2019 Women's Soccer: Felician Adopts No-Nonsense Approach

Defender in white jersey serves low ball.
Junior defender Nikki Bisesi. (Steven R. Smith)

The attitude that developed during preseason workouts and scrimmages around the 2019 Felician University women's soccer team could best be described as workmanlike.

Felician enters the campaign with a roster of 22 players, the most in many years. Such depth has led to efficiency in practice and a no-nonsense aura around the program.

"We want to lead the league in effort," said head coach Thomas Notte," entering his 12th season. "That has been our motto and the players have been quick to adopt it. Our early practices have the most competitive we've had in quite some time. Not having to sit or baby players because we're short in numbers means we can get the most out of every training session."

That attitude has also carried over to the Golden Falcons' style of play, for which "style" may be a misnomer. In collegiate soccer, moral victories are often difficult to find, and Notte does not want his team settling for that mindset.

"Quite simply, we need to find ways to get positive results," he said. "With this group, that normally means a stronger work rate and better pressure on the ball. Our players have shown signs that they're willing to commit to working hard. Our level of competitiveness day in and day out will dictate our rate of success."


GOALKEEPERS: Juniors Jamie Kazenmayer (Mooresville, N.C./Lacey Township [N.J.]) and Brooke Garofalo (Ridgefield, N.J./Ridgefield Memorial) have been in a continuous competition for the better part of three years. Kazenmayer, the incumbent starter, has shown strong in the early going and is likely to continue in that role.

DEFENDERS: Notte will ask junior Nikki Bisesi (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) to drop from defensive midfield to a central defender spot, where she will join classmate and returning starter Claudia Engels (Lyndhurst, N.J./Lyndhurst). Versatile junior Vanessa Driskill (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) can play several positions, but will likely start the season at outside back opposite senior Katie Paz (Bethpage, N.Y./Island Trees).

Sophomore Alexa Fischetto (Wallington, N.J./Wallington) is pushing the starters hard and will figure into the playing rotation. Junior Kiara Martinez (San Pedro Sula, Honduras/Sacred Heart Academy) and sophomore Genesis Yepez (North Bergen, N.J./North Bergen) are also defensive candidates.

MIDFIELDERS: Redshirt junior Danielle Jenkin (Pompton Lakes, N.J./Pompton Lakes) scored nearly half of last year's goals and is always a threat to go forward. Her sister, true junior Camryn Jenkin (Pompton Lakes, N.J./Pompton Lakes) is a candidate to start alongside her at center midfield, but transfer Ally Krebs (Brick, N.J./Brick Township) and sophomore Yosseline Marquez Perez (North Bergen, N.J./North Bergen) will compete as well.

On the outside is likely to be found senior Joanne Arvanitakis (Lyndhurst, N.J./Lyndhurst) and freshman Elisa Zuta (Pompton Lakes, N.J./Pompton Lakes). Sophomore Valerie Adamo (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville), however, could start either here or at striker and see significant minutes at both.

Sophomore Amy Aguilar-Almazo (Clifton, N.J./Clifton) and transfer Bethany Olejarz (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty) deepen the midfield unit.

FORWARDS: Winning jobs out of preseason are likely to be senior Jenna Fischetto (Wallington, N.J./Wallington) and junior transfer Christine Albano (Neptune, N.J./Neptune). Notte will not be hesitant to look to junior Paloma Garcia (Union City, N.J./Union City) and freshman Lindsey Riera (Belleville, N.J./Belleville) for fresh legs.