Sports Person of the Week
Lendroth Stepping into the Varsity Net
Sophomore Seralyn Lendroth has earned her spot as the starting goalie for the East Haven varsity girls’ soccer team as the Yellowjackets begin the 2021 season. (Photo courtesy of Seralyn Lendroth)
Seralyn Lendroth waited patiently for her opportunity to become a starting goalkeeper. As she enters her sophomore season with the East Haven girls’ soccer team, Seralyn is going to get that chance after having recently been named the Yellowjackets’ starting varsity goalie.
Seralyn began playing soccer in East Haven’s recreational league at the age of three. She continued with the sport into high school and still plays in the rec league during the summer.
At first, playing soccer was a bit intimidating for Seralyn. However, after learning the ropes from her coaches, Seralyn started to feel more comfortable on the pitch.
“When I first started off, I was kind of scared,” says Seralyn. “A lot of the coaches got me into it. They knew I was OK with it. I just started going from there.”
One of those people was John Gildersleeve, a longtime soccer coach in East Haven’s youth program. Gildersleeve had Seralyn penciled in as a defender, but after seeing other girls try out for goalie position, Seralyn decided that she wanted to give it a shot.
“A lot of people were becoming goalies. I had to wait my turn. I didn’t become a full goalie until 6th grade. I was taught to play everywhere on the field,” Seralyn says. “Coach Gildersleeve wanted me to be a defender. But I saw a lot of people becoming goalies, and I wanted to be one. There was a lot of people playing goalie. I had to wait.”
Seralyn joined the Yellowjackets and a freshman and was cross-rostered between the JV and varsity teams. At the JV level, Seralyn split time with Jasmin Pinos, who is now a fellow sophomore. With the varsity squad, Seralyn served as backup goalie to Angelina Munoz, who has since graduated.
Getting some varsity time showed Seralyn what she had to work on in order to succeed at that level. Seralyn feels that backing up Munoz taught her what the expectations are for East Haven’s varsity keeper.
“I wasn’t expecting to be a freshman on varsity. I had to improve my ball work and improve my overall skills,” says Seralyn. “Angelina helped me a lot. She is an amazing goalkeeper. I’m trying to live up to her expectations.”
Munoz had a prolific career that saw her lead East Haven as a senior captain and earn All-SCC honors in her last two seasons with the team. With Seralyn now stepping into the varsity net, she is going to try to do her best to fill the big shoes that Munoz left behind.
Seralyn has been training with a goalie coach in order to prepare for her new role. She’s also been spending time working with Yellowjackets’ Head Coach Jake Hackett.
“It’s a big role to fill in. It’s a big step filling in someone else’s shoes,” Seralyn says. “I have some pretty big shoes to fill.”
Coach Hackett feels that Seralyn should be a great fit in the crease for the Easties. Hackett says that Seralyn is a technically sound goaltender who has the potential to grow as both an athlete and a leader as she continues through the program.
“She is young, but she is a very strong goalie. She has great technique. I think she can step up and be a leader,” says Hackett of Seralyn. “It means a lot to her, stepping into a starting role. She is proud to do it. I think she will do great things for us over the next few years.”
In addition to soccer, Seralyn is also a member of the East Haven girls’ basketball team. Seralyn loves competing alongside her teammates in both sports and says they are the ones who encourage her to continue getting better every day.
“It’s not just the sport that I love playing. It’s the teammates that make me want to play,” Seralyn says. “Being able to be with everyone from East Haven is a lot better than being moved around with different towns. It’s like one big family.”