Led by a group of 12 seniors, the Glen Cove Lady Big Red finished with a winning 2018 campaign. The experience of those seniors propelled the soccer team to competitive play in all of its matchups a year ago.
In 2019, those seniors graduated and left a void in leadership for the next group to step up and fill. That next group stepping up is exactly what coach Peter Falen is looking for this season.
“The experience is out,” Falen said. “We only have three seniors now. One has prior varsity experience and one is a transfer.”
The one senior on this year’s squad with ample varsity experience is Alessia Rodriguez. She nearly collected double-digit points for the Lady Big Red a season ago and will play a big role in the offensive philosophy for Falen’s squad.
“When she wants, she could be our best soccer player, for sure,” Falen said. “She is a very good player, and she will definitely put pressure on other teams.”
Although Rodriguez has the most varsity experience for a senior on Glen Cove’s roster, junior Addison Huvane has the most experience overall. She has been a centerpiece of this defensive unit for Falen and has leadership qualities.
“She has been here for the past couple years and has been our anchor defensively,” Falen said of Huvane. “She will be able to step up more this year and be a leader.” Huvane was appointed as one of the captains.
Junior goalkeeper Lily Knobel backs the defensive unit. “She knows its time to step up this year and stop opposing teams to give us a chance,” Falen said.
Freshman Edith Vanegas, one of just two freshmen on the roster, will undoubtedly be put in many situations to score for her varsity team. She will play striker and Falen says that she has a knack for making defenders look off-balance.
“She is very skilled,” Falen said. “She will probably lead the team in scoring and can really get past defenders to create opportunities.”
Falen also mentioned sophomore Bella and freshman Ali Juarez, sisters that bring “young, positive energy” in to the program.
Thus far, the Lady Big Red has played two non-league games, losing both. It lost on the road to Carle Place, and at home to Floral Park. It also scrimmaged Oyster Bay.
“We’re coming together slowly,” Falen said. “Opening the year at Mineola will always be a good test. We always have had close games with them and they will always be competing for the league.”
Glen Cove will play its home opener on Sept. 12 against Long Beach, a foe they haven’t played in over a decade, at Big Red Stadium.
Falen’s focus is to be solid in the transition game and be able to counterattack quickly. “We have to be conditioned enough to set up an attack seamlessly from defense to offense,” Falen said. “We want to be competitive in each game, but we have to be ready for experienced other teams.”