Huskies gain momentum as they approach playoffs

Story and photos by Richard W. Dionne, Jr. 
Posted 10/16/23

The Mt. Hope girls' soccer team has gained momentum as they approach the playoffs. The young Huskies overpowered East Greenwich 3-1 during a Division I home game on Tuesday night, then tied first …

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Huskies gain momentum as they approach playoffs


The Mt. Hope girls' soccer team has gained momentum as they approach the playoffs. The young Huskies overpowered East Greenwich 3-1 during a Division I home game on Tuesday night, then tied first place Cumberland 1-1 at home on Thursday.  Freshman Sara Nencka scored the Huskies lone goal and goalkeeper Emily Moran made 9 saves to hold off the Clippers. They currently 7-2-4 and are in second place with 22 points with just four games left. 

“I think that we have a really good chance to win the entire thing,” said senior co-captain Hannah Rezendes. “Hopefully from here, we just keep on winning. I think that we can do that.”

Thea Jackson, Caitlyn Terceiro and Sara Nencka scored for Mt. Hope in the victory over East Greenwich. The two teams played a scoreless first half before Jackson, the Huskies striker, put Mt. Hope on the scoreboard. The sophomore fought through double and triple coverage to unload a rash of shots on goal in the first half. This time East Greenwich left her wide open. Right back Aubrey Cummings threw the ball down the right sideline to Hannah Rezendes, the Huskies attacking midfielder. She fought off double coverage, collected the ball off her chest, wheeled and booted a pass to Jackson who placed a shot by charging Avengers’ goalkeeper Elizabeth Johnson for a Huskies 1-0 lead. 

“I got lucky on that one,” said Jackson of her goal during the East Greenwich game.  “We want goals. The season is going pretty well and I am getting some goals. I would have liked to get some more. The more the better.”

On the second goal, Nencka, a tall freshman forward, collected a throw-in by Rezendes on the right sideline and kicked a high cross towards the middle of the field. It bounded to Terceiro, an attacking midfielder, and she lofted a shot over the outstretched arms of Johnson for a Mt. Hope 2-0 lead. 

“It popped over her hands,” said Terceiro. “I was lucky I didn’t sky it. I like to hit it over sometimes.”

On the third goal, Rezendes broke up an East Greenwich attack, dribbled up field with the ball and served up a perfect pass to Nencka, who broke in alone on Johnson and beat her with a kick to the right side of the goal for a Mt. Hope 3-0 lead. 

Freshmen mixing in well

Head coach Kerri Giarrusso has worked hard to bring the young Huskies together as a team. After starting the season 2-2, Mt. Hope has not lost since falling to Barrington 4-2 on September 21. She has successfully mixed in freshmen from last year’s Kickemuit Middle School team that won the Championship last season with veteran players that reached last season’s D-I playoffs. 

“We have a very young team” said Terceiro, a Huskies co-captain. “But they have adjusted really well. Our chemistry has been building and that is really helping us win.”

Both the Huskies offense and defense have improved in that span. The offense has scored 16 goals since the loss to Barrington, and play with a new fierce attacking style. Jackson leads the team with 13 goals. The humble sophomore is hungry to score and never seems satisfied. 

“We want to score more goals,” Jackson said after the East Greenwich game. “I’m scoring some goals, but I would have liked to get more. The more the better.”

Terceiro has 8 goals and 4 assists, Nencka has 6 goals and 4 assists and Rezendes has 2 goals and leads the team with 5 assists. 

Rezendes moves to midfield

One of the changes that helped the Huskies, was moving Rezendes from forward to midfield. 

“I feel like I am definitely all over the field more, now,” Rezendes said. “I like being able to give through balls and make that transition. Honestly I feel like I am a little better at it.”

The Huskies have also been playing terrific defense letting up just 8 goals in 8 games. The back four of Maddy Butterworth, Emma Goglia, Elise Lanoie, and Aubrey Cumming have shut teams down in front of Moran and have been especially good at transitioning the ball upfield. 

“They have played phenomenal for us against some elite strikers,” said head coach Kerri Giarrusso. “They are tough, fearless competitors.” 

Next up: The Huskies travel to Smithfield on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and host Chariho on Friday at 6 p.m.

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