Girls Soccer Roundup: Gloversville blanks Amsterdam, 1-0

Amsterdam's Emma Gomez tracks Gloversville's Michaela Ponticello as she dribbles the ball upfield during Monday's Foothills Council South Division match at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Lady Dragons are picking up momentum as they prepare for postseason play.

Playing in a steady mist Monday night, the Lady Dragons picked up their third-straight victory, defeating Amsterdam 1-0 in Foothills Council South girls soccer action at Gloversville High School.

The early minutes of Monday’s game tested the back lines for both teams as they adjusted to playing the ball on a wet, artificial turf surface.

The Lady Dragons put together a strong scoring opportunity with 18:45 left in the opening half when Michaela Ponticello sent a cross in front of the goal that Sydney Loux narrowly missed and Amsterdam goalkeeper Jareymarie Aponte gathered in.

Gloversville kept the pressure on the Amsterdam goal and broke through for what proved to be the lone goal of the match.

With 13:02 left in the opening half, Madde Jones gained control of the ball near the top of the box and dropped a pass back to Harmony Philo, who was trailing the play. Philo stepped into a 35-yard shot and lined it just under the crossbar for a 1-0 advantage.

The Lady Dragons narrowly missed taking a two-goal lead into the half when Taylor Mee’s shot off a cross from Ponticello hit the crossbar.

“We talked about just keeping the shots on frame,” Gloversville coach Mike Hallenbeck said. “We have the girls who can shoot from distance. They just have to have the confidence to step up and strike that ball.”

The Gloversville backline withstood a surge by the Lady Rams early in the second half before the Lady Dragons began regaining control in the midfield.

The Amsterdam defense of Jaclyn Stanavich, Gabby Stanavich, Nyasia Brown and Delianna Figueroa stepped up its game in front of Aponte to keep the Lady Dragons off the board despite nine second-half shots, to keep the final score at 1-0.

“I don’t know if we are very good in the rain and the cold,” Amsterdam coach Jessica Byerwalters said. “We let a lot of balls go through our backline that they could have capitalized on. We definitely got lucky and got it out before they could. We just didn’t play very well tonight. I think that was probably one of our worst played games. The long weekend and not having school I think may have affected them today. They just didn’t seem like they were ready to go tonight. I just don’t think that, all-around, we did not play our best today.”

For the match, the Gloversville defense held the Lady Rams to two shots on frame, while putting 15 on net.

Aponte collected nine saves and Gloversville goalkeeper Alex Benfatti made two stops as both keepers were active cutting down and clearing balls away from the front of the goal.

“I was very happy with the way our defense played tonight,” Hallenbeck said. “Libby Cook, Sierra Roy, Kerri Hauser and Alecea Jones did a really nice job in the back really limiting their dangerous chances up front. We did have some nice chances up front tonight but could only put one in net.”

Gloversville (6-8 overall, 5-6 Foothills) will return to the pitch Wednesday night before closing out the regular season on Saturday against Amsterdam (7-7 overall, 5-6 Foothills) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Lynch Literacy Academy.

“We have senior night here Wednesday against Johnstown,” Hallenbeck said. “We are excited for that one. It was a good game last time and it should be another good one this time. It’s a Gloversville-Johnstown game.”

Both teams will be waiting for the results of Monday’s seeding meeting as they enter the Section II Class A postseason tournament that starts next week.

WAC

Fonda-Fultonville 10, Mekeel Christian 1

SCOTIA — Alyssa Duval netted a hat trick to lead Fonda-Fultonville to a 10-1 victory over Mekeel Christian Academy in a Western Athletic Conference girls soccer contest Monday.

It was the fourth straight win for the Lady Braves, who improved to 9-6 overall and 6-4 in WAC play.

Emma Rhodes scored twice for FFCS, while Sierra Rose, Stella Williams, Zariah Hentnik, Giuliana Capparello and Abby Lombardi also scored.

Jo Galarneau scored the lone goal for Mekeel Christian (0-8-1 WAC).

Angel Barton made 15 saves for the Lions.

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