Navigating a higher level of competition last season proved a rough road for Malverne/East Rockaway’s girls’ soccer program, but a return to familiar territory with most of its roster intact has longtime coach Joe Lores excited about a considerable rebound.
“I really don’t know why we were bumped up a league, but now we’re back where we belong and where we’ve always been, and bringing back almost the entire team,” Lores said. “I think the stiff competition we faced like Cold Spring Harbor, Carle Place and Wheatley is only going to help us this season.”
The Rockin’ Mules will compete in a conference comprised of West Hempstead, Sewanhaka, Roslyn, Great Neck North, Elmont, Roosevelt and Lawrence. They went a respectable 4-5-1 against a similar set of foes in 2019.
Lores said they have only a couple of starting jobs to fill, with one being the last line of defense. Senior Jazmine Ackies (Malverne) shared the goalkeeper responsibilities in the spring and will get first crack to land the job. “She’s enthusiastic about playing the position and has varsity experience which can be valuable,” Lores said. “Our entire defense is back, so I think we’re going to be difficult to score against.”
Kendra Chinchilla and Princia Ulysse, both Malverne seniors, and sophomore Ema Basic (East Rockaway) barely came off the field last season, Lores said, and will remain vital to the team’s success this fall. “Kendra is a four-year starter and our leader,” Lores said. “She handles all of our goal kicks and cleans everything up. She comes from a strong soccer family and brings a high soccer IQ and plays physically.”