CHS Girls Soccer 2023 Season Preview: ‘So Much Talent on This Team’


Columbia working to tap potential as a scoring powerhouse, Head Coach Cortes says

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From the South Orange-Maplewood School District:

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. – In every soccer season, there is a team that can strike fear in their opponents just by appearing on the fall schedule. The team’s reputation for excellence on the pitch is undisputed and widely recognized.

“I really think we have the potential to be that team,” said CHS Girls Soccer Head Coach Sarah Cortes on the precipice of her second year as head coach. “There’s so much talent on this team. I’m hoping we can bring it out this season.”

Conditions are favorable for Cortes’ players to tap their potential as a powerhouse. Many of the team’s starters are returning this season, led by team captains Ava Davis and Lily Westhelle, both rising seniors. Cortes also has a close ally in Assistant Coach Delaney Suarez, who was her teammate on the Seton Hall Pirates Womens Soccer Team.

CHS soccer players execute a drill during practice on Monday.

Both coaches know that to perform better than their 6-10-1 record last year, the team will need to improve its finishing and scoring. In other words, they’ll need to get the ball in the back of the opponent’s net, game after game.

Accomplishing that will be a matter of changing the mindset of many of the players, said Cortes, who knows a thing or two about the mind through her work as a Columbia High School counselor. The team will be working on being more confident on the field, taking more shots on goal, and earning the right to have a little more swagger by the end of the season.

“The biggest thing for us is showing everyone how good we really are,” Cortes said.

The Columbia High School Girls Soccer season opener will be against the Nutley Raiders away at Father Glotzbach Field, 44 Park Avenue, Nutley on Friday, Sept. 8th at 4:00 p.m. Their first home game will be against the Bloomfield Bengals on Monday, Sept. 11th at 7:00 p.m. at the Underhill Sports Complex.

CLICK HERE for the complete Columbia High School Cougar Athletics fall schedule.

CHS Girls Soccer Head Coach Sarah Cortes, left, talks with Assistant Coach Delaney Suarez.

CHS soccer players execute a drill during practice on Monday.

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