Pennington’s Avery looking to score as many goals as possible
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).
Pennington’s Jaydin Avery, left, has committed to St. Joseph’s for soccer.