Building a team and a program from the ground up is the job Justine Lombardi took on when she agreed to become the first women’s head soccer coach at St. Francis Brooklyn last August.
With just over a month to go before the Terriers take the pitch in earnest at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Aug. 22 for their inaugural game against Lafayette, Lombardi added three new players to the 2019 roster, the Remsen Street school announced Tuesday afternoon.
Maya Madjercic, Jazzmin Forwood and Maggie Boston will all go down in history as part of the initial squad to take the field for the Terriers, who will try to emulate if not duplicate the success of the men’s program, which has advanced to the NCAA Regionals in four of the previous six years.
Madjercic, a native of Ontario, Canada, helped the Stoney Creek Soccer Club win eight championships in the past decade as a high-scoring forward. She could add some scoring punch for the Terriers, according to Lombardi.
“Maya is passionate, very mature, and has great energy, and will be a fantastic addition to our front line,” Lombardi said.
“During her time as a player, Madjercic’s team was ranked top three in the province of Ontario for five consecutive seasons. While in high school, Madjercic was also a basketball player, and was part of additional provincial championships.”
That championship pedigree is doubtlessly something Lombardi was seeking as she has spent the past year-plus scouring the nation and the globe for talent to add to her roster.
Boston, a goaltender, spent the past two years, including a redshirt campaign, at Louisiana Tech after starting in net for three seasons at Caddo Parish Magnet School down in the Bayou State.
During her pre-collegiate years, Boston earned two MVP awards, three defensive MVP honors and was named First-Team All-District.
Boston’s bloodline is also intriguing as her late grandfather, Spiro Cosse, played football for legendary Alabama head coach Bear Bryant during his time at Texas A&M.
“Maggie brings experience, maturity, and is just about one of the smartest and hardest working individuals I’ve ever met. Stay tuned for great things on and off the field from this one!” exclaimed Lombardi.
Forwood comes to Downtown Brooklyn from Arizona Western College. The 5-foot-4 defender is a native of Australia and played four years in that continent’s Women’s Premier League, helping her team to three championships during that stretch.
“I went to watch her junior college team compete in the conference tournament and couldn’t find her out on the field at all during the first half,” Lombardi confessed.
“Much to my surprise, Jazzmin, a defender/midfielder was in goal. It perfectly demonstrates her attitude, and willingness to do whatever it takes and always puts the team first. She is exactly the player that we need here.”
Lombardi, who is coming off a six-year assistant coaching stint at her alma mater, Quinnipiac in Connecticut, has been chomping at the bit to get her team out on the field after spending these past 12 months building what she hopes will be a competitive program.
“Not having a soccer season this past year for me, has made it even more exciting to get started,” Lombardi said.
“I can’t put it into words how excited we are, and the ladies are really excited too.”
In local NBA news, the Nets announced Wednesday that they have signed forward Henry Ellenson, a former New York Knick and Detroit Piston, to a two-way contract, meaning he will in all likelihood bounce up and down between the Brooklyn roster and the franchise’s G-League affiliate on Long Island.
Ellenson has averaged 4.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game over 76 career NBA games between his two previous franchises. He shot 44 percent from 3-point range last season in 19 contests, a quality that doubtlessly made him attractive to head coach Kenny Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks.
The former first-round pick (22nd overall by Detroit in 2016) is one of two two-way players the Nets inked on Wednesday as Brooklyn also added guard David Nwaba, also a three-year NBA veteran, to its roster.
The 6-foot-4 Nwaba has played with Cleveland, Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers during his career, averaging 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game. He also earned G-League All-Defensive Team and All-Rookie honors during his time with the Lakers in 2016-17.
The Los Angeles native and Ellenson, who hails from Wisconsin, will both participate in the Nets’ training camp ahead of the much-anticipated 2019-20 campaign.
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