GLOVERSVILLE - The Johnstown Lady Bills soccer team got their season off to a good start Wednesday against host Gloversville.
After being pinned in a defensive posture early in the match, Johnstown pushed back to net three first-half goals and claim the Foothills Council opener 3-0 over the Lady Dragons.
"I think it was just nerves," Johnstown coach Colleen Froschauer said. "We were able to gather ourselves and get over those first-game nerves. They just started playing better and together, and that is what led to our goals."
Johnstown’s Jordyn Hale (1) and Gloversville’s Carolyn Peck (11) battle for control of the ball during first-half action Wednesday night at Gloversville High School.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
The Lady Dragons (0-1 overall, 0-1 Foothills) controlled the flow of the game early, but could not put a tally on the board.
Johnstown (1-0 overall, 1-0 Foothills) steadily worked its way forward and found success with just more than nine minutes off the clock, when Payton Sardella found Jordyn Hale unmarked in front of the goal and the senior finished the play for a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Dragons fought back, but missed an opportunity off a direct kick with 25:30 left in the opening half.
The Lady Bills benefited from an own-goal when Kaitlyn Pica's direct kick bounced off the foot of a Gloversville defender and into the goal for a 2-0 advantage with 22 minutes left to intermission.
Less than two minutes later, Hale closed out the first-half after receiving a long pass from Megan Anagnostopulos and finishing the play for a 3-0 half-time lead.
"That is the type of soccer I believe we are capable of playing," Gloversville coach Mike Hallenbeck said of the opening minutes of the game. "I don't know if we had a mental lapse or what in the next 10 or 15 minutes, because that's when they scored three goals. I think we had chances early. We hit the crossbar and put the ball on the back post but no one was there to finish it. We had our chances but didn't capitalize on them."
Play balanced out in the second half with both teams creating opportunities, but strong performances by Briana Esposito for Johnstown and second-half goalkeeper Alex Benfatti for Gloversville kept the score at 3-0 at the final horn.
"I told the girls I was happy because I think we played some pretty decent soccer," Hallenbeck said. "Not anywhere near our potential, but I believe the only way to go is up."
Esposito finished with four saves on six Gloversville shots. The Lady Bills put 13 shots on goal with Emily Washburn making two stops and Benfatti saving six.
"It is nice to get the season off on the right foot and start moving forward," Froschauer said.
Scotia-Glenville 8, Broadalbin-Perth 0
SCOTIA - The Lady Tartans got two goals apiece from Abby O'Connor, Gracie Mailey and Maddy Carroll en route to its league-opening victory.
Dom Puglisi and Olivia Powhida closed out the Scotia-Glenville scoring.
Middleburgh 2, OESJ 1
ST. JOHNSVILLE - Middleburgh's Marilyn Hanley scored the game-winning goal in the final minute to lift the Knights to the WAC victory.
Carley Ryan scored Middleburgh's first-half goal, while Alexis Romeyn tallied for the Lady Wolves.
Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville outshot Middleburgh 18-9, with Kiera Morgan making 12 stops for Middleburgh (1-0), and Leann Clark had six saves for OESJ (0-1).
Canajoharie 10, Northville 0
CANAJOHARIE - Jordan Hammons, Dainara Veeder and Ariannah Logan had two goals apiece for the defending Class C champions.
Morgan Koelbl added a goal and an assists, as did Hannah Smith. Page Shovelton and Andrea Dingman rounded out the Lady Cougars' scorers.
Audrea St. Onge and Mallory Hook recorded eight saves apiece for Northville.
Mayfield 8, Saratoga Catholic 0
MAYFIELD - Alyssa Davis connected for three goals, while Julie Hampton had two goals and two assists to lead the Lady Panthers to a season-opening win.
Stacia Sakadolsky had two goals and Shelby Dopp added one for Mayfield. Jilly Chase, Janessa Smith and Taylor Fancher all picked up assists in the victory.
Jocelyn Maner collected 15 saves for Spa Catholic.
Fort Plain 6, Galway 0
Kendra Trombley and Kaitlyn Behan scored two goals apiece in the Lady Hilltoppers' win.