Girls soccer: New staff looking to carry on Masuk tradition

When the Masuk High girls soccer team kicks off its season this fall, there will be a new face patrolling the sidelines for the first time in over two decades.

Jay Golesky, a former All-New England standout at Trumbull High, takes over for Eleanor Brainard — who helmed the Panthers for the last 22 seasons, leading them to nine conference championships and two state finals.

“I think we have a strong program. I definitely want to build on what Eleanor has done here,” said Golesky, who played collegiately at both Mitchell College and the University of Massachusetts. “She has done a great job building the program and keeping it at a very high level. I just want to come in and continue to keep that level very high, keep on building on her success if I can.”

Masuk went 9-6-3 last year, falling in the quarterfinals of the South-West Conference tournament before losing in penalty kicks to Guilford High in the first round of the Class L state tournament.

The Panthers lost eight seniors from that squad, but a strong core returns for Golesky, who served as an assistant boys soccer coach at Fairfield Ludlowe and St. Joseph of Trumbull before taking over at Masuk.

“The girls are engaged this season and ready to work,” said Golesky, who is assisted by Sanna Sarr. “It’s going to be a fun season for them… It’s definitely a Masuk family and that’s the way we are going to treat it.”

Leading the line once again for the Panthers will be Kacey Lawrence. The junior striker is a preseason All-American and committed to the University of Michigan. Joining her in the attack is senior Gia DeLorenzo, a University of Connecticut commit and All-State selection last year.

Fellow seniors Megan O’Meara and Christina Moniz also bring their experience back to the pitch.

“We have good a senior-leadership class,” Golesky said. “We are definitely going to rely on them to push the tempo and bring energy to the program.”

That veteran leadership will be key in tackling a daunting SWC slate, along with non-conference matchups with state qualifiers Shelton and East Lyme.

“I look forward to all of the rivalry games,” Golesky said. “It’s a great group of coaches. Everyone has really good, high-quality coaching staffs. It’s going to be good competition, we’re not going to take anyone lightly. We’re going to go at every game like it’s the last game of the season. That’s how we train, that’s how we play.”

Masuk opens the season against visiting Immaculate High of Danbury on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at Benedict Stadium.

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