After enjoying the Labor Day Holiday weekend, the OFA and Lisbon Girls Soccer teams will be looking to charge into a new season under the lights of OFAs Alton W. Slim Elliott Athletic Complex on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Lady Devils will be hosting the annual OFA Girls Soccer Tournament and will meet Norwood-Norfolk after Lisbon meets NAC West rival Heuvelton in the first game at 6 p.m.
The consolation and championship games will be played on Wednesday at 6 and 8 p.m.
The tournament will also include junior varsity action with 4 p.m. starts on both days at Kennedy School and Father Martin Field. OFA plays Gouverneur on Tuesday while Salmon River faces Potsdam.
OFA GIRLS SOCCER
Reversing the outcome of a series of one-goal losses and three ties is the method that first year coach Al Rishe Jr. hopes to use to push the OFA Girls to the winning side of the ledger in the always challenging NAC Central.
Last fall, Lady Devils enjoyed a solid season tying Potsdam for third place in the NAC Central at 11 points with a 4-5-3 record. Rishe succeeds Lauren Morley who stepped down to devote more time to her family.
Coach Rishe, who coached the OFA Boys JV for several years, will start his varsity coaching career with a team featuring just two seniors, 13 juniors and three sophomores.
The Lady Devils seniors are forward Brooke Badlam who will be sidelined until the second half of the season and halfback Kayla Tolman. Junior Courtney Sherwin at fullback and sophomore Danielle Guimond at forward are the other players who played a full season of varsity last fall.
I have a very young team and need to replace 12 seniors that graduated from last years squad. We only have four players returning this year. Despite the loss of so many players, after working with the athletes this week I see a lot of determined and hard working athletes who are committed to a winning season, said Coach Al Rishe.All of our athletes have the talent and are flexible enough to play anywhere on the field. With the assistance of my wife Mary and experience of Ryan Farrell we are looking forward to a winning season.
Coach Rishe expects Courtney Sherwin to be a force anchoring a defense which also includes Alicia Sharpe (Jr), Sadie Brown (Jr), Ashleigh Sovie (Jr) and Janell Cordwell (Jr).
Mollee Ahrens (Jr), Kayla Tolman (Sr), Samantha Rishe (So), Kaylee LOrange (So), Kayli Downey (Jr), and Mikayla Charlton (Jr) will be called upon to create effective midfield combinations and the OFA coach is confident Courtney Barley (Jr), Danielle Guimond(So), Riley Luckie (Jr), Mackenzie Holland (Jr), and Alicia Shaver (Jr) can form effective offensive combinations.
LISBON GIRLS SOCCER
Coach Scott Richardson must replace four quality seniors this fall but does have a cast young players with a great deal of potential.
We have eight sophomores that are getting adjusted to the varsity level. Defensively we have some veterans in the back, in the midfield we will have to make some adjustments and offensively we have some younger girls that are going to need to step up this season and create some scoring opportunities.
The Knights, who went 11-3 last season, return three of last years four leading scorers in senior midfielder Beth Crowley (14 goals in regular season), sophomore striker Madison Vine (12 goals in reg. season), and junior striker Alex Amo (7 goals).
Senior goalie Jackie Sovie anchors the defense as fine collegiate prospect and will be joined in the backfield by senior Hanna Richardson (MF), seniors Maeve Bowdish, Alyshia Murray, sweeper Holly Williams, and sophomore Katie Sovie. Other returnees include Aneissa Fields (junior fullback), Courtney Green (junior midfielder), Kati Barney (sophomore fullback), Madeline Caufield (sophomore, midfielder), Sierra Erwin (sophomore midfielder) and Rileigh Mee (junior midfielder).
Newcomers include: Adrien Hyde (sophomore midfielder), Rebekah Robinson (sophomore midfielder), Fayeanne West (sophomore midfielder), Maggie Crowley (freshman midfielder), and Claire Donaldson (eighth grader fullback).
I expect the NAC West to be very challenging again this season. Every game will be a tough battle, said Richardson.
NOTE: The Heuvelton Girls were previewed in Thursdays issue of The Journal.