D1 girls soccer commit goes from small-school standout to international success

D1 girls soccer commit goes from small-school standout to international success

The moment was so surreal.

Just 10 days after scoring a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Middlesex, Angelina Vargas stepped onto the field for the Dominican Republic National Team on Oct. 22 and scored with minutes left in a 3-0 win over Bolivia. Three days later, she played 25 minutes in another friendly.

Vargas is the leading scorer for Wardlaw-Hartridge and she’s committed to Boston University, so her talent and ability to score has never been in doubt. Getting an opportunity to display that on an international level is something the junior will never forget though.

“I was overwhelmed with excitement, knowing I would be playing with high-level players who are playing or have played in the National Women’s Soccer League and in Europe,” said Vargas. “It felt rewarding to score a goal because I have worked very hard to get where I am now and it feels great knowing that hard work has paid off.”

Wardlaw-Hartridge coach Mike Romeo says that Vargas’ goal for the Dominican Republic was typical Angelina. The junior completed a pass, sprinted 70 yards down the field and ten found herself on the other end of a pass that put her 1-on-1 with the keeper.

In that spot, Romeo knew there was no doubt what would happen next.

“Our entire school community has been buzzing over this. We have seen her score that same type of goal many times for us,” said Romeo. “It’s been sensational really. It’s not every day that one of your players gets a call up to a national team. We were all just hoping she gets in the game. Keep in mind, this is a 16-year-old training with the full national team. It’s very exciting.”

Vargas came to Wardlaw-Hartridge two years ago and added another element to a dynamic offense led by Isabella Wysocki, who finished her career with 106 career scores. Last fall, the talented striker took a step forward and led the Rams in scoring during a shortened season.

This fall, Vargas has really taken off, with 21 goals as the team’s lead scorer.

The junior is back with her high school team now and will lead Wardlaw-Hartridge as it hits the road to take on Saddle River Day in the North, Non-Public B quarterfinals on Friday. Vargas will give the Rams an offensive spark and a chance to pull off the upset.

“We have been very fortunate to have some very talented players at Wardlaw-Hartridge, but Angelina works harder on her game than any player I’ve had here,” said Romeo. “I would say that we have had more skillful soccer players than Angelina, but she is the player that is most ready for the next level. She has all of the physical tools that make her very difficult to play against. She has exceptional speed and can score goals at any level. She reads the game very well and is ultra-competitive. She’s only going to get better and I’m sure this experience will undoubtedly help her development greatly.”

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Brandon Gould can be reached at bgould@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonGouldHS.


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