Character in Cleats: Sleepy Hollow Girls Soccer Program is Making Strides


Joe Golden

Simon Alexandris

Sleepy Hollow Girls Varsity Soccer is on the rise. Thanks to head coach Anthony Patierno, assistant coach Lisa King, JV coach Gregory Large, and the commitment of the players and their parents, SHGVS is creating a tight-knit soccer community in the Hollow.

The soccer team began to foster the community this summer, when Patierno and King ran the Sleepy Hollow Soccer Camp with the help of JV and Varsity players.  This program gave players early exposure to practice while engaging younger players with the high school team. 

After weeks of grueling pre-season training and practice led by senior captains Emma Cusanelli, Emily Rodriguez, and Emma Sylves-Berry, SHGVS began their fall season, competing in games in both Westchester and Rockland counties.

On Thursday, September 14th, Sleepy Hollow faced Peekskill under the lights at Sleepy Hollow High School’s turf field. With a huge, supportive fan section, the energy was high on and off of the field. SHGVS blew out Peekskill 8-0, with all goals coming in the first half. Emily Rodriguez played an excellent game, scoring a hat trick.  

Nonetheless, with a tough and demanding schedule, SHGVS has been met by some losses. However, with the teams’ evident drive, energy, and passion for the game, SHGVS will surely find its stride. Coach Patierno explains, “We have been working over the last two years to build a more competitive and comprehensive program that will develop our female athletes in many ways.  Whether we are bonding over ice cream or fighting to pull out a last minute victory, we love what we do.  We also aim to instill good moral character in our athletes. Most importantly, we are building a family and learning what it means to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  It is going to be an uphill battle, especially in our early years, but I know that the future is bright for our varsity squad and the program in general.”

As each member of the team  has come to embrace the same core values, Emma Sylves-Berry expressed, “The team is a family in every way. Being a part of it is an honor, and I can’t wait to see what this season has in store for us. The program continues to grow, and that’s due to the hard work of our coaches and our players. Go Hollow.” She continued, “SHGVS is a tightly-knit group of girls, and this bond can be seen both on and off of the field.”

Each game or practice starts with a recitation of the same quote by Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan-Chase: “Have a fierce resolve in everything you do. Demonstrate determination, resilience, and tenacity. Do not let temporary setbacks become permanent excuses. And finally, use mistakes and problems as opportunities to get better– not reasons to quit.”

It’s evident that SHGVS has come to truly embody Dimon’s advice, illustrated during games, practices, and in school. They have shown what it means to be on a team as well as part of a larger community; one that perseveres together, despite any possible challenges. No matter the final record, SHGVS scores a W when it comes to character and teamwork.