Franklin Regional triple sister act scores
Franklin Regional senior soccer player Angelique Fonseca set a record this season that in all likelihood will never be equaled. She scored a goal on every shot she took. Actually, one shot, one goal. And it came at a most propitious moment.
And now the caveat.
After watching Fonseca letter her sophomore and junior seasons, earning all-section honors in the process last year, FR girls soccer coach Rich Garland was looking forward to a stellar senior season to cap her scholastic career.
“Angelique is an outside midfielder, but she can play outside back or forward,” Garland noted. “She is a versatile player and a scorer. She can put the ball in the net. Angelique is a skilled player and tremendous leader and she is willing to share her talents with other players. Our younger players look up to her and she has been a crucial part of our team.”
Unfortunately, Fonseca tore her right anterior cruciate ligament ( ACL ) in a CUP soccer game last spring, sidelining her for her senior campaign. Her role this season was limited to offering moral support to her teammates from the sidelines.
“She came back for Senior Night,” Garland said. “That was the only game she was able to play. We did not want to take any chances with her on a possible re-injury and she was on the field about 10-15 minutes. But she was able to score a goal, her only goal of the season. She took only one shot and scored. We missed her this season. Her presence would have given us more depth.”
On Fonseca’s goal, which was a left-footed effort, even though she is a right-footed kicker, her youngest sister, Gionna, a freshman, recorded the assist.
And watching and cheering from her center midfield position was the third Fonseca sister on the field at the time, junior Nikalette, who has earned all-section honors each of her three years with the Lady Panthers varsity.
As an imaginary play-by-play announcer might have called the game, “Fonseca passes to Fonseca who passes to Fonseca.”
“Very few teams have three sisters on the same team,” Garland continued, “and, especially under the circumstances, we wanted all three girls on the field at the same time. Unfortunately for Angelique, that could only be Senior Night, and that was at the beginning of each half. But everything turned out very well.”
A tough and physically and an intimidating player is how Garland describes Nikalette Fonseca. “She is strong and does not back down,” Garland explained. “She is a strong leader and has a physical presence on the field that challenges opponents. She can hit a rope from 40 yards out or finish at the end line. Our girls follow her on the field and are inspired by her physical play.”
Although Gionna, youngest of the sister act, does not start, she earned a letter in this, her first varsity season.
“Gionna made a bigger contribution over the last several games,” Garland added. “She has a bright future with our program. She has good ball skills, speed, (she is) skilled and talented on and off the ball and she can score. Gionna has a nose for the goal. She earned a spot on field during Senior Night with her sisters.”
Chuckling about “sisterly disagreements” at home, Angelique Fonseca said she and her sisters “are teammates on the field and we work well together.”
Permitted to play only on Senior Night, she saw action at the beginning of each half.
“It was a special feeling, a moment I will always remember,” she said. “This was my last game and the first I was able to play all season. It was a special moment for my sisters and me to be on the field together, and for our parents (Arnie and Laurie). At the time I really didn’t think much about the fact that all three of us were on the field at the same time, but as I watched the action I was excited to see my sisters make good passes. I watched them all season, but the Senior Night game was different. Even though I had watched them all season, playing together was important.”
Ever so cautious, Angelique Fonseca’s teammates kept their eyes on her as she dribbled through opposing players. And one shot and one goal was a fitting cap to the season.
But, Angelique Fonseca admitted, “I was exhausted after the game.”
Having played on other teams together, the sisters had been on the field at the same time, but never in Franklin Regional uniforms.
“I’m close in age to my older sister Angelique, but I am two years older than Gionna,” Nikalette Fonseca said, “so being on the field during Senior Night took some getting used to at first. I was happy for Angelique since she was unable to play all year and especially happy that she was able to score. There are only so many people on the field and for there to be three sisters playing at the same time was special.”
Fittingly, Garland will have Gionna Fonseca on the field for three more seasons, but her assist on Senior Night helped make the moment special.
“It was exciting that each of our names was announced,” she said. “I was fortunate to have the assist on my sister’s goal. I kept trying to get the ball to her and her goal was much more significant since I had the assist.”
And Senior Night, 2010, will be a memory the sisters will learn to cherish.