Margaretville girls’ soccer coach sees ‘finishing touches’ as key
By John Bernhardt
Like a successful interior designer, Margaretville girls’ soccer coach Toni Smith understands that it’s often the finishing touches that assure a successful job. Smith is hoping her 2010 soccer team can find the finishing touches to propel the Lady Blue Devils to the top of the Delaware League.
Last season, Margaretville finished second in the Upper Division behind Davenport. The 2009 Blue Devils lost in the sectional semifinals, 1-0, to eventual Section IV champions Schenevus. Smith’s squad competed head-to-head with every team they faced but lacked the finishing skills on offense needed to go the distance.
“It’s important we are able to finish offensively this season,” emphasized Smith. In her fifth season, Smith understands those finishing touches can sometimes be hard to find. This year, Smith feels her team’s strong defense could be the catalyst to jumpstart the offense and find the nets more consistently.
For Smith, a balanced offensive/defensive style starts in the midfield. Two seniors, Olivia Todd and Karla Nova, boost the Blue Devils’ versatile profile. Todd, a fourth-year player, plays the outside midfield. Level headed and steadfast, Todd brings strong game sense and leadership skills to the team. Todd hopes to increase her aggressiveness this season. Nova also returns for her fourth season. The senior is a solid player with good foot skills and strong ball skills. The senior tandem promises to provide game changing skills in the middle of the field.
Smith is happy Sara Batka has returned to Margaretville for her senior year. Batka was the Blue Devil goalie as a sophomore but transferred downstate during her junior year. The sturdy senior is spending some time in the nets but could become the team’s sweeper. “Sara is strong and athletic and could make an impact for us as our defensive quarterback,” noted Smith.
Seven juniors make up the bulk of the Margaretville roster. Three juniors, Amy Filupeit, Danielle Hull, and Genesis Quinones, return from last year’s squad. A dynamic offensive player, Filupeit might be anchored in the center of the field as the all-important center mid. Good speed and the ability to distribute the ball with either foot make the junior a natural at that spot.
Hull will be an important part of the defense. Depending on what happens in the goal, Hull could return to the stopper spot she manned last season or become the sweeper. “Danielle will have an important role on our defense, no matter where she plays,” explained Smith. Both Filupeit and Hull attended summer team camp and are expected to be strong team leaders.
Quinones is a versatile player whose play could help out on any line as need dictates. Great speed and improving field skills make Quinones a valuable asset.
Smith expects a boost from two juniors trying organized soccer for the first time. Luz Camano could help bolster the offense. The newcomer runs the field well and has good ball skills. Smith is impressed with how quickly Camano is picking up the nuances of the game. Sarah Hagakore brings a strong work ethic to the field. Fiercely determined and eager to learn, Hagakore is working hard to find a spot on the field.
Two juniors, Patience Misner and Shelby Todd, return to the game after taking a year off. Both juniors are working on their skills with positions yet to be determined.
A strong sophomore class bodes well for Margaretville’s soccer future. Five sophomores return from last year’s team. Reann Bond is expected to use good stamina and endurance in the midfield. Kellsey Buerge’s scrappy play and athleticism could help land her a role as the defensive stopper.
Versatile and determined, Rachel Mathiesen should help out in the midfield or on the defensive line. Quick, with good ball skills and great game sense, Tess Svoboda has superb offensive potential. Returning goalie Megan McKenna is working out once again in the nets as well as spending time learning field skills.
Two sophomores, Felicia Falco and Alexiss Molnar, move up from the modified team. Both sophomores are adapting to the speed of the varsity game, developing foot and field skills, and looking to earn time on the field.
Freshmen Annette Auchmoody and Cecelia Galatioto round out the roster. Both freshmen are scrappy, have good ball skills, and are working hard. Galatioto has a powerful shot that could help out on the front line.
Smith’s squad has lofty goals for the upcoming season. “We will be working to win our division and make it to the crossover title game this year.” To accomplish that feat, Margaretville will have to find away to get past perennial nemesis, Davenport. Smith expects Davenport to contend for the Upper Division title again this fall.
Margaretville opens their season Tuesday in a non-league contest at Delhi.