by Victoria Formica ’26
Published 10 Nov. 2022
Amongst the new rules within the high school soccer community, Montgomery is facing an even greater change with two brand-new varsity coaches.
There have been many adjustments to the program this year. Last season the team went 2-11-1 and has not won a state championship since 2012. The new head coach, Yannick Smith, was previously the middle school girls soccer coach. In his two years there, he turned the team around and led them to a conference championship.
During his first year, he got the team to the semifinal where they, unfortunately, lost 3-2. The following year he acquired many new players and coached the team to win a championship against Hillsborough, previously a near-impossible team to beat. Outside of these achievements, Coach Smith is bright and caring and wants to make sure that everyone’s day is as positive as possible. He will always try to make sure that everyone has a great time, but is able to make sure that people put in the work
Our other new coach, Coach Colangelo has a history of working with Voorhees HS as their girls’ assistant coach. She has been a great addition to the coaching staff and when asked about what she wanted to bring to this team, she responded, “I would say something that we worked really hard on with my last team was building trust within each other.” She is always supportive and makes sure that there are opportunities for every player and that they are reaching their full potential.
She and Coach Smith have a very similar work ethic, making them a great team in the future. Not every coach can turn a program around quickly, but Coach Smith might be one of the few who can. He has a lot of optimism, saying, “I think we are starting to get there. The results are the last of the change, the culture and mentality have to change first and then results will come.”
Coaches Smith, Colangelo, and Junior Varsity Coach Upshaw all work really well together and are able to provide a good environment for the whole team. Smith says, “I love Coach Colangelo and Coach Upshaw…I think that we work well and…the fact that we have a friendship outside of work makes coaching together easier.”
Another change that had to be managed was the NJSIAA’s decision to shorten the preseason by almost half. Coach Colangelo says that there weren’t a lot of things that they could work on given the shortened time and had to prioritize strategically. He says, “I think fitness being one of them you know we couldn’t really spend too much time on that because we wanted to work on understanding positions and playing together.“
Montgomery’s girls soccer team is now about halfway through the season and working towards passing their record from last year. Overall, with our new coaches and new strategies, the MHS soccer team is sure to see improvements!