Pen­ning­ton’s Avery look­ing to score as many goals as pos­si­ble

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS - By Kyle Franko kfranko@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @kj_franko on Twit­ter

PEN­NING­TON » As far back as she can re­mem­ber, Jay­din Avery al­ways wanted to play soc­cer even if it came with a quizzi­cal look or two from her mother.

“I was like, ‘mom, I want to play soc­cer,’ and she was like ‘What? What do you mean you want to play soc­cer?’” Avery said. “I was like, ‘yeah, I want to play soc­cer.’ Ever since then I’ve been play­ing.”

Don’t worry, mom, ev­ery­thing is go­ing great.

Avery, a se­nior at the Pen­ning­ton School who is from East Tren­ton, re­cently com­mit­ted to St. Joseph’s Univer­sity in Philadel­phia to play soc­cer.

“I think their style of play fits me well,” Avery said fol­low­ing the Red Raiders’ dom­i­nat­ing 5-0 win over Hill on Satur­day af­ter­noon. “I love the school as well. It’s not in a bad area, it’s a good area in Philly. I love Philly and it’s real close to home.”

Mean­while, there’s still work to be done in her fi­nal year at Pen­ning­ton. The Red Raiders im­proved to 3-1 af­ter they got two goals from Kylie Daigle and one each from Stephanie Balerna, Syd­ney Gib­bard and El­lie Hawkey.

Although Avery didn’t get one of the goals on Satur­day, she knows there will be plenty more op­por­tu­ni­ties. The speedy winger tal­lied nine times last year and has 35 ca­reer goals.

“Scor­ing as much as I can,” she replied when asked what she was look­ing for­ward to for the rest of the sea­son. “It’s my last year and I want to go all out, but also im­prov­ing my team­mates. Be­ing a cap­tain, I want to lead and help im­prove ev­ery­body.”

Wear­ing the cap­tain’s arm­band along with fel­low se­niors Syd­ney Gib­bard, Mary Griswold and Gianna Luc­ch­esi is some­thing Avery had been work­ing to­ward.

“We all have to lead in some sort of way to push each other,” Avery said. “Since I was a fresh­man, that was my goal to be­come a cap­tain.”

The Red Raiders uti­lize Avery as a right winger and ju­nior Kelli Collins on the left to give them pace out wide and open up space for the cre­ative Daigle to op­er­ate cen­trally. Pen­ning­ton re­tained 90 per­cent of the pos­ses­sion and didn’t al­low Hill (1-1-1) a sin­gle touch in­side the penalty area.

Balerna put Pen­ning­ton ahead in the first half be­fore the flood­gates opened in the sec­ond once Daigle got her first in the 48th minute. Luc­ch­esi, who pushed into cen­tral mid­field for the sec­ond half, fin­ished with three as­sists.

“At Pen­ning­ton, we’re al­ways look­ing for each other,” Avery said. “We’re not self­ish. We’re al­ways look­ing to do ev­ery­thing as a team.”

Hill (1-1-1) 0 0 - 0

Pen­ning­ton (3-1) 1 4 - 5

Goals: Daigle 2, Balerna, S. Gib­bard, Hawkey (TPS); As­sists: Balerna, Daigle, Luc­ch­esi 3 (TPS); Shots: 0 (H). 29 (TPS); Saves: Krick 14 (H). Kavulich 0, Kramli 0 (TPS).

JOHN BLAINE —FILE PHOTO — FOR THE TREN­TO­NIAN

Pen­ning­ton’s Jay­din Avery, left, has com­mit­ted to St. Joseph’s for soc­cer.

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