Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Lady Rams look to build on solid start to season

Mike Giannattasio
Journal Staff

The Suffolk University women’s soccer team is 5-2-1 this season and many of the players are getting recognized for their outstanding achievements.

Gabrielle Balestrier, a freshman from Mohnton, Pennsylvania, was recently named both Eastern College Athletic Conference and Great Northeast Athletic Conference Player of the Week. Balestrie plays midfield for the Rams and has four goals and five assists in seven games this season.

Taylor Miranda, a freshman from Smithtown New York, was recently named Rookie of the Week by the Great Northeast Conference. Miranda plays forward on the club and has scored ten goals for Suffolk this season.

While the newcomers on the team are contributing big for the Rams, returning veterans Gracie Sanchez, Emma Joyce, Nancy Roxo, Kristina Michael and Leslie Hayden have been instrumental in helping elevate the program to where it is today.

Ernst Cleophat is the coach of the women’s soccer squad, and he said the team is full of talented players and that they all have great chemistry.

“The best qualities of the players that we have on the team this season are just the individual skills that they possess, as we have an influx of talents which make our team very competitive,” said Cleophat, who has coached the team for four seasons.

Cleophat added that the biggest strengths of the squad thus far have been their offense as well as their passing abilities.

“Our attacking transition is very dangerous and it’s beautiful to watch how these young ladies are executing what they’ve been practicing on for the past few weeks,” said Cleophat. “Our only weakness I would say is our anticipation, which is something that we know we must fix right away.

“In fact, we worked on it in practice recently and I am confident that my players will show that in the next few games.”

Cleophat is satisfied with how his team has played this season and he hopes they can continue to build on that success. It seems the ceiling is very high for this young, but talented group.

“Not that everything is perfect, but I like the way things are going for us at the moment,” said Cleophat. “I like the fact that they ask questions when they need clarification and because of the level of skills that we have on the team, it makes my job a lot easier.”

The Rams, who just missed making the playoffs last season, hope for better luck this time around.  With that said, simply making the playoffs may not be their ultimate goal.

“They are very hungry, as they want to win the GNAC Conference and receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament,” said Cleophat. “That is their goal and they are working very hard to get it done.”

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Lady Rams look to build on solid start to season