Solid start for youthful Calhoun


Only five games into the girls’ soccer season, Calhoun’s opponents already have been reminded how lethal Jia Bello is.
The junior forward has scored four goals for the 3-2 Colts, and one of them was of highlight reel quality. That came during the second half in a 2-0 home victory over Herricks on Sept. 8.
The talented Bello had the confidence by drilling a 35-yard shot into the upper 90 for the first goal of the match.
“it was unbelievable,” Calhoun coach Jason Elias said. “Everyone on the field just stopped and couldn’t believe. That’s just the type of player she is.”
In her third season on the varsity, Bello has finished the 2022 season with 11 goals and one assist, after connecting for 9 goals and 1 assists as a freshman two years ago. “She is our offensive presence, without a doubt,” Elias said.

And not by accident.
Elias said that Bello was a player who works on her game.
“She is someone who keeps incredibly fit,” he said. “She training, working out constantly. She’s a consistent person, fully committed to playing the game at this level and the next level, certainly in college. She will continue to score bags of goals, probably double digits for the next few years. I would imagine someone that’s probably going to rank top three or four [on Calhoun career scoring list], I would imagine by the time she graduates.
“She is supremely confident, not with ego, just with reality. She is a truly talented player. She’s definitely a generational talent at the school.”
The Colts certainly are not a one young woman’s show.
They have other players who have impressed as well.
At center back, Elias has senior Makayla Condela, a five-year varsity player who has made a great sacrifice moving from center midfielder, Elias said. Condela had the lone goal in Monday night’s 1-0 victory at Long Beach. Keeper Gianna Haniff recorded the shutout.
“She is doing what’s best for the team, which takes a lot of character,” he added. “She has great spirit, truly a great leader, somebody who wants as senior to take your team forward to the next level. She is going to play in college without a doubt and will leave a good legacy behind.”
Condela has teamed with sophomore Alexa Addonizio. Senior Gabriella Novelli was switched from midfield to solidify the backline.
“They are the anchors of our defense, who will be trying to maintain some shutouts for our goalkeeper,” Elias said.
Junior Alexandra Aievoli has become a vital link at center midfield.
“In many ways, Alex is the key to so much of what we do,” the coach said.
Calhoun has a young squad, with three seniors as starters, six juniors, one sophomore and one freshman. Three freshmen don’t start, but they have seen plenty of action to date. Midfielders Sabrina Curcio and GraceTaormina and defender Tessa Gerard have played about 50 minutes a match.
“For a freshman, that’s a lot,” Elias said.