Lady Yellow Jackets undefeated in regular soccer season
ELDRED, NY —“It’s déjà vu all over again.”
The Eldred girls’ varsity soccer squad took a tip from Yogi Berra as they wrapped up the 2017 regular season of play with a 15-0 record. It is their first undefeated season since 1986, back in the halcyon days when Al Wojtaszek was at the helm and current coach Sonia Kidney took to the field as a defender on a team that made it to the states, only to lose in a heartbreaking shootout.
On Thursday, October 19, Eldred advanced to the Section IX Class D championships by defeating the Lady Blue Devils of Ellenville 7-0 in a match that got off to a simmering start, only to wrap up with a blazing finish.
In the first frame, Eldred scored on a free kick by Kassandra Weatherly to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, the home-team booters lit up the field in the wake of a little “talking to” by their coach and scored six unanswered goals: Jissela Labuda from Lenae Kelty, Kelty unassisted, Labuda from Weatherly, Kelty all by her lonesome, Paige Weyant assisted by Weatherly and, to close it out, Hailee Kolvenbach off an assist by Weyant.
Matt Daum, coach of the Lady Blue Devils (2-11 overall, 1-8 league), said it was a rebuilding year, summing up the season in a few words.
“We’re a young team.”
Vanelys Malave guarded the net as Ellenville’s goalie, making 20 saves during the match.
“We gave it our best, worked hard as a team and a family… we tried our best,” said the 16-year-old junior.
Kidney said the Lady Yellow Jackets wanted to play Ellenville because the match would be “a good indicator of what was to come,” if Eldred advanced to take on larger schools in the MHAL division.
“They played us very well; it was what we needed,” she said, adding that during the half, she “had a conversation” with the squad, in essence telling them they had to play up to their ability and “get what they had deep down inside.”
“They played an awesome game.”
Samantha “Sami” Clemmons posted 12 saves as Eldred’s keeper.
“In the first half we started off a little rough, but we kept pressing and never let up,” said the 17-year-old senior.
Her take on the picture-perfect regular season?
“It’s been really good. We went undefeated, which hasn’t happened in a long time…hopefully we can pull it off, and go all the way.”
In celebration of their undefeated season, a squadron of balloons in the school colors of gold and yellow was let loose into the sunset as the jubilant team posed for pics. For more photos, visit www.riverreporter.com.