The 2013 high school girl's soccer season is underway. Many teams have already seen action while the rest are slated to kick off their seasons this week.
After tying for first in the Foothills Conference last year and losing in the sectional final, the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots are once again looking to be in a position to have a good run at a sectional title. They will have to learn how to win all over again in 2013 as they are losing 11 girls from last year's team. Nine newcomers, including Tatianna Ivery, Bree Westfall, and Kelly Aurichio, will join a team returning just three starters from last year.
After finishing 5-12 last year and finishing sixth in the Foothills Conference, head coach Colleen Froschauer and the Johnstown Lady Bills have a core group of returning players ready to lead a group of newcomers to the varsity squad. While the Lady Bills are losing Courtney Cirillo, Kayla Groesbeck, and Caitlin Johnson, the team will welcome back 11 players from 2012.
Broadalbin-Perth’s Katie Herba (6) fires a shot on goal while under pressure from Caroline Forbes (18) and Rachel Vanderminden, right, during the first half of a Foothills Council game at Patriot Field in Broadalbin on?Oct. 1, 2012. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"The team has a dedicated group of returning players," said Froschauer.
Returning seniors include Abby Bobbette, Michaela Brandow, Morganne Dick, Diana Horning, Sara Kosowicz, Kendra McCoy, and Ellen Praught. Juniors Megan Anagnostopulos, Briana Esposito, Jordyn Hale, and sophomore Kaitlyn Pica also are back for Johnstown. The Lady Bills are welcoming seven new girls to the team and hope to improve on their 2012 record.
Brian VanNostrand is entering his first year as the coach of the Mayfield Lady Panthers. After a 3-12-1 season last fall, VanNostrand also is relying on his returning players to lead the way for a large group of newcomers.
"Although the Lady Panthers are young, through their leadership with the returning players they have been working hard this season," said VanNostrand.
Mayfield is losing eight players from 2012, including Anna Husain and Hannah Cromie. Just as many girls will be returning this fall, including Julie Hampton, Emily Cromie, Stacia Sakadolsky, Chelsey Wolz, Maria Messina, Abby MacFarland, and Molly Gifford. Twelve new girls will vie for playing time and hope to make an impact.
The Gloversville Lady Dragons finished 2-13-1 last year, and will have to overcome the graduation of Section 2 Class A goalie of the year Alexis Capasso. Capasso was named 2013 Fulton County Female Athlete of the Year in June. Despite the loss, Gloversville head coach Mike Hallenbeck is especially optimistic this fall.
"This has been the best pre-season that I have experienced in my years as Varsity coach," said Hallenbeck. "We have a great group of girls in the program from grades 8-12 that have put in the time and work in the off-season to improve."
Foothills first teamer Chanel Thomas returns for Gloversville, along with Natasha Simon, Hannah Gillis, Ashley Young, Emily Gifford, Rachel Blanchard, Caroline Bakyta, and Emma Botch. Gloversville welcomes nine newcomers, including Madison Fancher and Emily Ross.
After a stinging loss in the first round of the sectional tournament last fall, Ellee Fichthorn and the Canajoharie Lady Cougars will look to build on their 15-2 overall record in 2012. The team is only losing three players in Kara Schwab, Melissa Bowley, and Gabby Kiefl. Jenelle Dillenbeck, who registered 26 goals last season, is returning for Canajoharie along with Bri Slater, Morgan Gray, and nine others.
"I have several returning players from last season," said Fichthorn. "We look strong and are hoping to do well at sectionals. We would love to be in it all the way to the end this year."
Brittany Pitonza, Makenzie Rickard, Grace Corrigan, Lauren Mayer, and Jordan Hammons will see their first Varsity action for Canajoharie.
Northville played to a 9-7-2 overall record last year under head coach Christopher Edwards. They will be losing their goalkeeper, Joanna Schultz, as well as Kelly VanNostrand, Abby Moore, and Jenea Sweet. Eleven Lady Falcons are returning, including Mary Ryan, Veronica Arceri, and Morgan Wilson. Taylor Fancher and Juliana Rowe are the two newcomers for Northville.
"We are taking this season game-by-game to focus on what we did correct and things we need to improve on as a team," said Edwards.
The majority of girls from the 2012 Fonda-Fultonville Lady Braves will be returning this fall. Guilyan O'Kosky, Emily Frollo and Lindsay Therrien are gone, while 12 girls are back for Fonda-Fultonville. With a large number of newcomers also joining this year, the team of over 20 girls will have to learn how to play with each other in order to improve on their 2-13-1 record from last year.
"We are excited about the new year," said second-year head coach Cindy Hayes. "We have a core group of girls returning and a large group of quality new players. The girls are working hard and are working well with each other."
Jeff Bouck is entering his first year as the head coach of the Dolgeville Lady Blue Devils. The squad went 4-10-2 last year under Marianna Marucci.
Ashley Mettler and Emily Young, who each scored 10 goals last year, are two players the Lady Blue Devils will have to play without this fall. Mikey Rubas, Courtney Rachon, Taylor Brandow, Joslin Null, Kayleigh Dodson, and Courtney Hart are all returning for Dolgeville. The rest of the roster will be made up of new players.
"The team is fairly young but extremely motivated and hard-working, and is set on achieving a better rank than last year and advancing into sectionals," said Bouck."
Fort Plain is returning just one player from last year, a season where the Lady Hilltoppers finished 4-11-1. When asked about her expectations in 2013, Kim Lathers said she hopes her team will leave nothing on the field, regardless of the score.
St. Johnsville/Oppenheim-Ephratah went 6-12 last season en route to a semifinals loss in their sectional tournament. Zale Benton is entering her 29th year on the bench. Benton will have a large group of girls returning this year, including Jessica Hagador, Megan Bradt, Skyler Viveros, and eight others.
"Many of these girls have played in the off-season together and know how to play the game," said Benton. "They worked over the winter and summer to prepare for this. I think we will be ready to improve upon last year."
Emily Weaver and Abby Mosher are two of seven new girls for the Lady Wolves.