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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 5, 2009

Lady Birds have early exit in Class CC sectionals

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE –– The Lady Birds’ soccer team has been steadily improving over the last few years, but couldn’t carry that success deeper into sectionals.

Voorheesville hosted Galway in a Class CC quarterfinal on Saturday and the Eagles left with a 2 to 0 upset victory. It was a hard-fought game by both sides.

The Lady Birds’ best chances were in the early part of the match when shots hit the post on two separate occasions. The strong winds were changing the path of the ball for both teams.

“The wind was definitely a factor and it probably led to those shots hitting the post,” said Voorheesville Head Coach Joe Santos. “We missed some opportunities and miscommunication led to goals for the other team. But, we did fight hard to the end.”

Senior Jenny Belgiovine had a chance with less than nine minutes left in the first half when the ball rolled into the six, but she couldn’t get off clean shot. Senior defender Carrie Gorka made an impressive run from the back as halftime approached, but, again, the Galway defense defused the opportunity.

The first half ended in a scoreless tie.

“We spent plenty of time in their half of the field and we could have put it away twice,” said Gorka after the game. “Our aim was off on those two shots that hit the post.”

According to Santos, some of the Voorheesville players were sick with the flu, or had just recovered from being out sick. “We weren’t at our best, but we hung in there,” he said.

The Eagles got the first goal seven minutes into the second half when Jerrianne Whitmore lightly touched one past Michelle Thamsen on an assist from Carolyn Gibbins.

After that, Thamsen came out of goal to break up two different chances by Galway. Jennifer Cillis got a solid foot on a Michaela Conway corner kick for the Blackbirds, but Jacqueline DeFoe was there to save the day for the Eagles.

Voorheesville would eventually receive three corner kicks in a row. DeFoe shore in goal and got a piece of every kick that landed in the box.

Gibbins netted the exclamation point for Galway with 5:50 left in the game after the Lady Birds spent most of the second half trying to force a goal in. “We can’t change the outcome,” Santos said. “I just wish we were more healthy.”

Santos has watched the skill of his soccer team improve over the past few years. “This team was more constructive this year and I credit that to all the off-season work,” he said. “These girls kept working on soccer while playing other sports. They went beyond the call of duty.”

Gorka recalls a time during the season when Santos came back from a coach’s meeting. “Santos told us that everyone at the meeting was asking him how our team got so much better,” said Gorka. “That gave us a lot of confidence.”

Voorheesville finishes the 2009 season with an 8-8-1 record and Gorka, Mary Adkins, Belgiovine, Karen Dawson, Bailey Ryan, and Thamsen wore Blackbirds’ jersey for the last time on Saturday.

Caitlin Abelseth, McKenzie Blake, Emily Blow, Hannah Brackett, Cillis, Conway, Alex Fasulo, Justina Miranda, and Eryn Ryan will return as key players next year.

“I’m very pleased with these great youngsters,” said Santos. “They’ve come a long way.”

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