Photo by Michael Johnson
If the Cal-Mum soccer team wants to repeat last year’s sectional title, they will be counting heavily on returners (left to right) Kenna Kosinski, Sarah Biondollilo, Emily Phillips and Hannah Anderson.
Cal-Mum, Keshequa back to defend sectional titles
Several Livingston Conference girls’ soccer programs have their sights set on winning a sectional championship this season.
Leading the list is Cal-Mum and Keshequa, two programs that captured sectional titles last November and return plenty of firepower to the field this fall.
Cal-Mum, the Class CC champions, return Sarah Biondollilo (12G/6A); Emily Phillips (11G, 8A) and Bre Nelson (8G/4A) which includes 31 goals and 18 assists from a team that finished 16-2-2 a year ago, with one of those losses coming in OT during state qualifying action.
The Lady Raiders’ other setback came in the first game of the season — a 2-0 loss to Class C sectional champion Keshequa.
The Lady Indians made it all the way to the state semifinals before dropping a 3-2 game to Friends Academy (Sec. VIII) in Cortland.
Keshequa returns 10 starters from last year — however the one they lost — Gabby DiAngelo was a huge one as she led the LCAA in scoring with 28 goals and 21 assists.
Back for Keshequa is Alex Flint (13G/15A); Shannon Gordinier (15G/10A) and Haley Russell (17G/6A), who accounted for 45 goals and 31 assists.
Also back for Keshequa is All-State defender Kristen Jackson.
Cal-Mum opened their season Tuesday at home against Newark while Keshequa opens their schedule Friday at home against Mt. St. Mary’s, a Private school out of Buffalo.
LCN Girls Soccer Preview
With 13 players returning from a squad that went 13-4-2 a year ago, second year head coach Robert Schoener is excited about this season’s 2012 Lady Bulldogs, a team that played well most of last year but fell short to Greece Odyssey in the Class B semifinals.
Livonia captured the LCAA D-I title with a perfect 8-0 divisional mark.
One of the top sweepers in the LCAA is Emily D’Imperio, a senior, who will anchor the Livonia defense. Last year D’Imperio was named LCAA All-Star.
In all eight seniors are expected to contribute this fall including Meg Sessler (mid/for, 4G, 4A); Jess Czudak (for, 6G/3A); Taylor Stephens (stopper); Natalie Pope (def); Ryleigh Mattle (mid/def); Kiersten Saxton (def); and Emma Shirley (def).
Also back is junior middie Marissa Apollonio (5G/3A), who earned LCAA All-Star honors a year ago.
Top newcomers Schoener is counting on are junior Emily Argentieri and senior Kirstie Mosher. Both are competing for the starting keeper spot.
“We are excited to kick-off the regular season,” said coach Schoener. “Practices have been competitive, and full of focus from all players. As we continue to grow as a team, this group should have an opportunity to be very balanced both offensively and defensively. This will hopefully, in turn, allow us to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.”
Fifth year head coach Arin Belden is optimistic about her Lady Mustangs this fall.
After finishing 4-10-2 a year ago, Belden’s Mustangs return three outstanding players in senior middie Rachel Graves, sophomore forward Kelsey Poplawski and junior keeper Niki Linzy.
Graves scored seven goals with six assists while Poplawski netted seven goals with five assists a year ago.
Linzy made a big impact as she recorded 188 saves.
Other key returners include Mackenzie Marshall (Sr., def); Jill Kahn (Sr., def); Ellen Graves (Jr., mid/def); Mackenzie Schuster (Jr., mid); Mollie Schuster (Soph., def/mid); Kim Levee (Jr., def); Billie Chappell (Sr., for); Adolin Mountzouros (Sr., def/GK); Katie Schledorn (Jr., mid).
Schledorn dished out five assists a year ago.
Look out for top newcomer Courtney Walker, a senior forward.
“I’m very optimistic about the season and this group of girls,” said coach Belden. “They have a lot of potential, been working hard and team chemistry has improving through this pre-season. We are returning a strong core group of players that gained a year of varsity experience last season. We have some senior leadership and girls with three year varsity experience that should anchor our team. We had a very young, but competitive team last year that had the best offensive output since I’ve been coaching here. We are looking to continue to build on that this season.”
Wayland-Cohocton Golden Eagles
Head coach Julie Martin returns for her 14th season as this year’s Lady Eagles look to make improvements over their 3-10-4 record a year ago.
Way-Co lost four games by a goal last year.
Hopefully, with a talented and youthful squad returning says Martin, they can win some of those close ones this year.
“We have a very young, but talented squad this year,” said coach Martin. “Many of these girls play year round and have a passion for the game. They have worked hard in the off season to become better individual and team players. We are hoping for a successful season.”
Senior middie Taylor Welytok returns after scoring four goals with two assists a year ago. Her sophomore sister Alyssa is back at her forward position after netting three goals with one assist.
Other key returners include seniors Alyssa Recktenwald (def) and Chelsea Bartlett (mid) and juniors Hannah Kuhn (def) and Hannah McKelvey (mid).
Kuhn is expected to be a key player for Way-Co’s defense this fall.
Top newcomers include sophomores Olivia Miller (mid/for) and MacKenzie Weber (GK) along with freshmen Jessie Hammers (mid); Sarah Joseph (def) and Madison Lewis (for/def).
After a lengthy absence from coaching girls soccer, Mike Clancy takes over a Rams program that has plenty of talent returning from a squad that went 8-9-0 a year ago.
Junior Michelle Carpenter (mid/for) was the team’s leading goal scorer a year ago with five goals and one assist. Freshman Mackenzie Smith (for) also returns after leading Bath in points last year with four goals and seven assists. Despite her youth, Smith is a skilled player who has the ability to make players around her better. Also back is sophomore Angela Binkowski (def/mid) who netted four goals with two assists.
Top defensive player Ireland Armstrong (3G/2A), one of five seniors on the roster, is a powerful stopper for this squad and will make Bath a tough defensive squad.
Cal-Mum Red Raiders
Head coach Chad Schalk returns for his eighth season after watching last year’s Lady Raiders finish 16-2-2, winning both the LCAA D-II crown and Section V Class CC title.
Can they repeat?
“Our expectation never changes season to season,” said coach Schalk. “We work extremely hard and hope to be right in it at the very end. We understand how tough that will be considering our schedule.”
Plenty of firepower is back on the turf for Cal-Mum this fall including senior forwards Sarah Biondolillo (12G/6A) and Emily Phillips (11G, 8A) who combined for 23 goals and 14 assists.
Throw in the return of junior forward Bre Nelson (8G/4A) and this year’s Raiders have several players that can split the posts.
Also back is sophomore Hannah Anderson, who will play both defender and midfielder, and is one of the top athletes in the league.
Junior keeper Kenna Kosinski posted nine shutouts a year ago and is expected to be solid once again.
Other key returners include seniors Jessica Grattan (mid); Rachel Mooney (def) and Kasey Stein (mid/for).
Top newcomers looking to make their mark are sophomores Rachel Hume (for) and Michaela D’Ambra (mid), along with juniors Amanda Wilson (mid) and Maia Scott (for).
Cal-Mum plays a tough schedule which includes Keshequa, LeRoy, Hornell, Newark and Pal-Mac.
“We are very much looking forward to the challenge this upcoming season presents,” said coach Schalk.
Le Roy Knights
After making the sectional finals in 2010, last year’s youthful Le Roy squad struggled through some growing pains — finishing with a 6-5-7 record.
Winning is nothing new to head coach Beth Luckey, who enters her 11th season, as she has led Le Roy to Section V titles in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009.
Five senior captains will be returning this fall including Carolyn Laurie (def); Hailey White (mid); Jordan Kerwin (mid/for); Sarah Ehrmentraut a(GK) and Courtney Slowe (def).
Slowe will anchor the Le Roy defense at sweeper.
Also back this fall are junior Rayleigh Staba (def/mid) and sophomores Alexa Higgins (for/mid) and Gabby Panepento (def).
Top newcomers expected to contribute are senior Jenna Babbitt (mid); junior Ciara Harrington (mid/for); sophomore Emily Graham (mid) and freshmen Bri Hill and Mary Purdy, who will both play striker.
“With many freshman, sophomore and juniors starting last season, their experience will pay off this season,” said coach Luckey. “I am carrying 11 seniors on the roster and each has given direction needed for a successful year. This team is focused and looking ahead to a strong soccer season. The Knights continue with most of last year’s team along with some new refined players. Our team’s fitness, focus and performance have given a great outlook for the upcoming season.”
Luckey says that Jordan Kerwin and Carolyn Laurie, along with the other captains, “are ready to lead the team to a successful season.”
“I am excited to spend my last year with the same group of girls I’ve been playing with since age seven,” said Laurie.
Kerwin, who’s going into her fourth year on the varsity team has strong feelings about the potential of this team.
“Winning sectionals in 2009 was the best feeling ever,” she said. “I really want the rest of my team to be able to experience something that great.”
Head coach Jill Terry returns for her third season and is hopeful her squad can improve over last year’s 6-10-2 record, which included a sectional win over Holley.
Terry found some bright spots with last year’s team stating, “They outscored the previous season and finished the season with 28 goals.”
Several key returners are back.
Kailtyn Husung (1G/2A), a senior midfielder, is a two year starter.
Julia Warwick, a senior defender, started last season and should make an impact on the defensive end of the field with her speed and agility.
Ashley Stappenbeck (1A), a senior middie, is also a two year starter who will look to become an offensive threat after playing on the defensive end a year ago.
Abigail Keenan, a sophomore forward is back after leading the squad with 14 goals and four assists, earning LCAA D-II All-Star honors.
Another sophomore, Kali Mouw, returns at her midfield spot after scoring eight goals with four assists. Mouw was also named to the LCAA D-II All-Star squad.
Top newcomer Jilleen McEvoy, a junior midfielder, was the leading goal scorer on the JV squad a year ago.
“We will look to improve on last year’s record with a lot of work we did throughout the offseason,” said coach Terry. “The girls are very excited for the season and can’t wait to show what they have been working so hard for.”
While head coach Jaime Kelly enters her third year, she hopes her team’s senior leadership will help improve over last year’s winless 0-16-1 record where the Lady Yellowjackets were outscored 54-10.
Their lone tie came in their opener as they tied Letchworth 0-0.
Kelly is hoping this year will be different as Kelly Zanghi, Karissa Schuster and Maggie Hale should provide senior leadership.
Schuster led Perry in scoring last year with three goals.
“We have a young eager group and I can’t wait to see every athlete meet their potential on the field,” Kelly said. “We are going to work hard and play even harder.”
Other members of the 2012 Perry squad include freshman Bailey Blackmore; sophomores Alex Holderer, Kaylin Cicero, Brittany Cooley, and Bryce Adrian; and juniors Haley Parker, Chloe Ikeler, Taylor Jurek, Kalie Gardner, Alexis Fisher, Tiffany Walters, Alexis Swope and Sandra Hernandez.
Chad Flint, who guided Alexander to a 116-28-18 record over the last eight years, returns to Warsaw, where he graduated in 1997.
He spent 10 years in the Alexander School District.
“I wish them a great deal of success in the future, but I am ready to take on this new challenge,” he said.
Flint replaces AdreAnn Marguson, who took a program that had won just two games over the three previous years and went 24-23-6 in her three seasons at the helm.
“I am excited to be back at Warsaw, taking over a program that I see a great deal of potential in,” Flint said. “We have the girls working very hard and are preparing them to play a much more ball control possession-oriented system. They are all extremely focused and setting some very high expectations of both themselves and for the team on their goals for the season.”
The Tigers went 9-6-3 and dropped a 1-0 decision to Bishop Kearney in the second round of sectionals last season.
Warsaw returns eight seniors, led by midfielder Randi Snopkowski, forward Taylor Reisdorf and defender Hanna Tangeman.
Snopnowski, a fourth-year varsity player, led the team with eight assists and was second with eight goals. Another four-year varsity member, Reisdorf collected two goals and six assists in 2011. And Tangeman is back for her third varsity campaign.
“We have a great group of returning players with a good deal of varsity experience,” Flint said. “We expect to have a lot of leadership from different areas of the field.
Junior Lindsey O’Neil takes over the goalkeeping duties from the graduated Kayla Scharet, while fellow 11th-grader Leah Armendinger should help the midfield corps.
“We will be a bit of a work in progress early in the season, but I am confident that we will improve each and every day throughout the season and feel that we have the potential to make a run deep into the postseason,” Flint said.
Flint’s first season will be a challenging one, with the schedule including two defending sectional champions in Caledonia-Mumford and Keshequa. Le Roy and York also should provide strong competition.
“I expect each and every game to be a battle,” he said.
The only game that Keshequa lost last year was their last one.
Unfortunately for fifth year head coach Pete Goho and his Indians that loss came in the semifinals of the NYS Tournament, leaving the orange and black at 21-1-0 and just two W’s shy of the state title.
Gone from that squad is Gabby DiAngelo, who led Keshequa last year with 28 goals and 21 assists.
DiAngelo was the type of offensive player that drew heavy attention from the opposing teams. Her presence will be hard to replace.
Fortunately DiAngelo was the only graduate and a talented group of returners make this year’s Indians a solid shot for a return trip to Cortland.
Seniors Alex Flint and Kristen Jackson are two outstanding playmakers that return.
Flint, a midfielder, scored 13 goals with 15 assists while Jackson was named a Second Team All-State defender last season.
A pair of juniors — Shannon Gordinier (15G/10A) and Haley Russell (17G/6A) combined for 32 goals and 16 assists and will once again give the Indians some scoring punch.
Top newcomer Tessa Gordinier, a sophomore who will play both midfield and forward, is expected to contribute.
We are looking forward to the start of the season,” said coach Goho. “We’re looking to build on the success of last year and be competitive in the LCAA and sectionals.”
York Golden Knights
Last year’s 11-5-2 record wasn’t bad considering York’s top player — Jackie Morgan — was only a junior and still had a year remaining.
Morgan, now a senior forward, led York with 11 goals and 10 assists.
The impressive part about what Morgan did was the fact that no other player on the York roster scored more than three goals or had more than four assists.
Morgan will be counted on heavily this fall as veteran coach Vic VanVliet attempts to get these Knights in a position to compete with Keshequa, a team that beat York 4-0 and 2-0 respectively, for the top spot in D-III.
Other key returners expected to help out include seniors Janelle Andolina (def); Alex Shepard (GK); Kiara Torres (mid); Kelsey Ayers (mid); Chloe Englert (mid); Robina Nagel (def) and Jenelle Cichelli (mid/for); and juniors Madelyn Edwards (mid) and Anna Swisher (def/mid).
Cichelli and Edwards both were second on the team last year with three goals apiece.
Top Newcomers include Delany Connolly, McKenzie Wybron and Hayley Barber.
Mount Morris Blue Devils
Head coach Laura Bestor takes over for Heather Welker this fall in Mount Morris. Last year’s Lady Devils showed they were to be taken seriously as they went 6-10-2 a year ago earning a huge 1-0 victory over York.
Leading scorer Sam Trippi (13G) has graduated but a solid defense including senior Morgan Ellis (2G, 2A) and junior Cassandra Rawleigh (1G) both return along with sophomore keeper Linda Brado.
Also back is junior middie Riley Goho, who scored two goals a year ago.
Mount Morris received a huge boost when Brado’s sister, Anna, a senior, transferred back from Bishop Kearney and will play midfield. Brado scored 13 goals and dished out 14 assists for BK last season.
“I am really excited for this season to begin,” said coach Bestor. “Not only do we have a large number of experienced players, but we also have strong numbers at both the JV and varsity levels. Hopefully these numbers will continue to grow in the future. This group of girls have worked hard and set high expectations for themselves. We are looking forward to seeing how it all blends together.”
Geneseo Blue Devils
Back for her fifth season is head coach Jen Bugbee as she hopes her experienced leadership will help improve over last year’s 5-10-3 record.
Bugbee will be counting heavily on seniors Vickie Nolan, who will play center mid; Maddie Welch, who will play midfield; Tatiana VanVliet, also at midfield; and Hannah VanWuyckhuyse, who will play goalie.
Scoring goals last year was a problem with Nolan and VanVliet leading the team with four apiece.
Also back is junior defender Kari Laidlaw.
Several talented newcomers should help including sophomore middie Hailey Hopper, along with junior middie Claire Linton. Other newcomers include juniors Elizabeth Kaye (mid) and Haley Moran (def), and sophomores Kennedy Abbott (def) and Kelly Lynch (for).
“This team is a hard working cohesive group of young ladies,” said Bugbee. “They will use their midfield strength to control the game against their opponents. We are hoping for a competitive season and being in every game. Our team dynamics are very good and everyone seems to play for each other in every practice and in every game. We are looking for a fun and exciting season ahead.”
Pavilion Golden Gophers
The Pavilion girls soccer team had what coach Nicole Wittmeyer described as a “whirlwind postseason” in 2011.
The Golden Gophers entered the sectional tournament as the fifth seed in Class CC with a 6-7-3 record. They then beat No. 12 Letchworth and No. 4 Naples before knocking off top-seeded Alexander in the semifinals.
But Pavilion ran into a buzzsaw in the finals, dropping a 4-0 decision to No. 2 Caledonia-Mumford.
Getting a big taste of postseason success has the Golden Gophers — who graduated 10 seniors — ready to get back.
“This year’s team will be young, but they are determined and hungry for another shot at a sectional title,” Wittmeyer said. “Despite being young, the plan won’t change: Work hard, improve, exhibit heart and, ultimately, win a sectional title.”
Pavilion’s top returnees are Cassi Sprague (three goals, eight assists), McKenna Marley-Hill (three goals, six assists), Maddie Lowe (two goals), MacKenzie Lowe, Taylor Tillotson and goalkeeper Taylor DuBois (.850 save percentage).
“Veterans Marley-Hill, Sprague, MacKenzie Lowe and Tillotson’s leadership on the field and experience will be the key to this season’s success,” Wittmeyer said. “They have all come into this preseason in shape and ready to work. Emily DuBois, who now has a year under her belt, had an outstanding postseason last year and she has continued to work to improve in the offseason.”
Newcomers who could make an impact are Abby Ama and Megan Doherty.
“(They) will have some big shoes to fill, but are exhibiting a strong work ethic this preseason and I am very impressed with their abilities,” Wittmeyer said.
After finishing their 2011 campaign at 1-15-1 a year ago, the Indians are hoping a move to D-III will help.
But playing twice against Keshequa and York certainly won’t be an easy chore.
Five of Letchworth’s losses a year ago were in overtime while three other games saw the Indians fall after leading with less than 15 minutes remaining.
“We hope to improve on that,” fifth-year coach Scott Owens said. “I always felt we were competitive, but we ran out of gas. We were competitive, there’s no doubt about that.”
Letchworth’s top returnee is senior forward Nicole Bramer, who netted a team-high six goals in addition to handing out three assists.
Other top returnees are midfielder Kaila Heuhn and forward Megan Cartwright, both seniors.
Junior Renee Gozelowski is expected to anchor the defense in front of new goalkeeper Jackie Bonefede, who played every game for Letchworth’s jayvee team last year as a sophomore.
“How she develops is a key to the team,” Owens said of Bonefede.