Fall sports teams in full swing

Fall is officially here, ushering in cooler temperatures, a changing landscape and a chance to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

But scenic views and pleasant weekends aren’t the only thing many are enjoying this fall. The sports teams at Cherry Hill East are in full swing and now is the best time to enjoy an outdoor game or two.

Let’s catch up and see how a few of our teams are faring, so far.

n Cherry Hill East Girls Field Hockey

Last year, the team finished 1–7 in its division, but Coach Elizabeth Scharff said she is optimistic about a better year ahead.

“We play in a very tough conference and are just looking to hold our own and come out with more conference wins than last season,” Scharff said. “We play the No. 1 team in the state two times each season, and against Eastern, we set small goals and look to accomplish them.”

The team graduated most of its starters from last year, but Scharff said she is confident this year’s sophomores who played on the team last season will be able to step up and deliver.

In addition, the team will rely on starting goalkeeper Blaire Janney and midfielder Dailyn Brook, who were both named to the 2nd all-conference team last season. Sweeper Madi Schwartz, forward Stephanie Berman and midfielders Jordan Coleman and Taylor Janney also returned to the squad with experience.

“Dailyn Brook is a standout midfielder who will keep the team controlled and on pace. Our star goalkeeper, Blaire Janney, has improved tremendously over the last two seasons. She is going to keep us in a lot of close games and help to secure the win against a lot of teams this year. And Madi Schwartz is a strong backfielder that will help us fill some big shoes from last year,” Scharff said.

So far, the team is 0–2 this season. But Scharff said she is hoping to see progress.

“We are looking to improve our status in the conference and be taken a little more seriously than in years past,” Scharff said. “I think we have come a long way, but we definitely still have our work cut out for us.”

n Cherry Hill East Boys Cross Country

A strong senior class is what Coach Matt Cieslik hopes will carry the team to another Camden County championship. Last year, the team claimed that title and also finished fifth in the South Jersey Group 4 Sectionals.

“We think that this could be one of our most competitive teams,” Cieslik said. “We think that if things go well, we could return to the NJ Group 4 State Championships.”

The team lost two seniors to graduation, one of whom is continuing to run at the collegiate level. Zach Iannerelli, DJ Rodriguez, Ricky Zhao and Ben Helfand are expected to contribute to the team this season.

“It’s always nice to have seniors and we have a pretty strong senior class,” Cieslik said. “While we will miss all of our graduates, we think that some of the younger guys are ready to fill in the void that they left.”

n Cherry Hill East Girls Soccer

Coach Katie Boyle’s squad went 8–10 last season and expects to turn things around this season.

Off to a 3–3 start, the team is feeling the loss of goalie Lauren Minkoff and sweeper Rachel Sindoni, who graduated last year and are each starting players at St. Rose and Rutgers-Camden, respectively.

“Rachel and Lauren were four-year varsity players and their loss is tremendous,” Boyle said. “Lauren was one of the best goalies in South Jersey and is extremely difficult to replace. Rachel was a great sweeper and the two anchored our defense.”

The team did return five starters including seniors Alexa DiPiero, Natalie DeLuca and Christine Goins, along with juniors Erica Hansen and Caitlin Delaney.

“Our returning varsity starters will continue to make a tremendous impact. Our size and strength will be focused in the midfield,” Boyle said.

Overall, Boyle said she is looking for a challenging, but fun year ahead.

“This is a rebuilding year in every aspect including the coaching staff,” Boyle said. “We’re looking forward to a great group of girls willing to work hard and compete with a very difficult schedule.”