Hun Girls’ Soccer Still Bringing the Intensity Despite Having Limited Season Due to COVID
HEADY PLAY: Hun School girls’ soccer player Chloe Hill heads the ball in a game last season. Senior defender Hill is helping to spearhead the Hun back line this fall. The Raiders, 0-2, are next in action when they host Pennington on October 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Even though the Hun School girls’ soccer team has a 2020 schedule that is limited to five games due to COVID-19 concerns, Jenn Barrett is seeing plenty of intensity from her players.
“The girls like to have the goal and they like to have something to work towards; we are definitely practicing as though we have a full season,” said Hun head coach Barrett, who guided the Raiders to a 4-11 record last fall in her debut season at the helm of the program.
“We really have the mindset that our goal is to achieve competitive greatness. We are trying to shift the culture to almost look forward to the really hard games because that is what is going to make you better. True athletes want to play the best teams.”
Hun boasts some good athletes at forward in junior Olivia D’Aulerio and sophomore Oluwatooni Olaleye.
“We are really young this year, we have a lot of good, young talent which is amazing,” said Barrett, whose team fell 6-1 to Princeton Day School last Saturday to move to 0-2 and is next in action when it hosts Pennington on October 24.
“Right now I am looking at Olivia up top and Toni who is awesome. Both of them have incredible speed and a great eye for the goal. They are very, very hard workers and work very well together.”
In the midfield, sophomore Riley Hayes, freshman Mackenzie Turner, junior Kiki Mauer, senior Anna Hyson, and freshman Olivia Spektor bring skill, savvy, and a good work rate.
“Right now I have Riley in the midfield as well as Mackenzie, who is very, very good,” said Barrett.
“Kiki is also in the midfield. We have some other people sporadically in there like Anna who is also going to play some midfield. Olivia is a freshman to look for. I think we are going to have a much more offensive mindset. These kids all play a lot of competitive soccer. The soccer knowledge they bring and just their speed and effort is going to be very, very helpful for us.”
Newcomer Zoey Palmer is already making an impression at goalie with her competitiveness.
“We have a great freshman goalkeeper in Zoey,” said Barrett. “She is excellent with her hands; she is very aggressive. She is really good on saving breakaways and when to come out. Her positioning is very good, she has really fit in well.”
Along the back line, the trio of senior Chloe Hill, sophomore Maya Zeruld, and senior Abby Trimble will be counted on to hold the fort.
“They are very solid defensively,” said Barrett. “They have good control of the game and that will shine through.”
Even with the shortened schedule and no prep or county tournament in 2020, Barrett believes her players can get a lot out of this fall, on and off the field.
“I think they realize in the long run that this is going to be a really good experience for them because they just appreciate to be out there together,” said Barrett.
“Hopefully when this is all over and they can come back next year and not have all of these rules, they are going to be much more appreciative and gracious. They are handling it really well, just modeling those behaviors of how to deal with this and to be resilient.”