.

“Overall, I’m looking forward to a great season with plenty of challenges,” Bitter said.

The girls appear ready to go, with some exciting new faces and stars ready to emerge onto the scene, surprises seem to be the theme for this talented team.

Hillsborough kicks off their year at 3:45 p.m. on Oct. 7 at Phillipsburg.