Ballston Spa tops Gloversville in tourney final

Ballston Spa’s Samantha DeVito (27) and Gloversville goalkeeper Alex Benfatti and defender Michaela Ponticello (10) reach the ball at the same time on a corner kick play during the championship game of the annual Scott J. Retersdorf Memorial Soccer Tournament Saturday night at Husky Field in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

GLOVERSVILLE — A fast start by the Ballston Spa Scotties proved to be too much for the Gloversville girls’ soccer team to recover from.

The Scotties connected for a pair of goals in the first four minutes of the match en route to defeating the Lady Dragons 6-1 to take home the annual Scott J. Retersdorf Memorial Soccer Tournament championship trophy from Husky Field on Saturday night.

“This was the best they have played so far this year. Tonight it just jelled,” Ballston Spa coach Brian Retersdorf said. “It is tough in the Suburban Council because your back is always against the wall. Tonight was their night to prove to themselves that they can accomplish what they want to do from the outset of the season.”

The Scotties came out shooting with Samantha DeVito firing a shot off the post that Gloversville goalkeeper Alex Benfatti scrambled to clear off the line.

Caitlin Wania put Ballston Spa on the board bending a corner kick just out of Benfatti’s reach for a 1-0 lead with 1:47 off the clock.

Wania struck again just over a minute later for a 2-0 lead and had a third attempt stonewalled by Benfatti with just over five minutes in to the match.

Wania finished her first-half hat trick with 22:27 left in the opening half when she fired a 20-yard shot under just under the crossbar to put the Scotties up 3-0.

Ballston Spa continued to roll and put a fourth goal on the board when Mickayla Kelley’s shot into a pack in front of the goal deflected into the side netting.

The Scotties closed out their first-half scoring with 5:07 remaining when DeVito’s long shot deflected off the inside of the post and into the goal for a 5-0 advantage at the break.

The Lady Dragons regrouped in the intermission and picked up their intensity of play in the second half.

Benfatti and the Gloversville back line held the Scotties in check until Sarah Rule put a hard shot on goal that Benfatti knocked down. However, Rule collected the rebound and finished the play for a 6-0 advantage with 8:36.

The Lady Dragons prevented the shut out when Harmony Philo put a direct kick to the far post and Angel Anderson finished to cut the score to 6-1 with 7:55 left to play.

The Dragons pushed to put another score on the board but could not break through the Ballston Spa defense and finished on the short end of the 6-1 score.

“I was happy with out effort in the second half,” Gloversville coach Mike Hallenbeck said. “Ballston Spa is a very good team. They are use to playing in the Suburban Council against quality teams. I thought we struggled at the start of the game to keep up with their pace but the second half I thought we did a better job. We talked about creating chances and we struggled to create chances tonight but one of the chances we did create we scored off it.”

Coach Retersdorf praised the effort by Benfatti in goal for Gloversville.

“Alex had an amazing game in goal that was not reflected in the score,” he said. “Her athleticism and instinct make her a fantastic goalie. I saw some amazing saves that on any other team then all would be seeing the back of the net.”

Following the trophy presentation, coach Retersdorf spoke about his brother Scott, for whom the tournament is dedicated.

“Scott is my hero and I have always looked up to him on and off the field,” he said. “He inspired me to do so many things and for the girls to win this tournament is an honor. However, what makes it even more of an honor is that my girls want to win this in his memory and give everything they have for someone they have never met. They see our families coming out to support his memory and two Gloversville alumni who are lucky enough to coach and give back to the game that we shared with Scott and learned from our own coach Jim Flint.

“I would like to thank Mike Hallenbeck, Mike DeMagistris and the Gloversville girls varsity soccer team and booster club for putting on this event every year. It means a lot to our family to see Scott still being honored and inspiring great soccer 17 years since his passing.”

Consolation match

Northville 3, Mayfield 2

GLOVERSVILLE — Northville rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit to claim the victory over Mayfield in the consolation game of the Scott Retersdorf Memorial tournament Saturday at Husky Field.

Mayfield benefited by an own goal off a Lady Falcons defender early in the match before Grace Forsey tied the game with her first varsity goal for Northville.

Lindsey Hampton put the Lady Panthers up 2-1 with her goal with 0-41 left in the opening half to give Mayfield a 2-1 halftime advantage.

Brytney Moore collected a pair of goals off in a 38 second span off assists from Karlie Foster and Hannah Coupas to put the Lady Falcons up 3-2 with 19:15 left in the match.

The Lady Panthers pushed for the equalizer but goalkeeper Emily Shepard came up with key saves to preserve the victory.

Northville finished with an 18-16 edge in shots on goal, while Shepard finished with 15 saves in net.

Sydney Benton collected 15 saves for Mayfield.

By Paul Wager

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