EHT Lady Eagles fly to new heights

Back row from left; Assistant Coach Mark Gorman, Head Coach Brian Cieslak, Assistant Coach Steve Gras, Assistant Coach Darren Mathis. Next row; Jordan Finnerty, Kira Jolly, Isabella Cieslak, Janelle Brooks, Naiomi Nnewihe. Next row; Christina Stelmakh, Marissa Gras, Olivia Toro, Mariah Newman, Nevaeh Blocker, Abigail Lyon. Bottom row from left; Abigail Mathis, Lauren Piskun, Giavanna Cortese, Dakota Gorman, Lily Pauls.

CHRISTINE GRAS / PROVIDED

The Egg Harbor Township 10U Lady Eagles have already made history. On Sunday, Nov. 19, they will attempt to put an exclamation point on their historic season by winning a championship.

The EHT Soccer Club travel team, made up of 10-year-old girls, will play in the final game of the New Jersey Commissioners Cup noon Sunday at Friendship Fields in Chesterfield, Bordentown Township. They are the first team in the more than 30-year history of EHT soccer to reach the finals of the tournament, which involved 32 teams from throughout the state.

Head coach Brian Cieslak has been an EHT Soccer Club coach for 11 years, leading his boys team to three flight championships. His girls team has already won two flight championships and went undefeated both of those seasons.

“In the first two State Cup games the other team was ahead but our team never gave up. We always remained positive and fought to the finish," Cieslak said. These girls make me proud and I am reminded of the words of the great Lou Holtz: 'Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.' These girls never give up and they motivate each other which motivates me and my coaching staff to keep them positive."

“These girls play with so much heart and are dedicated to support and help each other both on the field and off field," said assistant coach Mark Gorman. "They are not just teammates or friends but a soccer family. It is a pleasure to be able to coach such an amazing group of young ladies.”

Christine Gras, president of the EHT Soccer Club and parent of one of the team's players, Marissa, said the Cup final appearance is a testament to the success of EHT Soccer as a whole.

"We offer a high level of training through Prestige Soccer Training," Gras said, "but it takes the leadership of the coaching to be supportive of the Club, the hard work of the players and the support from the parents to create a team like this. What we have now with this girls team is the proof that this can all be done."

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