St. Joseph girls’ soccer seniors pursue their own first state championship.

Mary Lundregan, Ava Cumello, Annie Stook, Caroline Sheehan and Maddigan Leifer have helped St. Joseph to a 7-0-0 start to the girls' soccer season.

Mary Lundregan, Ava Cumello, Annie Stook, Caroline Sheehan and Maddigan Leifer have helped St. Joseph to a 7-0-0 start to the girls' soccer season.

Bill Bloxsom / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — Chasing championships is a seasonal goal set by St. Joseph girls’ soccer coach Jack Nogueria. The annual mission statement has been taken to heart by this year’s team.

“Last year doesn’t count (FCIAC East Division co-champs),” Nogueria said of the truncated 2020 campaign that had teams playing in regional pods. “Our team is hungry. A key factor for us is not to get injured. We are not very deep. If we stay healthy, and get some breaks, we should be fine.”

St. Joseph, which has won six state titles and three FCIAC crowns under Nogueria, improved to 7-0-0 after it defeated Norwalk 7-0 on Thursday.

St. Joseph last won states in 2017, the year before this class of seniors enrolled. That was the third straight LL title for the Cadets, who are competing in Class L this year. A recurring theme in the postseason is consecutive 2-1 losses to FCIAC foes in 2018 (second round to Wilton) and 2019 (quarterfinals to Ridgefield).

Mary Lundregan, Annie Stook, Caroline Sheehan, Ava Cumello and Maddigan Leifer are seniors. They lead what Nogueria called a relatively young team.

“This opportunity means a lot,” said Lundregan, team captain and a returning All-American selection. “This senior class has not won a state title. We’ve worked together all four years. This is something we definitely want to do.”

Lundregan, who had eight goals and seven assists as a junior, is joined by Cumello and Hannah Silva in the midfield. Stook, set to return in the midfield, wasn’t fortunate on the injury front. She suffered an ACL injury over the summer and is lost for the season.

“It isn’t what I wanted for my senior season, but we have a lot of talented young players,” Stook said. “This season is different because there were always so many older kids on the team and we were always the young ones.”

Cummelo said: “There is a lot of the season left. We don’t take any team lightly. We know that every team works hard and wants to win.”

Balance in the lineup is a priority for Nogueria.

“We have four seniors that start,” he said. “We start two freshmen and four will play. We play another three-four sophomores and three-four juniors. That is my favorite thing. If we can have three or four players involved from each class, you never have a drop off.”

The Cadets have outscored opponents 32-3.

Alexa Pino is the team’s top point producer. She is joined up top by fellow freshmen Sara Parker and Anabelle Monaco-Belden.

Sheehan, Leifer and sophomores Maeve Matthews and Katie Stock play back line. Emily Robinson and Addison Chapman have been in goal.

“It’s about the whole team,” Sheehan said of posting five shut outs. “Everyone works hard every step of the way. Everyone gives their all, you can’t pinpoint a particular person. Every time we step on the field, we work our hardest.”

Leifer said: “I think it is our strong bond on and off the field is the key. We really know how to work with each other, and we all work for each other.”

Class notes: St. Joseph is first in the Class L standings. Waterford 6-0-0 is second and Suffield 5-0-0 third. In Class LL, Ludlowe 6-1-0 is third behind Glastonbury 7-0-0 and Amity 6-1-0. St. Joseph gave Ludlowe its only loss, 1-0, on Alexa Pino’s goal. Ridgefield 4-0-2 is fourth in LL, Darien 4-1-1 sixth. Twitter: @blox354