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High School Girls Soccer: Eden sharing in success of 7-1 start; N. Collins, Lake Shore win

Emily Carias is one of 10 seniors on a veteran Eden squad in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

A team open to sharing usually has less trouble finding the path to prosperity.

Eden has willingly shared the ball among one another during games, while off the field, often shared in bonding sessions to help bring players together. As a result of those efforts, the Raiders have shared in the success that has come along in 2012.

With a 2-0 win over JFK on Tuesday (Sept. 25), Eden ends the first half of the ECIC IV season at 5-1 (7-1 overall) and knocking on the doorstep of division front-runner Tonawanda, the only team to beat the Raiders.

“We’re always doing team bonding stuff together,” said Eden head coach Jill Keller, who joked that much of the bonding involves food. “I like the way that they pass and that they’re not a selfish group. I try to stress to them how important it is to know where the ball goes at all times. I’ve tried to teach them that everyone has a role.”

It helps that the team’s veterans have bought in to what’s being taught. Though senior midfielders Emily Carias, Hanna Zittel and Alicia Roistacher are all in their fourth season with the varsity and senior forward Catherine Mammoser is in her third, each of them is just as willing to give up the ball to one another or a teammate for the good of the squad.

“We like to open up the field and get it to everyone,” said Mammoser, the team’s leading scorer with seven goals and four assists. “It’s usually not the same person scoring for us.”

The four are part of a group of 10 seniors on this experienced team that Keller has been looking forward to seeing reach its full potential. Mammoser said many of them have been playing together since they were age 4.

Among some of the other major contributors this season are seniors Erin Dix, who has four goals, including the game-winner in beating North Collins 2-1 on Sept. 24, Marit Mellemester with four goals and five assists, and goalie Courtney Cross, who made many fine saves in helping Eden over a hurdle in beating Holland 3-2.

“We’ve really stepped as a team,” Carias noted.

“We’ve jelled really well,” Roistacher added.

Keller and her players are so in to the team concept that every time a goal is scored she attempts to go back and track the play from where it started and the path it took all the way to when the ball crossed the goal line. She also said it helps to have the incredible fan support Eden’s enjoyed in 2012.

As they prepare for a possible playoff run further than any other Eden team has gone in recent history, the Raiders will first try to gain a little redemption when they play at Tonawanda on Monday, Oct. 1. Tonawanda beat Eden 3-0 earlier in the month.

Keller believes her team can play better than it showed in that game. Eden’s outshot most of its opponents, she’s been working with her team on finishing its opportunities.

“I think we just got out some of our (early-season) jitters in that game,” Zittel said. “I think we’ll do a lot better this time.”

North Collins earned its first win of the season, upsetting league-leading Pine Valley 2-1 on Sept. 19. Scoring for the Lady Eagles were Molly Spengler and Emily Swiatkowski. Aurora Klawinski gave a strong effort in goal, making four saves. Strong play also came from the defensive end where Taren Mancuso, Sam Motak, Mollie Gleason and Angela Paradiso all stood out.

Lake Shore has bounced back from a slow start to the season, despite a rash of injuries that has left the team with a shortened bench. The Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Pioneer on Sept. 19, and then after a tough 3-2 loss to Eden two days later, they rolled to an 8-2 win over fellow ECIC Division III foe Cheektowaga on Sept. 22.

In the latest win, Josliyn Benton and Melanie Linsmair each netted three goals, while Hayley Hammer and Kelsey Eggleston added one apiece. Linsmair and Benton share the team lead with eight goals and three assists each. The win was aided by the goaltending of Carley Martin and Nikki Clark, the defense of Alexis Cvetanovich, Danielle Kabel, Alexis Fuhrman and Jessica Losel and the play up front of Cassie Kij, Ashley Kerr and Kelcie McMillan.

On Sept. 21, Lake shore closely contested its game with Eden, but came up short despite Nikki Clark’s big performance in goal. The offensive punch was delivered by Benton and Linsmair who were the goal scorers for the Eagles. Lake Shore had several breakaway opportunities over the course of the game.


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