Youthful Holy Cross Prep girls soccer team has a successful history on its side

September 15, 2023 at 7:00 a.m.
The Holy Cross Preparatory Academy girls soccer team will get a lift this season from its Ava-powered offense, as junior Ava Mosteller (left) and Ava "Chicken" DeFulvio combined for 26 goals last year and have tallied a combined five goals in the Lancers first two games this year. Photo courtesy of HCPA
The Holy Cross Preparatory Academy girls soccer team will get a lift this season from its Ava-powered offense, as junior Ava Mosteller (left) and Ava "Chicken" DeFulvio combined for 26 goals last year and have tallied a combined five goals in the Lancers first two games this year. Photo courtesy of HCPA

By RICH FISHER
Contributing Editor

What Delran’s Holy Cross Preparatory Academy girls soccer team lacks in experience, it makes up for in a winning tradition. And that could mean a lot.

After graduating seven fulltime starters from last year’s 17-3 team that won the Burlington County Liberty Division and reached the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public B finals, coach Sergio Torres is leaning on some highly talented returnees as well as the standard set by past Lancer teams.

“The girls know that the girls soccer program has never had a losing season since the school opened,” Torres said. “It’s part of who we are. I think that’s gonna make them work a little harder to say, ‘Hey I don’t want to be that player that was part of the first losing season in the history of the school.’”

It helps that there are still some outstanding players in key positions. One huge loss was Ashley Baran, who scored 114 goals in four seasons. Fortunately, Holy Cross is still solid at forward with sophomore Ava “Chicken” DeFulvio and junior Ava Mosteller.

Triplet sisters Kylie (right) and Claire Zimmerman will be a driving force for Holy Cross Prep's girls soccer team this season as Kylie will carry the load when it comes to goalkeeping and Claire will use her hard working skills to set up goals for the Lancers.

 DeFulvio’s nickname came from her dad as a kid, when her elusiveness on the field reminded him of the chicken that Rocky Balboa tried to catch in the original Rocky movie. She exploded for 16 goals and eight assists as a freshman, while Mosteller added 10 goals and four assists. 

“That’s going to be a twin striker tandem that is going to produce some goals,” Torres said. “The last four years we built around Ashley Baran. When she was out injured for some games last year, these girls played without her. Ava scored goals in big games to give us the results we needed. I think they’re gonna pick up right where they left off.” 

An underrated returnee is junior midfielder Claire Zimmerman, one of two triplets on the team along with goalie Kylie. Zimmerman does not have gaudy statistics, but serves as an offensive engine.

“She’s a machine from the 18 to the 18,” Torres said. “Most of our goals are because of the battles she’s won. She never stops, she just goes and goes and wins balls.”

Junior midfielder Chloe Kundra, a first-team All-Liberty pick last year, helps orchestrate the attack.

“You notice her because she’s flashy, she’s brilliant on the ball and fun to watch,” Torres said.

Returning in goal is Kylie Zimmerman, who split time during her first two seasons and has looked outstanding through the Lancers first two games. “She just makes saves,” Torres said. “She’s really good.”

The question is on defense, as junior Allie Shaw is the lone holdover in the back. Still, the coach feels the Lancers can make another state run and challenge for the division title.

“Our defense is a little young,” Torres said. “This team will take their lumps and have their growing pains, but once they find their groove and find their identity, we’re gonna be difficult to beat. They’re gonna be one of those teams people don’t want to play. It should be fun.”


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What Delran’s Holy Cross Preparatory Academy girls soccer team lacks in experience, it makes up for in a winning tradition. And that could mean a lot.

After graduating seven fulltime starters from last year’s 17-3 team that won the Burlington County Liberty Division and reached the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public B finals, coach Sergio Torres is leaning on some highly talented returnees as well as the standard set by past Lancer teams.

“The girls know that the girls soccer program has never had a losing season since the school opened,” Torres said. “It’s part of who we are. I think that’s gonna make them work a little harder to say, ‘Hey I don’t want to be that player that was part of the first losing season in the history of the school.’”

It helps that there are still some outstanding players in key positions. One huge loss was Ashley Baran, who scored 114 goals in four seasons. Fortunately, Holy Cross is still solid at forward with sophomore Ava “Chicken” DeFulvio and junior Ava Mosteller.

Triplet sisters Kylie (right) and Claire Zimmerman will be a driving force for Holy Cross Prep's girls soccer team this season as Kylie will carry the load when it comes to goalkeeping and Claire will use her hard working skills to set up goals for the Lancers.

 DeFulvio’s nickname came from her dad as a kid, when her elusiveness on the field reminded him of the chicken that Rocky Balboa tried to catch in the original Rocky movie. She exploded for 16 goals and eight assists as a freshman, while Mosteller added 10 goals and four assists. 

“That’s going to be a twin striker tandem that is going to produce some goals,” Torres said. “The last four years we built around Ashley Baran. When she was out injured for some games last year, these girls played without her. Ava scored goals in big games to give us the results we needed. I think they’re gonna pick up right where they left off.” 

An underrated returnee is junior midfielder Claire Zimmerman, one of two triplets on the team along with goalie Kylie. Zimmerman does not have gaudy statistics, but serves as an offensive engine.

“She’s a machine from the 18 to the 18,” Torres said. “Most of our goals are because of the battles she’s won. She never stops, she just goes and goes and wins balls.”

Junior midfielder Chloe Kundra, a first-team All-Liberty pick last year, helps orchestrate the attack.

“You notice her because she’s flashy, she’s brilliant on the ball and fun to watch,” Torres said.

Returning in goal is Kylie Zimmerman, who split time during her first two seasons and has looked outstanding through the Lancers first two games. “She just makes saves,” Torres said. “She’s really good.”

The question is on defense, as junior Allie Shaw is the lone holdover in the back. Still, the coach feels the Lancers can make another state run and challenge for the division title.

“Our defense is a little young,” Torres said. “This team will take their lumps and have their growing pains, but once they find their groove and find their identity, we’re gonna be difficult to beat. They’re gonna be one of those teams people don’t want to play. It should be fun.”

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