South Jersey Times girls’ football diary: Gateway’s Gwen Farina continues to improve her score
Gateway senior Gwen Farina has shown steady progress over the course of her career. Every year she has increased her goal tally and this season she’s producing a lot.
In the freshman, Farina scored three goals. This was followed by five years in second year, then 10 a year ago.
Now she’s scored 15 goals, as well as five assists for the Gators, who started the week 8-5-1 and were second to the Colonial Patriot with a 6-1-1 record.
A big reason for its increased production is simply the experience.
âI played for a very long time and I think over the years better players have emerged, I have worked with amazing players and they have helped me improve,â said Farina.
One of those players was his sister Julianna, now a sophomore football player at Ohio University.
âFor the last few years her sister was here and she had all these other really big scorers and she supported them and learned from them and now Gwen has taken on that role,â Gateway coach Ariel Lee said.
Farina had plenty of time to polish her game. She says she started playing football when she was three years old.
Of course, with the addition of goal scoring production, the attention of defenders has increased. Farina is rarely left unmarked on the pitch.
“There are games where I have been put in situations where I barely touched the ball because I was scored (closely) but I think my team realizes that and we are working our way.” , she said.
What has also helped is that Gateway has some talented playmakers around Farina.
Lindsey Baxter started the week with 11 goals and five assists and Avery Patrick had six assists.
Farina says she isn’t sure she’ll play football at the next level, but she’s looking forward to the next state tournament. Gateway started the week seeded number 7 in power points for Group 1 South Jersey.
âI am very excited,â she said. “Last year we lost in the first round and I think this year we can be very competitive.”
Six local teams in the coaching tournament
Six schools in the South Jersey Times area will participate in the South Jersey Coaching Tournament. The 16-team knockout tournament features the top-ranked teams on Sunday in the South Jersey Coaches Association football poll.
Home teams are # 6 Millville, # 7 Washington Township, # 9 Williamstown, # 10 Clearview, # 11 Kingsway and # 15 Delsea.
The first two rounds will be played at the highest seed. The first round must be completed by October 23 and the second round by October 25.
The semi-finals and finals are played at DeCou Field in Cherry Hill. The semi-finals will take place on October 27 and the finals on October 30.
Here are the matches of the first round
(16) Middle Township to (1) East
(9) Williamstown to (8) pounds sterling
(12) Continent to (5) Shawnee
(13) Bishop Eustache in (4) Cherokee
(14) Cinnamon in (3) Rancocas Valley
(11) Kingsway to (6) Millville
(10) Clearview to (7) Washington Township
(15) Delsea at (2) Ocean City
Two of the first round games feature both area teams – Kingsway in Millville and Clearview in Washington Township.
There was no coaching tournament last year due to the pandemic. Eastern is the reigning three-time champion.
A team from the South Jersey Times area has won four Coaching Tournament titles since its inception in 1984.
The local champions were West Deptford, who won in 1987, Gloucester Catholic (1998), Washington Township, who was co-champion with Shawnee in 2001 and Gloucester Catholic (2005).
The key shock of Friday
Pitman and Clayton are in a major battle for the Tri-County Classic Division title. Pitman is 7-0-2 in the division while Clayton is 7-1-1. The final divisional game for the two will be on Friday when Clayton hosts Pitman. So little separated the teams. On September 22, they played a 2-2 draw.
Both teams are led by prolific seniors.
Pitman’s Catriona Galvin has already totaled 20 goals and nine assists. Danielle DeFalco of Clayton has 17 goals and five assists.
Dominant division winner
Millville has already won the title of the American division Cape Atlantic. the Thunderbolts are 10-0 in the division with two games to go. In those 10 wins, Millville dominated his opponents, 55-2. Senior Olivia Giordano led Millville with 19 goals.
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