Lady Dragons defeat Amsterdam, run win streak to four games

GLOVERSVILLE – After back-to-back Foothills Council losses to Scotia-Glenville and South Glens Falls, the Gloversville girls soccer team has stepped up its game.

Wednesday night, the Lady Dragons recorded their fourth-straight victory and fourth-straight shutout with a 2-0 victory over Amsterdam in Foothills Council South Division action at Gloversville High School.

“It was an overall team effort tonight from Alex [goalkeeper Alex Benfatti] all the way up to our forwards,” Gloversville coach Mike Hallenbeck said. “I am very happy with the way we played.”

The Lady Rams (1-5-1 overall, 1-5-1 Foothills) came out strong and put the first shot of the match on goal in the opening minute that Benfatti handled for a save.

Gloversville (6-2-1 overall, 5-2-0 Foothills) then went to work with its passing game.

The Lady Dragons worked combinations through the midfield and consistently worked into the Amsterdam defensive third of the field only to be denied by the Lady Rams defenders or being caught in a well-executed off-sides trap.

The Lady Dragons got the timing right with 21:22 left in the opening half when Hailey Bugaj-Dunlap sent a ball forward out of the midfield that Sierra Fancher ran onto and fired a shot into the upper corner for a 1-0 advantage.

The Lady Rams looked for the equalizer with 8:20 remaining in the opening half off a corner kick.

Lucia Liverio put the ball in play from the right side but Benfatti was able to punch the ball clear out of a pack of players in front of the goal to preserve the Lady Dragons lead.

It did not take long after the intermission for Gloversville to extend its advantage.

Fancher touched the ball off to Amanda Bakyta and she fired a 30-yard shot on goal that skimmed under the crossbar for Gloversville’s second goal of the match just 14 seconds into the second half.

“You couldn’t ask for a better start to the second half,” Hallenbeck said. “We talked about in the first half how we played well and played our game. We needed to keep up the intensity in the second half.”

With just over 30 minutes remaining Bakyta looked to extend Gloversville’s lead putting a 20-yard direct kick on net.

However, Amsterdam goalkeeper Victoria Barone-Lopez came up with a big save to keep the score at 2-0.

The Lady Rams pushed forward in a counterattack with Haley Madej sending a pass forward and onto the feet of Liverio. The junior midfielder received the ball and fired a hard shot on goal that Benfatti was able to pull in and preserve her shutout.

For the match, Gloversville held a 12-3 advantage in shots on goal, and a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.

Barone-Lopez came up with 10 saves in net for Amsterdam, while Benfatti recorded three saves for her fifth shut out of the season.

The Lady Dragons will go after its fifth-straight victory at 7 p.m. Friday when they travel to take on Johnstown in a Foothills Council South Division contest at Johnstown High School.

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