CLAYTON With the heart of a competitor, Morgan Robbins rarely backs down from a challenge on the soccer field or in life.
Robbins, a senior on Thousand Islands girls soccer team, has faced unexpected adversity since she was diagnosed with diabetes after her junior campaign in 2012 an experience that remains a constant personal battle as she enters a new scholastic year.
Undaunted, and with the support of her family, friends and teammates, Robbins continues to play the sport she loves while preparing for her final season with the Vikings.
Shes been learning to deal with it, Thousand Islands coach Tim Filiatrault said. On the first day of practice, she had to take herself out of practice to check and see if everything was right, and sure enough her (blood) sugar was high.
Diabetes runs in her family as her brother, who played baseball, soccer and basketball at Thousand Islands, and father T.J. each have Type 1 diabetes, as does Morgan.
It was frustrating for me, said Morgan, both a forward and co-captain for the Vikings. My brother and my dad are very supportive and, if I have highs, theyll sit with me until Im back down to normal theyll make sure that Im OK. Theyre very good with me, but Im still very scared. Even though my brother and my dad had it ... I had so many questions.
Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the bodys immune system destroys cells that make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that the body uses to change glucose in the blood into energy. A person with Type 1 diabetes doesnt produce any insulin. Without insulin, the glucose builds up in the blood, causing high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia.
Definitely, were all very supportive, teammate Kerstin Phelps said of Morgan. We try to make sure she checks herself a lot so she doesnt have to lose anything on the field. Shes doing good.
Morgan was a key contributor to a successful run by Thousand Islands last season, with a team-high eight goals.
She did very well and had a good year for us, Filiatrault said of Robbins, one of six Vikings entering their third season on the varsity.
Her soccer coaches both at Thousand Islands and at the traveling team level sensed something wasnt quite right with Robbins last year.
I was very run down, I was so tired the whole time, Robbins said. I felt sick and I was definitely not myself.
Fortunately for her, Robbins got herself checked out and the diabetes was diagnosed at relatively early age so it could be treated before she had any serious future complications.
The way we found out some coaches I was playing for said I was losing quite a bit of weight and my vision had gone bad, Robbins said. My dad tested me and thats how we found out. They caught it very, very, very early, which is good.
The main change to her soccer routine is to check her blood sugar at times throughout the day and, when it is low, she is ready for these occasions.
My parents have my insulin ready at every game, Morgan said. We have just everything we need the meters and if I go low, we have granola bars and glucose, just stuff that will spike my sugar right then. If Im high, then I get a shot.
Now by monitoring her blood sugar during practices and games, she can continue to play soccer, Robbins determination is inspiring to her teammates.
Some people with diabetes and might say Im not going to play because its too hard to take care of, Phelps said. But shes strong and shes dedicated to the team.
Theyve been very supportive, Morgan said of her teammates. They yell at me if I dont test.
Thousand Islands returns 13 players from last year from a team that shared the Frontier Leagues C Division title with Sandy Creek, including 11 seniors with senior co-captains Kyala Clegg (defender), Ashley Howard (midfielder), and Phelps (midfielder) leading the way along with Robbins.
Through all that, shes still a very hard-working player, Filiatrault said. Her productivity I think will still be there this year, I think shes going to do a great job for us as well. Shes the type of player who will do anything to help the team, whether in the midfield or on defense.
Robbins plans to take part in the Watertown 2013 Walk to Cure diabetes on Sept. 15 in Thompson Park.
Were hoping to raise a lot of money for that and Im hoping my whole team will be there along with my family, she said.
Heres a look at Frontier League girls soccer this season:
Outlook: After a close regular-season title A Division race in the Frontier League, Indian River claimed its second consecutive division playoff title by edging Watertown, 1-0. Just how close was the regular season? The Warriors tied the Cyclones, 2-2 in the last regular-season meeting as both teams shared the division championship. Just as it was last year, the league appears to be very even, Watertown coach Michael VanNostrand said. ... Every night we will need to be at our best. Indian River has beaten Watertown in the past two division playoff finals. The Warriors return five seniors, including co-captains Michaela Culbertson, Erin Hesse, Makenna Honeywell and Caitlin Pacilio (9 goals-2 assists-20 points), who led the team in scoring last year. Watertown, which returns 15 players, will look to reclaim the division title outright. The Cyclones lost their top two scorers to graduation Times girls soccer and lacrosse MVP Brianne Arthur and Morgan Cadwell. Returners Miranda Gilbert, Darcy Dyer and Abby Converse each registered double-digit point totals last season and goalie Katie Aldrich returns along with fellow co-captains Gilbert (forward), Meghan Hefferon (defender/midfielder) and Taylor Rick (forward). Immaculate Heart Central, which finished in a tie for third place in the division with Carthage, has 10 returners back, including six starters. Carthage returns 10 players, including four seniors to a defensive-minded squad that produced six shutouts in 2012.
Coach: Marty Weaver (21st year).
2012 record: 7-7-2, 6-4-2.
Players to watch: Doria Darroch, Mackenzie Kidder, Alexis Mondragon, Alexis Wallace.
Roster: Doria Darroch (Sr., D),, Mackenzie Kidder (Sr., M), Alexis Mondragon (Sr., D), Alexis Wallace (Sr., D), Cassie Birth (Jr., D), Becky Brandal (Jr., G), Emily Busch (Jr., M), Ginger Canaan (Jr., D), Mia Darroch (Jr., F), Bryanna Gagnon (Jr., F), Danielle LaBare (Jr., D), Paige Lusk (Jr., M), Morgan Miller (Jr., D), Kellie Ferris (So., M), Sam Henry (So., G), Natalie Hike (So., F), Paige Kaune (So., M), Martina Leake (Fr., F), Rebekah Zehr (Fr., F).
Immaculate Heart Central Cavaliers
Coach: Kurt Robbins (14th year).
2012 record: 10-8-0, 7-5-0.
Players to watch: Jaid Baytos, Rachel Chamberlain, Skylar Short.
Roster: Rachel Chamberlain (Sr., M), Rebecca Lazore (Sr., M), Sara Pignone (Sr., M), Rachel OBrien (Sr., D), Ashley Wood (Sr., M), Jaid Baytos (Jr., M), Erin Dingman (Jr., D), Anna Jank (Jr., D), Skylar Short (Jr., G), Vera Freda (So., M), Charisse LaPointe (So., F), Liz Gefell (Fr., D), Molly Guyette (Fr., F), Anna ONeil (Fr., D), Julia OBrien (8th Gr., F), Lauren Chamberlain (7th Gr., F), Amanda McElheran (7th Gr., M).
Indian River Warriors
Coach: Duane Dusharm (26th year).
2012 record: 10-5-1, 8-3-1.
Players to watch: Erin Hesse, Makenna Honeywell, Sarah Mattingly, Caitlin Pacilio.
Roster: Ashlynn Borce (Sr.), Michaela Culbertson (Sr.), Erin Hesse (Sr.), Makenna Honeywell (Sr.), Caitlin Pacilio (Sr.), Alexandra Berge (Jr.), Sidney Black (Jr.), Cassandra Kiechle (Jr.), Meghan Kuba (Sr.), Meaghan LaClair (Jr.), Alyson Lynch (Jr.), Sarah Mattingly (Jr.), Kelsi Nabywaniec (Jr.), Alyson Lynch (Jr.), Kammikia Barnes (So.), Megan Lynch (So.), Brynne La Fave (Fr.).
Coach: Michael VanNostrand (6th year).
2012 record: 11-5-3, 7-2-3.
Players to watch: Katie Aldrich, Darcy Dyer, Miranda Gilbert, Meghan Hefferon, Kira Kolb, Olivia Miles.
Roster: Katie Aldrich (Sr., G), Miranda Gilbert (Sr., F), Katheryn Harrienger (Sr., D), Meghan Hefferon (Sr., D/M), Courtney Netto (Sr., F/M), Taylor Rick (Sr., F), Tara Blair (Jr., D), Abby Converse (Jr., M/F), Nellie Dephtereos (Jr., D), Porsha Gathers-Grossett (Jr., F), Nicole Gilbert (Jr., D), Morgan Girardi (Jr., D/M), Livia Harrienger (Jr., M), Natalie Herrera-Rivera (Jr., D/M), Sarah Miles (Jr., D), Giana Surace (Jr., M/F), Stacia Wallace (Jr., D/G), Meghan Burr (So., D), Logan Bush (So., F/M), Darcy Dyer (So., M), Kaetlyn Hanlin (So. M/D), Caroline Hefferon (So., D/M), Kira Kolb (So., M), Olivia Miles (So., F/M), Kennedy Quigg (So., M).
Outlook: The face of the division has changed again with Lowville moving back after a season in the C Division and with the departure of Altmar-Parish-Willamstown from the league. South Jefferson claimed the division title and went on to reach the semifinal round in sectionals. The Spartans return 15 players, including senior goalkeeper Jackie Decker, a Section 3 All-Star who garnered fifth-team All-State honors. Also returning are the squads top two scorers from last season Courtney Cavellier (14-5-33) and Hayley Maguire (7-1-15), Lara Podvin (5-4-14) and Morgan Alexander (6-1-13). Leah Denny and Katie Elmer return on defense as will Mikaela Rutter in the midfield. Lowville, which two seasons ago won a sectional title and is coming off a third-place finish in C, returns four players and is fairly young with good senior leadership. General Brown, under the guidance of first-year coach Kim Monroe, will look to bounce back after a winless season in 2012.
General Brown Lions
Coach:Kim Monroe (1st year).
2012 record:0-15-0, 0-11-0.
Players to watch: N/A.
Roster: Alexa Clemons (Sr., F), Deleha Decker (Sr., M), Jenna Matthews (Sr., F), Sam Monroe (Sr., D), Katie Pitkin (Sr., M), Gabby West (Sr., F), Deanna Brenon (Jr., F), Kathleen Gruber (Jr., M), Tori Wojasinski (Jr., M), Rhea Pitkin (So., M), Katy Nortz (Fr., D), Tori Pacini (Fr., D), Mazzy Watson (Fr., F), Katie West (Fr., D), Chelsea VanTassel (8th Fr., G).
Lowville Red Raiders
Coach:Leo Sammon (26th year).
2012 record:10-6-1, 9-4-1.
Players to watch: N/A.
Roster: Erin Fayle (Sr., M), Maggie Griffiths (Sr., D), Alyssa Laribee (Sr., D), Ellory Roberts (Sr., M), Courtney September (Sr., D), Emma St. Croix (Sr., M), Alexa Yousey (Sr., D), Laura Platz (Jr., D), Kelsey Sammon (Jr., M), Mckenzie Smith (Jr., F), Serena Vargulick (Jr., M), Chelsea Cole (So., M), Moira Fayle (So., M), Isabelle Hanno (So., F), Chelsea Hoffman (So., M), McKenzie Marti (So., F), Alexis Bach (Fr., G), Selena Beller (Fr., F).
South Jefferson Spartans
Coach: Terry Burgess (35th year).
2012 record: 14-4-0, 9-3-0
Players to watch: Courtney Cavellier, Jackie Decker, Leah Denny, Katie Elmer, Hayley Maguire, Mikaela Rutter.
Roster: Madesyn Alexander (Sr., D), Olivia Barker (Sr., M), Jackie Decker (Sr., G), Leah Denny (Sr., D), Katie Elmer (Sr., D), Mikaela Rutter (Sr., M), Morgan Alexander (Jr., M), Courtney Cavellier (Jr., F), Maddie Knapp (Jr., M), Paige Maitland (Jr., F), Laura Monaghan (Jr., D), Alyssa Nappi (Jr., D), Janessa Vaadi (Jr., D), Dana Cowles (So., D), Molly Denny (So., M), Sidney Hall (So., M), Hayley Maguire (So., F), Lara Podvin (So., M).
Outlook: Sandy Creek and Thousand Islands shared the division crown, as the two teams battled to a pair of ties in their two meetings last year. The Comets, who lost only five seniors to graduation, including scoring threat Chelsea Claflin, return six players, including goalie McKenna Guarasce and senior defenders Maddie Bush, Kylie Hanni, Michaela Martin as well as senior midfielder Kylee Martin. The upperclassmen-laden Vikings, who sport 11 seniors, return 13 players from last years sectional final round team. South Lewis returns 12 players, including its top three scorers, to a squad that recorded a nine-win campaign an a fourth-place finish in the division. Eight players return for Beaver River, including its top scorers to a primarily youthful team.
Beaver River Beavers
Co-Coaches: Tracy Adams and Tina Becker.
2012 record: 4-9-3, 3-8-3.
Players to watch: Raegan Becker, Anna Bush, Madison Compton, Caitlin La Brake, Malori Mattimore, Emma Schneider.
Roster: Nina Andreassen (Sr.), Taylor Buell (Sr.), Kristen Campeau (Sr.), Madison Compton (Sr.), Rochelle Cowan (Sr.), Malori Mattimore (Sr.), Kassidee Rhone (Sr.), Brittany Widrick (Sr.), Mariah Abel (Jr.), Anna Bush (Jr.), Christine Coggiano-Chun (Jr.), Kristen Ebersol (Jr.), Tiffany Edwards (Jr.), Caitlin LaBrake (Jr.), Shyanne Laubscher (Jr.), Emma Schneider (Jr.), Shenaya Simmons (Jr.), Julia Owens (So.), Mckenzie Sauer (So.), Raegan Becker (Fr.), Kaylee Olmstead (Fr.).
Sandy Creek Comets
Coach: Jonn Stoker (6th year).
2012 record: 11-3-3, 9-2-3.
Players to watch: Maddie Bush, Gabby Guarasce, McKenna Guarasce, Kylie Hanni, Kylee Martin, Michaela Martin.
Roster: Maddie Bush (Sr., D), Gabby Guarasce (Sr., D), Kylie Hanni, (Sr., D), Michaela Martin (Sr., D), Kylee Martin (Sr., M/G), Peyton Miller (Sr., M), Brittany Valley (Sr., M), Katie Austin (Jr., F), Jordin Christian (Jr., M/F), Autumn Darling (Jr., M), McKenna Guarasce (Jr., G/D), Megan Hough (Jr., M), Marissa LaCelle (Jr., M/F), Taylor Mullin (Jr., D), Katie Hanni (So., M), Carley Stoker (8th Gr., F).
South Lewis Falcons
Coach: Mike Niles (2nd year).
2012 record: 9-8-1, 6-7-1.
Players to watch: Gabrielle Domagala, Jaedyn Ossant, Jenna Rogers, Jayne Strigle.
Roster: Gabrielle Domagala (Sr.), Miranda Rys (Sr.), Jayne Strigle (Sr.), Mary Faduski (Jr.), Olivia Fitzgerald (Jr.), Alexis Olmstead (Jr.), Jaedyn Ossant (Jr.), Chanelle Berrus (Jr.), Jenna Dailey (So.), Jenna Rogers (So.), Ashley York (So.), Annette Gokey (Fr.), Brianna Lawrence (Fr.), Jordan Lehman (Fr.), Mikala McMinn (Fr.), Britney Swiernik (Fr.), Caroline York (Fr.), Reegan Domagala (8th Gr.).
Thousand Islands Vikings
Coach: Tim Filiatrault (8th year).
2012 record: 12-3-3, 9-2-3.
Players to watch: Ally Cornaire, Katelyn Docteur, Ashley Howard, Melinda Knapp, Kerstin Phelps, Morgan Robbins.
Roster: Eos Chase (Sr., D), Kyala Clegg (Sr., D), Autumn Clement (Sr., M), Keelin Delaney (Sr., D), Ashley Howard (Sr., M), Melinda Knapp (Sr., D), Lydia Maloney (Sr., M/F), Alexis Padilla (Sr., M), Kerstin Phelps (Sr., M), Lucy Reff (Sr., F), Morgan Robbins (Sr., F),Haley Aubertine (Jr., D), Hailey Babcock (Jr., F), Julia Bashaw (Jr., M), Ally Cornaire (Jr., K), Katelyn Docteur (Jr., F), Kali Eyles (Jr., D), Nicole Gokey (Jr., F), Olivia Fulmer (Jr., M), Katie Larkin (Jr., D), Casey Webb (Jr., M/F), Alleigh Robbins (So., M/F).
Outlook: Copenhagen again appears to be the class of the division and will look to repeat as champion with a talented core of players returning, with midfielders Claire Stackel and Emma Roberts and defender Brooke Spaulding proving leadership. Stackel (18-11-47) led the league in scoring last year as a central-midfielder en route to garnering first-team All-State honors. The Golden Knights won a sectional game to reach the sectional final, where they were edged by eventual Class D state champion Poland, 1-0. Sackets Harbor and Lyme, which each finished in a tie for second place in the division, both figure to be competitive again. The Patriots graduated nine senior starters from a team that reached the second round of sectional play and was beaten by Poland. However, the squad returns a good mix of experience and youth, including their two leading scorers in juniors Rainy Johannessen (11-2-24) and Diana Dotson (8-5-21), as well as junior defender Samantha Menapace. The Indians enter with 12 returning players, including 10 starters with Yanna Ososkalo (9-6-24) and Taylor Brown pacing the offense and Enesa Ososkalo leading the D. Alexandria, which returns 13 players, but is a very young team, hopes to finish in the top four of the division and forge a .500 record. Twelve players return to lead a LaFargeville squad, which is small in numbers, but it very driven, and which in 2012 won four games more than the previous season. Belleville Henderson will try and improve on a winless 2012 with another very young team, with a seventh- and eighth-grader on the roster.
Alexandria Purple Ghosts
Coach: Diane Bush (8th year).
2012 record:4-11-0, 4-11-0.
Players to watch: Amanda Lingenfelter.
Roster: Tisha Aikins (Sr.), Amanda Lingenfelter (Sr.), Molly Aznoe (Jr.), Mikaela Benny (Jr.), Kiah Hudon (Jr.), Hannah Lynch (Jr.), Jarah Papin (Jr.), Brianna Parrow (Jr.), Caitlyn Burrows (So.), Maddison Cullen (So.), Cassidy Daily (So.), Ellen Gill (So.), Emma Kearns (So.), Erika Langling (So.), Nisa Rivera (So.), Morgan Weaver (So.), Teigan Davis (Fr.), Kaitlin Irvine (Fr.), Christin Sanford (Fr.), Emilie Walti (Fr.),
Belleville Henderson Panthers
Coach: Ann Colby (10th year).
2012 record: 0-15-0, 0-15-0.
Players to watch: Karlie Maloney, Marisa Sugden.
Roster: Breanne Gilligan (Sr.), Skyllar Morris (Sr.,),Bridgit David (Jr.), Mia Maitland (Jr.), Katie Shannon (Jr.), Haley Smith (Jr.), Marisa Sugden (Jr.),Timber-Chance Vincent (So.), Karlie Maloney (So.), Kellie Salisbury (So.), Zoe Stuckey (So.), Quinn Simpson (Fr.), Karley Youngs (Fr.), Jayda McNett (8th Gr.), Hannah Sugden (7th Gr.).
Copenhagen Golden Knights
Coach: Katherine Stackel (14th season).
2012 record: 13-4-1, 12-2-1.
Players to watch: Morgan Moore, Emma Roberts, Brooke Spaulding, Maci Spaulding, Claire Stackel.
Roster: Bri Muncy (Sr., G/M), Alicia Evans (Jr., F), Nicole Gardner (Jr., M), Morgan Moore (Jr., D), Harley Hancock (Jr., M), Brooke Spaulding (Jr., D), Sydney Greene (So., F), Alex LaBarge (So., D), Emma Roberts (So., M), Claire Stackel (So., M), Christie Thomas (So., M), Mackenzie Wheeler (G/M), Drew Baker (Fr., M), Maci Spaulding (Fr., F), Alexandra Greene (8th Gr., F).
LaFargeville Red Knights
Coach: Michelli Hoover (2nd year).
2012 record: 4-11-0, 4-11-0.
Players to watch: Lacey Black, Abigail Dwyer, Mackenzie Hilts, Allison Hoover, Destiny James, Amber Klock, Jordan Nuffer.
Roster: Lacey Black (Sr., D), Amber Klock (Sr., D), Jackie LaRose (Sr., M), Micaela Orvis (Sr., M), Cortney Davis (Jr., M), Mackenzie Hilts (Jr. F), Allison Hoover (Jr., M), Carol Ives (Jr., F), Destiny James (Jr., G), Charlene King (Jr., M), Tatyana Weaver (Jr., F), Julia Desormeau (So., D), Jordan Nuffer (So., D), Abigail Dwyer (Fr., F), Joelle Leek (8th Gr., D).
Coach: Kristin Robbins (6th year).
2012 record: 8-6-2, 8-5-2.
Players to watch: Taylor Brown, Enesa Ososkalo, Yanna Ososkalo.
Roster: Kimberly Collins (Sr., D), Enesa Ososkalo (Sr., D), Yanna Ososkalo (Sr., F), Shanelle Trombley (Sr., M), Lauren Campbell (Jr., G), Lauren Barry (So., F), Taylor Brown (So., M), Katlyn Catalina (So., D), Meghan Donaldson (So., D), Mikalya Enos (So., D), Meghan Goutremont (So., M), Haley Kappus-Kron (So., M), Anna Quencer (So., M), Stephanie Smith (So., M), Alison Tarwater (So., M), Vera Liakhovitch (Fr., M), Morgan Warren (Fr., F).
Sackets Harbor Patriots
Coach: Dan Green (15th year).
2012 record: 10-8-0, 9-6-0.
Players to watch: Diana Dotson, Rainy Johannessen, Samantha Menapace.
Roster: Katherine Lapusnak (Sr.), Meghan Oram (Sr.), Taylor Queior (Sr.), Morgan Stevens (Sr.), Alexis Stewart (Sr.), Alexandria Townsend (Sr.), Mehriban Aliyeva (Jr.), Dunya Amro (Jr.), Courtney Brooks (Jr.), Diana Dotson (Jr.), Jenna Fields (Jr.,), Lauren Harrienger (Jr.), Rainy Johannessen (Jr.), Samantha Menapace (Jr.), Emma Mintz (So.), Sarah Gray (Fr.), McKenzie Martin (Fr.), Cady Weller (Fr.).