Last season was a memorable campaign for both Lowville’s girls soccer team and the community alike.
Memories of capturing the sectional championship in Class B and advancing to the state regional round are still fresh for the Red Raiders’ returning players.
“I actually still get chills thinking about it,” senior defender Paige Seydler said.
After the Red Raiders reached Section 3 glory, businesses and fans throughout the town posted signs emblazoned in red in support of the team, with some lining the streets to give Lowville quite a sendoff to the state tournament.
“Lowville is a soccer school, we’re all about tradition here,” senior midfielder Anna Platz said. “Every team is backed by the community and it gives us their complete and utter support.”
“That was really something — it was fun to represent the North Country,” said Lowville coach Leo Sammon, whose team at one point was ranked No. 2 in the state.
Several buses filled with team followers made the journey to Stillwater in the eastern part of the state where Schalmont of Section 2 scored two overtime goals to dispatch the Red Raiders, 2-0, in a regional playoff game.
“It was surreal,” Platz said. “When people ask me about it now, I still have a hard time not getting choked up about it. It was the greatest experience of my life.”
After winning the Frontier League’s “B” Division crown and claiming a share of the sectional championship by advancing past Marcellus on penalty kicks — just what can the current Lowville team do for an encore?
Despite losing talented seniors to graduation — including Times All-North MVP Taylor Haenlin, who set the school’s career scoring record last year, midfielder Olivia Hanno (18 goals, 4 assists for 39 points), as well as their starting goalie and much of their defense — the Red Raiders return a core of seniors who hope to build on last season’s success.
This group, which includes eight returners, knows that last year’s achievements are in the past, but provides plenty of motivation to succeed this season.
“It was great last season — but we can’t live in last year’s past,” senior midfielder Tanner Sammon said. “This is a new season and we have to be ready for anything — the main thing is to be close as a team.”
The Red Raiders’ senior core includes, along with Platz, Sammon and Seydler, and defenders Megan Smith, Ashley Sullivan and Searrah Waite.
“We’ve not only played together at the modified level, as well as JV, we played in LYSA together when were so little,” Tanner Sammon said. “We’ve grown up together and now as seniors we’re here to lead the younger players and try and keep the tradition of being so close as a team together.”
“Tanner and I are the only starters from last year that return this year,” Platz said. “It’s a lot of weight on our shoulders and a lot of pressure — but having that season last year has given us that much more confidence and ability to lead this year.”
Lowville’s priority is to play solid defense first — but the team is led offensively by the talented Platz, who totaled 28 points, including 11 goals last season as a finisher.
“I’ll still be in the center of the field and I’m hoping to be more of a distributor this year, but coach Sammon and (assistant) coach (Chris) Bach have asked me to take on leadership responsibility,” Platz said. “I didn’t have much confidence in myself shooting last year, but knowing I have the whole team behind me this year, I know that I have to do what’s best for the team.”
The entire defense will include new starters and will be anchored by Seydler at sweeper.
“It’s early,” coach Sammon said. “I think there’s a lot of potential here and we’ve been working really hard and we’re finding ourselves as far as what our roles are going to be.”
“Defensively, we want to have this brick wall,” said Seydler, “and if they can’t score, they can’t win.”
Lowville will move to the Frontier League’s “C” Division after competing in “B” last season.
“The ultimate goal is to be better at the end of the year then you were at the beginning,” coach Sammon said. “I think we will be and we’ll play well as long as we keep working hard like we are.”
Outlook: This group looks to have a lot of parity this year with Watertown the favorite to repeat as “A” Division champion. But coaches are in agreement that this division race should be a tight affair, with Indian River looking to be strong, with Immaculate Heart Central and Carthage in the mix. The Cyclones lost a trio of four-year varsity players to graduation and coach Michael VanNostrand says his group is “pretty young” and the season “depends on how we mesh as a team.” Seniors and team captains Brianne Arthur (4-7-15), Morgan Cadwell (6-2-14) and Hannah Keggins (defender) look to lead Watertown this season. Indian River returns a core of seniors, including leading scorer Emily Kuba (5-0-10), Abby Lynch and Morgan Nabywaniec. Carthage, which forged a .500 season last year, hopes to “maintain the progress we made” in 2011 and will be led by defender Keshara Moore and midfielder/defender Chelsea Scott. Immaculate Heart Central, which won the “A” Division crown two years ago, is looking to rebound from last-place finish in 2011. The Cavaliers will be led by seniors Samantha Alteri and Kayla Miles and sophomore goalie Skylar Short is back for her third varsity season.
Coach: Marty Weaver (20th year).
2011 record: 9-8-0, 5-5-0.
Players to watch: Keshara Moore, Chelsea Scott.
Roster: Marissa Chisholm (Sr.), Brittany Gregory (Sr.), Keshara Moore (Sr.), Jessica Oliver (Sr.), Chelsea Scott (Sr.), Haley Upton (Sr.), Kristy Williams (Sr.), Aly Woods (Sr.), Nikki Wormwood (Sr.), Doria Darroch (Jr.), Kayla Gonzalez (Jr.), Mackenzie Kidder (Jr.), Alexis Mondragon (Jr.), Alexis Wallace (Jr.), Cassie Birth (So.), Mia Darroch (So.), Bryanna Gagnon (So.), Morgan Miller (So.), Amber Montz (So.), Haley Ryan (So.), Emily Busch (Fr.), Paige Kaune (Fr.).
Immaculate Heart Central Cavaliers
Coach: Kurt Robbins (13th year).
2011 record: 8-9-1, 3-6-0.
Players to watch: Samantha Alteri, Kayla Miles, Skylar Short.
Roster: Samantha Alteri (Sr.), Katie Beagle (Sr.), Maddy Brand (Sr.), Patricia Breen (Sr.), Taylor Brown (Sr.), Brittany Dunnigan (Sr.), Kayla Miles (Sr.), Rachel Chamberlain (Jr.), Rebecca Lazore (Jr.), Rachel O’Brien (Jr.), Sara Pignone (Jr.), Jaid Baytos (So.), Erin Dingman (So.), Skylar Short (So.), Vera Freda (Fr.), Olivia Miles (Fr.), Liz Gefell (8th), Anna O’Neil (8th).
Indian River Warriors
Coach: Duane Dusharm (25th year).
2011 record: 9-7-1, 4-5-0.
Players to watch: Lakeisha Barnes, Kaitlin Brierton, Paige Fayette, Emily Kuba, Abby Lynch, Morgan Nabywaniec.
Roster: Lakeisha Barnes (Sr.), Kaitlin Brierton (Sr.), Paige Fayette (Sr.), Emily Kuba (Sr.), Abigail Lynch (Sr.), Hannah Miterko (Sr.), Morgan Nabywaniec (Sr.), Brittney Simerly (Sr.), Rebecca Butler (Jr.), Michaela Culbertson (Jr.), Erin Hesse (Jr.), Makenna Honeywell (Jr.), Caitlin Pacilio (Jr.), Sidney Black (So.), Cassandra Kiechle (So.), Meghan Kuba (So.), Meaghan LaClair (So.), Sarah Mattingly (So.), Kelsi Nabywaniec (So.), Erin O’Brien (Fr.),
Coach: Michael VanNostrand (5th year).
2011 record: 11-5-0, 9-1-0.
Players to watch: Katie Aldrich, Brianne Arthur, Morgan Cadwell, Hannah Keggins.
Roster: Brianne Arthur (Sr.), Dieu Bui (Sr.), Morgan Cadwell (Sr.), Sierra Dunn (Sr.), Morgan Exford (Sr.), Hannah Keggins (Sr.), Katie Aldrich (Jr.), Ashley Flick (Jr.), Miranda Gilbert (Jr.), Katherine Harrienger (Jr.), Megan Hefferon (Jr.), Olivia Heiler (Jr.), Courtney Netto (Jr.), Taylor Rick (Jr.), Abby Converse (So.), Porsha Gathers-Grossett (So.), Morgan Girardi (So.), Livia Harrienger (So.), Leah Rojas (So.), Megan Burr (Fr.), Darcy Dyer (Fr.), Katie Hanlin (Fr.), Kira Kolb (Fr.).
Outlook: With divisional and sectional champion Lowville’s move to the “C” Division, South Jefferson should be the favorite to reclaim the division title. last winning in 2010. Coach Terry Burgess says his team is young and has “no returning stars” from a team which won 10 games last season and is looking for players to become “personalities.” The Spartans return only two seniors and will play “A” Division teams twice during the regular season, as will “B” Division foes Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Rebels and General Brown. A-P-W, which finished third in the league the past two seasons and reached the “B” Division playoff final, lost its top two scorers to graduation. General Brown looks to rebound from a winless campaign in 2011 in what coach Stephanie Doney hopes is a rebuilding year.
Altmar-Parish- Williamstown Rebels
Coach: George Parker (1st year).
2011 record: 5-10-1, 4-9-1.
Players to watch: N/A.
Roster: Courtney Cefaratti (Sr.), Jaklyn Fisher (Sr.), Rachel Mitchell (Sr.), Emily Radley (Sr.), Becky Trexler (Sr.), Rhiannon Wheeler (Sr.), Jena Booth (Jr.), Tori Homza (Jr.), Emilie Mullen (Jr.), Shaylah Nichols (Jr.), Rhiannon Plantz (Jr.), Kaylee Schreyer (Jr.), Erin Stever (Jr.), Rachael Thormann (Jr.), Kylee Bartlett (So.), Ellen Parker (Fr.).
General Brown Lions
Coach: Stephanie Doney (4th year).
2011 record: 0-14-0, 0-13-0.
Players to watch: Deleha Decker, Monica Makuch, Alanna Savage.
Roster: Christina Canizzo (Sr.), Lyndsie Danks (Sr.), Kierstin Hall (Sr.), Monica Makuch (Sr.), Morgan O’Hearn (Sr.), Chelsea Purvis (Sr.), Alanna Savage (Sr.), Alexa Clemons (Jr.), Deleha Decker (Jr.), Torri Desario (Jr.), Kathleen Gruber (Jr.), Jenna Matthews (Jr.), Danielle Meraz (Jr.), Gabby West (Jr.), Tori Wojasinski (Jr.), Deanna Brenon (So.), Savannah LaJuett (Fr.).
South Jefferson Spartans
Coach: Terry Burgess (34rd year).
2011 record: 10-6-0, 10-4-0.
Players to watch: N/A.
Roster: Mallory Davis (Sr.), MacKenna Goodnough (Sr.), Maddie Alexander (Jr.), Olivia Barker (Jr.), Jackie Decker (Jr.), Leah Denny (Jr.), Katie Elmer (Jr.), Mikaela Rutter (Jr.), Lexi Smith (Jr.), Morgan Alexander (So.), Courtney Cavellier (So.), Alyssa Nappi (So.), Janessa Vaadi (So.), Dana Cowles (Fr.), Molly Denny (Fr.), Sidney Hall (Fr.), Hailey Maguire (Fr.), Lara Podvin (Fr.).
Outlook: The arrival of reigning Class B sectional co-champion Lowville should shake things up in the division. The Red Raiders still appear to be the class of the Frontier League and they Sandy Creek coach Jonn Stoker says they “make a tough division even tougher.” South Lewis, which won the past three division titles, lost seven seniors to graduation, including its top two scorers, but returns a core of players, including seniors Rachel Newell, Gabby Hartley, Tasha Ortlieb, Ronni Ehhlers and junior Jayne Strigle. Sandy Creek returns much of its roster, led by senior forward Chelsea Clafin (12-3-27), as well as junior midfielder Kylie Hanni, who has played at the varsity level since eighth-grade. The Comets have finished as runner-up to South Lewis the past two seasons. Thousand Islands returns its top two scorers — seniors Allie Barton and Brook Garrett — from a team which finished third in the division last year. Beaver River will look to improve after finishing last in the division the past two seasons.
Beaver River Beavers
Coach: Tracy Adams (2nd year).
2011 record: 4-7-5, 4-6-5.
Players to watch: N/A.
Roster: Genevieve Fidler (Sr.), Monica Interiano (Sr.), Emmalee Ritz (Sr.), Taylor Buell (Jr.), Madison Compton (Jr.), Rochelle Cowan (Jr.), Malori Mattimore (Jr.), Kasidee Rhone (Jr.), Brittany Widrick (Jr.), Anna Bush (So.), Caitlin LaBrake (So.), Emma Schneider (So.), Mackenzie Sauer (Fr.), Reagan Becker (8th).
Lowville Red Raiders
Coach: Leo Sammon (25th year).
2011 record: 18-1-1, 14-0-0.
Players to watch: Anna Platz, Tanner Sammon, Paige Seydler, Megan Smith, Ashley Sullivan, Searrah Waite.
Roster: Anna Platz (Sr.), Tanner Sammon (Sr.), Paige Seydler (Sr.), Megan Smith (Sr.), Ashley Sullivan (Sr.), Searrah Waite (Sr.), Ellexis Cecconi (Jr.), Erin Fayle (Jr.), Maggie Griffiths (Jr.), Megan Hill (Jr.), Alisha Kennell (Jr.), Alyssa Laribee (Jr.), Ellory Roberts (Jr.), Emma St. Croix (Jr.), Courtney September (Jr.), Devan Wolf (Jr.), Alexa Yousey (Jr.), Laura Platz (So.), Kelsey Sammon (So.), Isabelle Hanno (Fr.), Mckenzie Marti (Fr.).
Sandy Creek Comets
Coach: Jonn Stoker (5th year).
2011 record: 8-5-4, 8-4-4.
Players to watch: Maddie Bush, Chelsea Clafin, Toni Gray, Kylie Hanni.
Roster: Chelsea Claflin (Sr.), Toni Gray (Sr.), Karintha Myslivecek (Sr.), Olivia Ivison (Sr.), Viki White (Sr.), Maddie Bush (Jr.), Gabby Guarasce (Jr.), Kylie Hanni (Jr.), Hannah Horth (Jr.), Kylee Martin (Jr.), Michaela Martin (Jr.), Brittany Valley (Jr.), McKenna Guarasce (So.), Kate Hanni (Fr.).
South Lewis Falcons
Coach: Mike Niles (1st year).
2011 record: 9-4-4, 9-3-4.
Players to watch: Ronni Ehlers, Gabby Hartley, Rachel Newell, Tasha Ortlieb, Jayne Strigle.
Roster: Heather Bates (Sr.), Ronni Ehlers, Gabrielle Hartley (Sr.), Patricia Hayes (Sr.), Rachel Newell (Sr.), Tasha Ortlieb (Sr.), Marissa Brown (Jr.), Gabby Domagala (Jr.), Alyssa Raymond (Jr.), Miranda Rys (Jr.), Jayne Strigle (Jr.), Olivia Fitzgerald (So.), Alexis Olmstead (So.), Jaedyn Ossant (So.), Chanelle Berrus (Fr.), Jenna Dailey (Fr.), Hannah Kittleman (Fr.), Jenna Rogers (Fr.), Hannah Rook (Fr.), Ashley York (Fr.), Mikayla McMinn (8th), Britney Swiernik (8th).
Thousand Islands Vikings
Coach: Tim Filiatrault (7th year).
2011 record: 7-10-1, 6-9-1.
Players to watch: Allie Barton, Aliceson Cornaire, Brook Garrett, Kerstin Phelps, Morgan Robbins.
Roster: Allie Barton (Sr.), Missy Fulton (Sr.), Brook Garrett (Sr.), Kristianne Shaffer (Sr.), Toni Wahl (Sr.), Alesha Waterman (Sr.), Eos Chase (Jr.), Kyala Clegg (Jr.), Autumn Clement (Jr.), Keelin Delaney (Jr.), Ashley Howard (Jr.), Melinda Knapp (Jr.), Chloe Mason (Jr.), Lydia Maloney (Jr.), Alexis Padilla (Jr.), Kerstin Phelps (Jr.), Lucy Reff (Jr.), Morgan Robbins (Jr.), Lindsay Barton (So.), Aliceson Cornaire (So.), Katelyn Docteur (So.), Olivia Fulmer (So.).
Outlook: With another strong team, Copenhagen appears to be on course to defend its division title, but Lyme will again field a solid squad as the two rivals will likely clash for the “D” title. The two schools have combined to win the bulk of the division crowns over the past 10 years. Katherine Stackel returns to coach Copenhagen after six years as the Carthage boys soccer boys coach. The Golden Knights return its top two scorers — forward Claire Stackel, who registered 38 points, including 15 goals as a freshman, and senior Logan Wheeler (9-4-22). Lyme, which finished second to Copenhagen in the “D” Division the past two seasons, only lost three starters to graduation and hopes to contend for the title again. Freshman forward Taylor Brown (10-4-24) returns, as does senior defender Mikayla Warren, as well as senior Yanna Ososkalo and junior Shayla Fulmer in the midfield. Sackets Harbor return senior Caitlyn Graves and sophomore Rainy Johannessen (9-5-23) from a team which finished third in the division last year. Fourth-place Belleville Henderson lost nine seniors from last year’s team and is a “very young group who hopes to be competitive” according to coach Ann Colby. Junior Amanda Lingenfelter (6-17-29) returns to lead Alexandria, which finished second to last in the division last year. Michelle Hoover is the new head coach at LaFargeville after previously coaching the Red Knights, who sport seven seniors this season and went winless the past two years.
Alexandria Purple Ghosts
Coach: Diane Bush (7th year).
2011 record: 4-10-1, 4-9-1.
Players to watch: Amanda Lingenfelter, Kristen Swart.
Roster: Rachel Calhoun (Sr.), Kristen Swart (Sr.), Tisha Aikins (Jr.), Amanda Lingenfelter (Jr.), Gulzan Suingarina (Jr.), Mikaela Benny (So.), Kiah Hudon (So.), Sydney LaLonde (So.), Hannah Lynch (So.), Jarah Papin (So.), Brianna Parrow (So.), Caitlyn Burrows (Fr.), Cassidy Daily (Fr.), Ellen Gill (Fr.), Samantha Griswold (Fr.), Emma Kearns (Fr.), Morgan Weaver (Fr.).
Belleville Henderson Panthers
Coach: Ann Colby (9th year).
2011 record: 4-9-0, 4-9-0.
Players to watch: Whitney Maitland, Skyllar Morris, Jenta White.
Roster: Chandler England (Sr.), Kassie Joss (Sr.), Whitney Maitland (Sr.), Erin O’Rourke (Sr.), Kristia Otey (Sr.), Jenta White (Sr.), Skyllar Morris (Jr.), Lauren Decker (So.), Bridgit David (So.), Karen Fargo (So.), Mia Maitland (So.), Haley Smith (So.), Marissa Sugden (So.), Karlie Maloney (Fr.), Kellie Sherm (Fr.).
Copenhagen Golden Knights
Coach: Katherine Stackel (1st year).
2011 record: 13-2-2, 11-1-2.
Players to watch: Brooke Spaulding, Claire Stackel, Logan Wheeler.
Roster: Lindsey Fitzpatrick (Sr.), Morgan Herbert (Sr.), Cassidy O’Donnell (Sr.), Logan Wheeler (Sr.), Alicia Evans (Jr.), Bri Muncy (Jr.), Morgan Moore (So.), Mackenzie St. Louis (So.), Brooke Spaulding (So.), Sydney Greene (Fr.), Alexis LaBarge (Fr.), Emma Roberts (Fr.), Claire Stackel (Fr.), Christie Thomas (Fr.), Mackenzie Wheeler (Fr.), Maci Spaulding (8th).
LaFargeville Red Knights
Coach: Michelle Hoover (1st year, 5th year overall).
2011 record: 0-14-0, 0-14-0.
Players to watch: Jarika Nuffer, Bre Nutting, Amber Klock, Allison Hoover, Mackenzie Hilts.
Roster: Lauren Beeles (Sr.), Jarika Nuffer (Sr.), Bre Nutting (Sr.), Kylie Sanford (Sr.), Jackie Segouin (Sr.), Kiesha Williams (Sr.), Jessica Wills (Sr.), Lacey Black (Jr.), Amber Klock (Jr.), Jackie LaRose (Jr.), Jenna Sharp (Jr.), Mackenzie Hilts (So.), Allison Hoover (So.), Charlene Kring (So.), Destiny James (So.), Jordan Nuffer (Fr.), Abigail Dwyer (8th).
Coach: Kristin Robbins (5th year).
2011 record: 15-5-0, 11-4-0.
Players to watch: Taylor Brown, Shayla Fulmer, Yanna Ososkalo, Mikayla Warren.
Roster: Shayla Fulmer (Sr.), Taylor Nichols (Sr.), Mikayla Warren (Sr.), Kimberly Collins (Jr.), Erica Gardner (Jr.), Amanda Goutremout (Jr.), Yanna Ososkalo (Jr.), Morgan Taylor (Jr.), Shanelle Trombley (Jr.), Lauren Campbell (So.), Emily Ennis (So.), Enesa Ososkalo (So.), Lauren Barry (Fr.), Taylor Brown (Fr.), Katlyn Catalina (Fr.), Meghan Donaldson (Fr.), Mikayla Enos (Fr.), Meghan Goutremout (Fr.), Alison Tarwater (Fr.), Riley Thomas (Fr.).
Sackets Harbor Patriots
Coach: Dan Green (14th year).
2011 record: 8-9-0, 7-7-0.
Players to watch: Caitlyn Graves, Hollie L’Huillier, Olivia Martin, Rainy Johannessen.
Roster: Joan Cuddeback (Sr.), Jordan Gonseth (Sr.), Caitlyn Graves (Sr.), Stephanie Heaslip (Sr.), Hollie L’Huillier (Sr.), Alexis Martin (Sr.), Olivia Martin (Sr.), Nicole Menapace (Sr.), Emily Shultes (Sr.), Alexis Stewart (Jr.), Meghan Oram (Jr.), Alexandra Townsend (Jr.), Diana Dotson (So.), Samantha Menapace (So.), Rainy Johannessen (So.).