After losing a handful of talented seniors to graduation, the West Deptford High School girls' soccer team needed a player to step up to fill the void.
Fortunately for the Eagles, two girls stepped up early in the season and haven't stopped scoring since.
Megan Sullivan and Tina Furfari have combined to score 15 goals in eight games, helping West Deptford to a 6-2 record.
“Everybody has been contributing,” said Sullivan, who has a team-high eight tallies. “We have a lot of different goal scorers but we needed somebody to step up and score so I feel like as I move forward it’s my responsibility to put the ball in the back of the neck.”
Sullivan sensed scoring could be an issue for the team early in the preseason and figured it would be up to her to step up and fill the roll of “go-to” player.
“We lost a bunch of seniors last year and we weren’t scoring a lot in the scrimmages, so I felt like someone had to step up and I really wanted to step into that spot,” Sullivan said. “I’m trying to lead the team.”
As it turns out scoring hasn’t been a problem at all, thanks to Sullivan, Furfari and several others. In the Eagles' six wins, they have netted 36 goals.
“We have a lot of girls who are growing into their roles,” Sullivan said. “It was hard in the beginning of the year because (the returning plays) hadn’t played with a lot of these girls before, but I feel like we are coming together.”
One of those players who has stepped into a new role is Furfari, who saw limited time as a reserve last season. Now a junior, Furfari has seen consistent playing time and has made the most of it with seven goals—including four in the last two games.
“I’m really proud of myself,” Furfari said. “Last year I didn’t get as much playing time, but I tried to do my best. This year, I’m playing really good.”
Furfari said her recent scoring tear has given her an extra sense of confidence.
“I just feel really happy that I’ve been scoring,” Furfari said.
If there has been one rift in the Eagles’ offensive onslaught these last few weeks, it's that the team went scoreless in both losses. Most frustrating was a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Haddonfield during the first week of the season. It marked the fourth time in as many games against the Bulldawgs that the Eagles could not find the back of the net.
In fairness, the Bulldawgs haven’t let up a goal all season, so the Eagles are hardly alone in that department, but it didn’t make the sting of the defeat any easier.
“It was hard getting over it,” Furfari said. “We always lose by one to them so it is really hard, but we get them again and hopefully we do really well.”
That rematch comes Tuesday with West Deptford set to travel to Scout Field for a 7 p.m. start.
All of the recent goal scoring has given the Eagles confidence that this will be the game that they get the better of the Bulldawgs and find the back of the net. If someone is to score in that game it will likely be Sullivan or Furfari.
“It was kind of a shock when we played them the first time because it was so early in the season and we still had a lot of things to work on,” Sullivan said. “Now we have had time to work on those things and I think we are ready.”