2017 High School Girls Soccer Preview: Ready to contend

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Northville’s Jenna Forsey (6) and Mayfield’s Sydney Sheldon (4) battle for control of the ball during the consoloation match of the Scott Retersdorf Memorial Tournament Sept. 2 at Husky Field in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Northville's Jenna Forsey (6) and Mayfield's Sydney Sheldon (4) battle for control of the ball during the consoloation match of the Scott Retersdorf Memorial Tournament Sept. 2 at Husky Field in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Northville’s Jenna Forsey (6) and Mayfield’s Sydney Sheldon (4) battle for control of the ball during the consoloation match of the Scott Retersdorf Memorial Tournament Sept. 2 at Husky Field in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis Johnstown's Ally Queeney controls the ball during the Lady Bills' Foothills Council match against Queensbury Sept. 7 at Johnstown High School.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
Johnstown’s Ally Queeney controls the ball during the Lady Bills’ Foothills Council match against Queensbury Sept. 7 at Johnstown High School.

LH_09112017B02

The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis David Constantino celebrates in Victory Lane after claiming the Crate Modified feature win Sunday at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
David Constantino celebrates in Victory Lane after claiming the Crate Modified feature win Sunday at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

The season is off to a solid start for the area’s girls soccer teams.

Most area teams return several key contributors this season and all are looking to bid for postseason spots.

FOOTHILLS COUNCIL

Gloversville

After finishing last season with a 9-7-1 overall record, Gloversville has plenty of holes to fill in its lineup.

The Lady Dragons lost Charli Morgan, Amanda Bakyta, Sierra Fancher, Madison Fancher, Echo Carey, Rebecca Brown-Weinstock and Hailey Bugaj-Dunlap from last year’s team.

Morgan was named the Foothills Council Defensive Player of the Year, all-section in Class A and a first-team all-star, while Bakyta was named a first-team all-star. Madison Fancher and Sierra Fancher were both named second-team all-stars.

“We will be a young team this year losing seven starters and four Foothills Council all-stars, but we are hoping the younger players will step up to fill their shoes,” Gloversville coach Mike Hallenbeck said. “I have high expectations for this group and am excited to see how the season will play out.”

Though Gloversville lost several key contributors, it returns several as well.

That group includes Alex Benfatti, Harmony Philo, Sydney Loux, Libby Cook, Sierra Roy, Angel Anderson, Taylor Mee and Kerri Hauser.

Benfatti was named the Section II Class A Goalkeeper of the Year last year. She also was named to the all-section team. Benfatti had six shutouts last season for the Lady Dragons.

Benfatti also named a first-team Foothills Council all-star, while Philo was named to the second team. Loux was an honorable-mention selection.

Newcomers Madde Jones, Meredith Dennie, Tenecia Beckford, Katlyn Cwiakala, Skylar Brockhum, Michaela Ponticello and Alecea Jones round out the Lady Dragons’ roster.

“We have a good mix of girls who have previous varsity experience as well as girls new to the varsity team who are looking to make positive contributions,” Hallenbeck said.

Johnstown

Like Gloversville, Johnstown lost several players from last year’s team.

The Lady Bills will look to replace Briana Dean, Molly Sear, Mallory Baldwin and Chelsea Cirillo.

Sear was an honorable-mention Foothills Council all-star last season.

Returning from last year’s team, which went 5-10-2 overall are Grace Fitzgerald, Abby Gottung, Jesse VanNostrand, Emily Everest, Jenna Thompson, Ally Queeney and Allison Morey,

Fitzgerald and Gottung were named honorable-mention Foothills Council all-stars.

Newcomers Carolyn Fitzpatrick, Morgan Lane, Lauryn Wilson, Hailey Williams, Allie Petrelia, Breanna Bochenek, Mia Anderson, Kaylee Newkirk and Hope Buboltz also are expected to contribute this season.

“We are looking to rebuild the Johnstown soccer program and we are already off to a great start,” Johnstown coach Pat Williams. “Our numbers are already higher than last year and our culture is fantastic. We’re looking forward to stacking good days on top of good days and to build towards having an excellent season.”

Broadalbin-Perth

Broadalbin-Perth returns plenty of players from last year’s team, which went 8-9 overall.

Kacie Corcuera, Naomi Fraser, Rose Barnhart, Zoe Belden, Kaitlyn Hayes, Grace Priamo, Hailey Parroti, Meghan O’Connor, Ava Naple and Mary Zarecki all return for the Lady Patriots.

B-P lost Emily Denman, Bella Magliocca and Corrine Casey from last year’s team.

Casey was named a first-team Foothills Council all-star last season. Magliocca and Denman were named honorable mention.

Newcomers Caitlyn Palmatier, Morgan Rossi, Amirah Carsno, Mya Tyler, Coryne Leonard, Ashley Markert, Megan Snyder, Amber Vosburgh and Emily Bush will look to fill the void.

“We’re looking to improve throughout the year for sectional time,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Rob Klug said.

Amsterdam

After posting a 2-13-1 overall record in 2016, Amsterdam will be looking to improve its win total this season.

The Lady Rams lost Victoria Barone Lopez and Martina Hughes from last year’s team, but return several key contributors.

That group includes Lucia Liverio, Emma Patrei, Gabby Stanavich and Deliana Figueroa.

Liverio and Stanavich were named honorable-mention Foothills Council all-stars last season.

Newcomers Jacki Stanavich, Jarey Aponte and Antonia May are also expected to contribute this season.

“This is our best team dynamic in a long time. We’re looking forward to the hard work these girls put in six days a week. It will hopefully pay off this year,” Amsterdam coach Jessica Byerwalters said. “I have a positive outlook for the girls and our program.”

WAC

Canajoharie

The Lady Cougars have plenty of holes to fill after losing nine players to graduation from last year’s team that went 6-8-2 overall.

That group included Bethany Mead, Hannah Smith and Cassidy Ferguson.

Mead was a first-team Western Athletic Conference all-star last season, while Smith was named to the second team.

“After graduating nine teammates, we are looking to develop a new look for our program,” Canajoharie coach Ellee Miller said.

Among those returning for the Lady Cougars are Madison Crouse, Sydney Weingart, Maddy Elliott, Madison Koelbl, Jocelyn Hammons, Alexz Lathers, Abby Smith, Brianna DiMascio and Meghan Dingman.

Dingman and Lathers were named second-team WAC all-stars.

“Our returners are very excited and have a great outlook on this season,” Miller said.

Taya Yacobucci, Kylee Rickard, Christina McLaughlin, Kaliyah Nichols, Emma Trahan, Allison Lamb, Olivia Stanley are all new to the Canajoharie roster.

“Our newcomers fit into our style of play very well.” Miller said. “This team has worked very hard during preseason and I believe that they will continue to develop and gain strength throughout this season.”

Fonda-Fultonville

In his first season as coach, Christian Sandel led Fonda-Fultonville to a 6-8-2 overall record.

The Lady Braves will look to continue their forward progression this season.

“Despite returning 16 players from last year’s varsity squad, the Lady Braves soccer team is still in a rebuilding state,” Sandel said. “This season, the Lady Braves will be fielding a junior varsity team. Our program’s numbers have doubled in the past year. With our increased participation, practices have become more competitive.”

FFCS lost Julianna Taylor and Sarah Subik to graduation, but return a large group of players.

Cescelee Brand, Giuliana Capparello, Shelby Crahan, Alyssa Duval, Brianna Eggelston, Destiny Foster, Sierra Grant, Ryleigh Hesch, Zariah Hetnik, Kacie Hunter, Jayden Mundell, Madison Nichols, Emma Rhodes, Sierra Rose, Kaleigh Smith and Stella Williams all return for the Lady Braves.

Duvall was named a first-team WAC all-star last season, while Rhodes was named to the second team.

Abigail Lombardoni is the lone newcomer for FFCS.

“Our goals for this season include being consistently competitive in regular season games, competing in Class B sectionals, and having at least one of our players on the Section II Class B all-stars,” Sandel said. “We have not competed in Class B sectionals for the past five years due to our losing records, nor have we had an all-star in recent history. This year, we hope to elevate our play and compete at a higher level than the past.”

Fort Plain

The Lady Hilltoppers finished last season with a 6-10-1 overall record.

Fort Plain lost Amber Douglas to graduation. Douglas was named a first-team WAC all-star and all-section Class D.

The Lady Hilltoppers return Maecee Lathers, Emile Swank, Eryka Swank, Kendall Kennedy, Alyssa Nellis, Gabby Jenks, Rhyonn Ford and Liz Danaher from last year’s team.

Jenks and Lathers were named second-team WAC all-stars last season.

Newcomers Emily Abrams, Jayde Cotton, Calli Logan and Faith Rende are also expected to contribute this season.

“The girls are working hard,” Fort Plain coach Kim Lathers. “We play on qualifying for sectionals.”

Galway

After posting a 9-6-1 overall record last season, Galway will look to post another successful season in 2017.

Galway returns Griffen Gannon, Leah Vanderhorst, Callia Boudreau and Maya Vanderhorst from last year’s team.

Gannon and Leah Vanderhorst were named first-team WAC all-stars last season, while Boudreau and Maya Vanderhorst were named to the second team.

Ruth Reichard, Isabella Mancini, Mikayla Neahr, Kaylee Bagdan, Victoria Trifiletti, Jillian Quay, Sarah Ernst, Trissety Denton, Cassidy Freeman, Lily Gullett, Grace Montague, Rachel Wnuk, Hailey McElhiney and Madison DesPres round out the Golden Eagles’ roster.

“Our goal is to have the opportunity to play in late October,” Galway coach Rob Martin said.

Mayfield

Having posted a 2-12-2 overall record last season, Mayfield will look to improve its win total this season.

The Lady Panthers lost Shelby Dopp, Morgan Lathrop and Angelina Mannino from last year’s team.

Dopp was a second-team WAC all-star last season.

Mayfield returns several players from last year’s team, including Sydney Sheldon, Kylie Garrigan, Camryn Meca, Taryn LaFontaine, Sydney Benton, Kaylee Hampton, Rebecca Battisti, Emily Frasier, Amber Baker, Juliana Buyce and Brianna Hubiak.

Sheldon was named a first-team WAC all-star last season and all-section in Class C.

Lindsey Hampton, Anna Gates, Delaney LaFontaine, Jillian Botch and Kira Williams are all new to the Lady Panthers’ roster this season.

“Mayfield is looking to have a competitive season based on the senior leadership and experience of players from last year’s team,” Mayfield coach Tara Caraco said. “The girls worked very hard in the offseason and this preseason in an effort to enter the 2017 season healthy and eager for a successful season.”

Northville

After posting an 11-6-1 overall record in his first season, Northville coach Doug Hammons is looking to continue the momentum this season.

The Lady Falcons lost first-team all-league keeper Taylor Johnson to graduation, but return several key contributors.

That group includes Hannah Coupas, Jill Hadland, Brytney Moore, Kerrigan Groff, Karlie Foster, Jenna Forsey, Brianna Bace, Bre Strouse, Madison Whittaker, Jessica Miller, Bethany Varriale, Avery Feldman, Carina Oare and Emily Ovitt.

Coupas was named a first-team WAC all-star, while Hadland and Bace were named to the second team. Coupas also was named to the all-section team in Class D.

Newcomers Alana Blowers, Emily Shepard and Grace Forsey round out the Lady Falcon’s roster.

“I am looking forward to strong leadership from my senior players and excited about the young talent on this team,” Hammons said. “We look to be a contender in the league.”

Oppenheim Ephratah/

St. Johnsville

The Lady Wolves went 15-3 a year ago and lost several key contributors to graduation.

Among the losses were Addie Brundage, Emilie Engle, Caitlin Handy, Abby Mosher and Alexis Romeyn.

Romeyn was named first-team all-state in Class D, while Brundage was named to the fourth team. Brundage, Engle, Mosher and Romeyn were also named first-team WAC overall all-stars, while Handy was named to the second team. Brundage and Romeyn were also named to the all-section team in Class D.

While OESJ lost several players to graduation, it also returns several key contributors.

Madison Richardson, Madison Dunbar, Samantha Weaver, Julie Hickey, Abby Johnson, Bella Masi, Trinity Rathbun, Rebecca Trumble and Ashley Engle all return for the Lady Wolves.

Masi was named a second-team WAC all-star.

Newcomers Ashley Shelmandine, Kamden Battisti, Sydney Eggleston, Alexis Klock, Alexis Mumford and Madisyn Schell round out the OESJ roster.

“We’re very young, but these girls are coming from a successful modified program and are very skilled,” OESJ coach Zale Benton said. “They are working hard and our team chemistry is great. They know how to play the game and are willing to work together to make things happen.”

MVAC

Wells

After going 0-12-2 overall last season, Wells will look to get into the win column this season.

The Lady Indians lost Dallas Erb, Rebekah Weaver, Marrissa Mattice and Erika Foster to graduation.

Weaver was the lone Mountain and Valley Athletic Conference all-star selection for Wells, earning first-team honors.

Returning for the Lady Indians this season are Ruth Johnson, Cassandra Mattice, Joy Trezise, Makayla Courtney, Jonni Stuart, Maigen Robinson, Sierra Mauro and Jocelyn Scribner.

Newcomers Hallie Stuart and Madeline Braunius are also expected to contribute for Wells this season

“We are a young team that is looking to work hard and play as a team,” Wells coach Jeremy Bornt said.

CENTER STATE CONFERENCE

Dolgeville

Having posted a 9-7-3 overall record last season, Dolgeville will look to build on its success in 2017.

The Blue Devils lost Sarah George, Emily Giarusso and Rachael Gross to graduation.

George was named to the Center State Conference Division II all-star team and third-team all-state in Class C.

Dolgeville returns several key contributors, including Bobbie Lee Hall, Emma Bilinski, Lauren George, Hanna Spofford, Paige Crum, Julie Jasewicz, Gabby Kluge, Patricia Cool, Alexis Smith, and Gabby Kenyon.

Hall was named a CSC all-star last season, while Bilinski was named honorable mention.

Newcomers Rylee Lamphere, Isabella Nichols, Rachael Lamphere, Brianna Lamphere and Briana McAfee round out the Dolgeville roster.

“We are looking to build on last year’s success, said Kat Bilinski, who will share coaching duties with Mark Lewandowski. “We plan on taking it one game at a time and continue to learn and grow as a team and ultimately build a successful program.”

By Paul Wager

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