By Bridget Walsh
A hat trick in soccer is three goals all within one match. Imaginably difficult to achieve, one DeSales women’s soccer player managed to conquer the task.
Senior Angelica Bertola netted not one, but two consecutive hat tricks in the first two games of her final season in a Bulldogs uniform. The first came in a 7-0 shutout over Lancaster Bible College, and the second was in an 8-1 victory against New Jersey City.
“That definitely wouldn’t have happened without everybody on the field,” said Bertola. “Wouldn’t have happened without the beautiful passes, wouldn’t have happened if my teammates weren’t there. I’m just happy to see the work I put in in the summer and for the past four years finally all coming together, but it wouldn’t have happened without the encouragement from my teammates. That’s been huge.”
Bertola was also one of just two Bulldogs to receive postseason honors last year, and along with several notable returnees is prepared to take on the challenging season ahead.
“Just because two of us had gotten [all-conference honors] doesn’t mean anything for the rest of the girls,” stated Bertola. “There’s more leadership there than people realize across all positions, which is nice because there’s a nice balance from goalie all the way up to forward.”
In the conference preseason polls, the women’s soccer team tied for second with Wilkes University. As a veteran, Bertola reflected on the announcement and remained positive about the future for her team.
“To us, it’s just a preseason poll,” Bertola said with confidence. “Anything can happen once conference play comes and once playoffs come. We’re looking to really make a push in the playoffs and hopefully go into the NCAA tournament. I think it will be a very competitive conference schedule, but I think we’re ready for the challenge.”
Now that the Bulldogs have the preseason and a handful of non conference games behind them, they have settled and feel prepared for the ever important conference matches.
“Preseason was really good from the start,” Bertola said. “We had a great group of freshmen come in ready to play, and with that we were able to pick up as if we had been playing with each other for three years. It’s exciting and everybody’s on the same page.”
This season especially, the team is focusing on communicating and being selfless. As evident in the statistics, they are just shy of an equal amount of assists and goals. Bertola, who leads the team with eight goals, expressed the importance of these two concepts while also building confidence for the future.
“Sometimes we’re too unselfish when we’re in front of the goal and should take it yourself,” stated Bertola. “It’s a good thing because we’re all willing to work with each other and look for each other. I think if we continue to have that unselfishness and know when to shoot and know when to pass and just keep becoming more confident, I think we’ll be golden once conference hits. Once we get the first conference win, we’ll just keep rolling.”
Throughout her career, Bertola has been a solid contributor on the team. Now as a senior, she is anticipating the future, not only for the season, but also for the future of the program.
“It’s definitely bittersweet being a senior and it’s nice to know that I can tell the freshmen something that I wasn’t told when I was a freshman, sophomore, etc.,” Bertola said. “It’s honestly nice to help the younger girls because once I’m done playing I would love to see the program continue to build.”