With Lyndhurst girls’ soccer team, it’s nice to share

It’s certainly hard to argue with the success the Lyndhurst High School girls’ soccer team has enjoyed so far this season.

In this crazy year turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Golden Bears have been nothing short of perfect.

The Golden Bears have played four games to date. All four have been shutout victories. That’s rare in itself, even when you consider that the goalkeeper is a freshman.

But the Bears are also sharing the wealth and obviously sharing the ball.

Take for instance a recent 7-0 win over Weehawken. In astounding fashion, seven different girls scored one goal each. One might figure that there would a standout performer who would knock home two, perhaps three.

Nope. Seven goals for seven girls. Sounds like a hokey Broadway show in the 1950s that made its way to the silver screen, starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell.

That one was “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” and none of these Golden Bear teenagers are getting married anytime soon.

But it is a soccer rarity, much like four straight shutouts to start the season, outscoring the competition 20-to-zip.

Kim Hykey is the veteran head coach at Lyndhurst, incredibly beginning her 11th season already after having a great career as the all-time scoring leader at Lyndhurst before heading off to play at Seton Hall.

Hykey also believes that the seven goals for seven different Golden Bears routine posed a rarity, considering the circumstances of the season.

“It’s crazy because we didn’t have a preseason,” Hykey said. “In a regular year, we might have a scorer or two.”

So the Golden Bears are also sharing one common goal.

“We’re totally focused on the state tournament,” Hykey said. “We’re trying to do something that has never been done before.”

It means winning the NJSIAA state sectional championship.

“We never won a state sectional,” Hykey said. “So it’s absolutely our goal. I usually try to undersell things like that. But this year, we have to aim high and hopefully that will happen. We have everyone back from a talented team.”

The Golden Bears were 19-3 overall last year. There will be fewer games this season because of the pandemic, but the Golden Bears will be a tough opponent, much like what’s already been proven.

In goal is freshman Mackenzie Sibello. Hykey has a lot of faith in the rookie.

“She’s been trained well,” Hykey said. “She has good hands. Her composure is good. The backline plays the ball through her. She’s very good for a freshman.”

Backing up Sibello is senior Danielle Dominguez.

“She’s a great team player,” Hykey said of Dominguez.

Junior Claudia Lapinski played all year last year in goal for the Golden Bears.

“She’s one of my favorite kids,” Hykey said. “She works harder than most. She’s super intelligent. She does everything we ask of her. She is driven to start. She has good reaction skills and makes good reaction saves.”

The center fullback is senior Maggie Fodera, a four-year steady fixture on the backline.

“She’s the reason why we have success,” Hykey said. “She does everything for us. She’s so good and so composed on the ball. She makes everything seem so easy. She knows how to have fun and knows when to compete. She balances both very well.”

Sophomore Kayla Carrino is another center fullback.

“She’s more of a midfielder in the back,” Hykey said. “We moved her back to the defense because she can handle it. She tracks the ball well. Her work rate made me think she’d be pretty good.”

Other defenders include seniors Julia McCann and Alexa Totorello, both of whom started last year, along with sophomore Keilani Gomez and freshmen Elise Ferschweiler and Julia Tozduman.

The Golden Bears are deep and talented in the midfield.

Senior Gia Estrella is a four-year starter “who distributes the ball well and has a lot of good attributes,” Hykey said.

Senior Kaydee Yallo was the team’s leading scorer with 17 goals last year. Already committed to play soccer at Northeastern University in Boston for next year, Yallo only has one goal and three assists this season.

“She’s a dual threat,” Hykey said. “She’s smart and can see the field so well. There are not enough words in the English language I can say about how talented she is. She’s a positive role model to the rest of the team.”

Junior Aliya Keith is another talented player who had three goals and seven assists last year.

Juniors Francesca Castagnetti and Meghan Docherty and sophomore Amanda Dasler are key midfielders off the bench.

The forward line features senior Deirdre Kearns, who tallied seven goals and had five assists last year and has two goals this season.

“She’s the heart and soul of the team,” Hykey said. “She’s going to give 100 percent every time out. She’s super tough and would run through a wall for you.”

Seniors Joelle Montillo and Jessa Dell’Aquila are two other key players on the front line.

Sophomores Madison Weaver and Lexi Augustyniak are also solid goal producers. Augustyniak scored eight goals last season.

Freshman Julia Anthony has made her mark, scoring three times already. Senior Iris Gonzales rounds out the talented and deep roster that features an astounding 12 different goal scorers this season.

“We have a chance to win the state sectional,” Hykey said. “We have to find people in the box and finish our chances. We need to be more creative to score.”

Sure looks like the chances are there.




Lyndhurst senior defender Maggie Fodera


Lyndhurst senior forward Deirdre Kearns. Photos by Jim Hague





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Jim Hague | Observer Sports Writer

Sports Writer Jim Hague was with The Observer for 20+ years — and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports journalism. The St. Peter’s Prep and Marquette alum kicked off his journalism career post Marquette at the Daily Record, where he remained until 1985. Following shorts stints at two other newspapers, in September 1986, he joined the now-closed Hudson Dispatch, where he remained until 1991, when its doors were finally shut.

It was during his tenure at The Dispatch that Hague’s name and reputation as one of country’s hardest-working sports reporters grew. He won several New Jersey Press Association and North Jersey Press Club Awards in that timeframe.

In 1991, he became a columnist for The Hudson Reporter chain of newspapers — and he remains with them to this day.

In addition to his work at The Observer and The Hudson Reporter, Hague is also an Associated Press stringer, where he covers Seton Hall University men’s basketball, New York Red Bulls soccer and occasionally, New Jersey Devils hockey.

He’s also doing work at The Morristown Daily Record, the very newspaper where his journalism career began.

During his career, he also worked for Dorf Feature Services, which provided material for the Star-Ledger. While there, he covered the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.

Hague is also known for his announcing work — and he’s done PA work for Rutgers Newark and NJIT.

Hague is the author of the book “Braddock: The Rise of the Cinderella Man.”