JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — In the girls’ varsity soccer match on September 21, between the home team Lady Bulldogs of Sullivan West and the James I. O’Neill Lady Raiders, the visitors …
JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — In the girls’ varsity soccer match on September 21, between the home team Lady Bulldogs of Sullivan West and the James I. O’Neill Lady Raiders, the visitors made the old adage of “strike while the iron in hot” come alive.
In just over five minutes in the opening frame, they scored four goals, and in the second half repeated their rapid-fire attack by posting two goals in just over a minute to blank Sullivan West 8-0.
O’Neill racked up five goals in the first half: Daisy West (18:04), Jael-Marie Guy assisted by Katlyn Zdeb (30:39), Alyssa Bloman assisted by West (32:58), Guy (35:39) and Kierston Barge assisted by Zdeb (37:56).
In the final frame, it was once again all Lady Raiders: Zdeb on a free kick (5:23), West (26:29) and Guy (27:54).
Sullivan West’s goalie Abby Parucki had her hands full fending off a flurry of shots on goal. She made 18 saves, and later in the match Karli Kessler took over guarding the net, posting four saves.
O’Neill’s goalie, Charlene Conkey, had a rather easy day in the afternoon sun, fending off four home team shots on goal.
Sullivan West (7-5-2 last year; 3-4 so far this season) is senior-rich in 2023, with Brynn Chevalier, Karlee Diehl, Madison Eisma, Kaydence Everett, Sophie Flynn, Rahmet Gambari, Grace Gorr, Mya Heinle, Abby Parucki, Nicole Reeves, Liz Reeves, Keely Schock and Viola Shami on the team.
The captains are Abby Prucki, Nicole Reeves, Liz Reeves and Viola Shami.
O’Neill (16-1-1 last year year; 3-2 so far this season), has a foursome of 12th-graders: Ana Roman, Arianna Tiaguard, Daisy West and Katlyn Zdeb.
The captains are West, Zdeb and Carlene Conkey, a sophomore.
“The game went pretty well, and the girls have been very good at transitioning and playing as a team,” said O’Neill’s coach, Kristin Leska. She noted that last season, the Lady Raiders made it to the sectional finals before falling to the Lady Warriors of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Coach Leska cited “our vision and chemistry” as the strengths of the team, adding they are “working on getting to the ball quickly and keeping it away from the other team.”
Katlyn Zdeb is an 18-year-old senior midfielder with the Lady Raiders, and has been on the varsity squad for four seasons.
“I’ve been playing soccer my whole life,” she said. “I love being part of the team.”
Jael-Marie Guy, a 16-year-old junior, posted three goals for O’Neill in its victory over Sullivan West.
“I just love how everyone can be super creative and have their own talents… it brings us together,” she said.
Megan Brockner, coach of the Lady Bulldogs booters, summed up the match.
“It was a tough game, but we pushed through; the girls stayed aggressive and never gave up,” she said.
Asked about their goals for the season, Coach Brockner replied, “Continue with communication, quick shot passes and working on moving the ball up the field.”
Assistant coach Sam Cummings said that in practice, the Lady Bulldogs are working on dropping back, the art of switching and utilizing the width of the field to their advantage.
“We’re looking forward to seeing that growth in the girls,” said Coach Cummings. “They are a great bunch of girls, and we’re happy to be their coaches.”
For more photos, visit www.riverreporter.com/sports.
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