Lady Dutch hope heart overcomes size this season

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland girls’ soccer team will be small in stature this season, but they will be big in other ways.
"They have big hearts," said Assistant Coach Anne Reed-Best
"We’re young and small," said Head Coach Barb Newton. "I think our average height is 5 foot, 3 inches."

The Lady Dutch did get some size in the return of Hannah Rosen. She has recovered from a knee injury and will be back in the line-up.

But Guilderland lost Abbey Fashouer, who was injured at the Empire State Games while playing lacrosse.

So the Lady Dutch will be looking at a pair of pint-sized players this season.
"We’ll be looking to midfielders Danielle Tetreault and Amanda Best to provide a lot of leadership in practices and games," Newton said. "Lauren Napoli is a scrappy forward and Jackie Deluise provides a scoring threat up on top."

The Dutch will get good play from the forwards and midfielders, but the biggest question mark will be on the defensive end of the field.
"We have a whole new defensive unit," Newton said. "We graduated a lot last year. We’re in the midst of figuring out who to put where. And we’re starting a new goalkeeper.
"We’ll look at the defensive unit at our scrimmage and that will determine what we do for the rest of the season," Newton added.

Winning the battles in the midfield will be key for the Lady Dutch this season.
Rosen provides more height for the midfield," Newton said. "The success to our team will be based on a solid performance by the midfield. They have a lot of knowledge of the game."

"Big weekend"

Guilderland will play in the Shen Scramble at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
"This is a big weekend for us," Newton said.

Guilderland will be playing tough teams such as Niskayuna, Monroe-Woodbury of Section IX, and Averill Park.

The coach is also interested to see the play of new goalie Marissa Page.
"She’s coming off a sprained ankle," Newton said.

The Lady Dutch players battled injuries during the pre-season last year, so Newton hopes to also survive this weekend unscathed.
"We’re almost at full strength," Newton said. "We are a step ahead compared to last year. We’re waiting to see when the weekend is over."

Newton will also evaluate her players during the scrimmages.
"We’ll see who’ll emerge as our top starters," she said. "We’ll see if they are happy with the status quo or if they’ll show us what they can do on the field."

Though there are 20 players on the roster, some players have played together longer than others. Newton hopes that her team will gel.
"There are some girls that have played together for a long time in the midfield," Newton said. "They are confident with passing the ball to each other. I’m hoping for the rest of the team to work with them."

Newton is ready to get her team on the field.
"This is going to get us started," she said. "I’m looking to get equal play out of them. I hope they start to shine and rise above what’s predicted for this team."

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