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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 28, 2008

Voorheesville Ladybirds better prepared this time around

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE –– It has been four years since the Voorheesville girls’ soccer team won sectionals. It has been trying to restore its glory ever since.

“It has been quite tough since 2004,” said eight-year Head Coach Joe Santos. “Our win column hasn’t looked very strong as of late, but we can get back to the glory of four years ago with hard work.”

The team won only three games last season, but most of the losses were close. “Eight of those losses could have easily been eight more wins,” said junior Carrie Gorka, who is playing her fourth year on the team. “One goal means so much in this game. Sometimes the ball doesn’t roll your way.”

“This fall is looking better than recent memory,” said Santos. “I have 11 returning players and their skills are much more improved from a healthy off-season.”

The girls had an intense off-season, spending an immense amount of time playing soccer. Some of them played on a Division I indoor team last winter.

“Our touches on the ball are a lot better,” said senior Kelly Glath, in her third year on the team. “We focused on skills and I feel like this team is better equipped. Most of us were playing other sports, too.”

Santos started four ladies last year and has a handful of young players. Senior Mckenzie Conroy is playing her fifth year on the team and Hannah Backett made the team, despite only being in eighth grade.

“We have a pretty wide age gap,” said Conroy. “I like it that way. Everyone gets along just fine and we mentor the young ones. I can relate to Hannah because she’s the age I was when I made varsity.”

“People may say that an eighth-grader is too young to be on varsity. That is not necessarily true,” said Santos. “Skilled players make the team, young or old. Girls mature and age quicker than boys. I just have to make sure that the younger girls are comfortable with more pressure. Some may not be.”

Santos focuses on skills, tactics, and positioning. “I want my girls to have more skills than other teams,” he said. “Without skills, you can’t go very far. A team needs to be able to keep the ball and score goals.”

“Coach doesn’t run us into the ground,” said Conroy. “He puts us through intense drills that are border-line chaotic. We get conditioning and skills at the same time.”

“I’m impressed with how this team looks so far,” said Gorka. “I feel a vibe with a lot of energy and excitement. We’ve all put solid time in to preparing for the season. The confidence is increasing every day.”

Voorheesville plays in the competitive Colonial Council and is a Class C team that goes up against opponents from Class A and B. “Our schedule is very challenging. Most of the teams we face have great success,” Santos said.

Ravena, Schalmont, Holy Names, and Mechanicville are the teams Santos mentions. “I believe we can make some moves this year,” he said.

The Ladybirds open the season at Greenville on Aug. 29 and then travel to Mechanicville on Sept. 9.

“I’m just really pumped up for this, I almost can’t contain myself,” said Glath. “My seniors and I are ready to go out on top.”

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