By PAUL WAGER
GLOVERSVILLE – Having posted a 3-7-1 record during the Fall II season last spring, the Fonda-Fultonville girls soccer team is looking to use it as a springboard heading into this fall’s season.
The Lady Braves opened their season with a 2-1 non-league victory over Gloversville at Gloversville High School on Wednesday.
“This is absolutely a nice way to start the season,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Ashleigh Scott said.
Senior Kyla Smith scored once in each half to lead the Lady Braves to the victory.
“This was a good start to the season. It feels great to start with a win,” Smith said.
Alex Albanese scored the lone goal for Gloversville in the second half on an assist from Melia Stoller.
“I’m really happy with our effort,” Gloversville coach Tyler Kirk said. “We went down two goals, but we kept battling and got ourselves right back in the game.”
Kirk, a 2011 Gloversville graduate, is taking over the Lady Dragons’ program from Mike Hallenbeck, who stepped down following the Fall II season after 10 years as coach.
“I want to keep the program going and build [it] for the future. We want to establish our style of play and come out and compete,” Kirk said. “I’m super excited to be coaching this season. I played on this field and I’m thrilled to be coaching here.”
While Kirk is entering his first season, Scott is in her second season with FFCS, which is taking place in the same calendar year as her first.
“We only lost two players from last season’s team,” Scott said. “I think playing in the spring spoiled us and has really helped us get ready for this season. There wasn’t much of a layoff between seasons because the girls went right into their spring sports.”
Mackenzie Monette and Amaya Vainauskas were the only seniors on last season’s squad for FFCS, which returns an experienced roster this fall.
That experience paid dividends Wednesday as the Lady Braves outshot Gloversville 18-2 in the game on their way to the win.
Smith scored the lone goal of the first half with 23 minutes remaining as she sent a shot from 20 yards out into the right side of the net to make it 1-0.
In the second half, Smith netted her second of the game with a shot from 25 yards out that made it 2-0 with 13 minutes remaining.
Gloversville responded with its only goal of the game with 12 minutes to play when Albanese scored on an assist from Stoller to make it 2-1.
Despite the late goal by the Lady Dragons, Fonda-Fultonville held on for the season-opening win.
“It’s nice to be back playing in our normal fall season,” Scott said. “So far, so good.”
Emma Crahan made one save to post the win in goal for the Lady Braves.
Jalyn Smith made 10 stops for the Lady Dragons, who went 3-10 in the Fall II season.
Fonda-Fultonville (1-0 overall) is scheduled to travel to Fort Plain next Wednesday for its Western Athletic Conference opener.
Gloversville (0-1 overall) is slated to host Schuylerville on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in its Foothills Council opener.
Fonda-Fultonville 2, Gloverville 1
Halftime: Fonda-Fultonville led 1-0. Fonda-Fultonville scoring: Smith 2-0. Gloversville scoring: Albanese 1-0, Stoller 0-1. Goalies: Fonda-Fultonville, Crahan 1 save. Gloversville, Smith 10 saves.