Thursday September 20, 2012 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Lauren Courtade (left) is one of seven seniors on an otherwise young Frontier girls soccer team.
Hamburg, Daly off to 6-0 start
In her first season as Frontier’s varsity head coach, Jackie DiaPaul knew she’d have one of the younger teams among large schools in Western New York, and now it’s also become one of the area’s smaller squads.
In deciding to keep only 16 players, the team will be able to maximize the playing time for each and every one of them on the team. With seven seniors and three juniors that means a number of freshman and sophomores, in addition to one eighth grader, will also see plenty of time on the field.
“Sixteen is the smallest team I’ve ever had. Every single player is in every game,” noted DiaPaul, whose team has started the season at 1-1-1, beating Mt. Mercy, tying West Seneca West and losing to Clarence, “We just kept the core number of players and we’re confident in them and they seem to be confident in one another.”
Within that core is a number of senior leaders to help guide the youngsters. It is a group that DiaPaul is also familiar with since she has coached junior varsity at Frontier the four years prior.
In that group is center midfielder Christina Reville, who has scored a majority of the team’s goal so far this season and was integral in helping prepare the team for the season, and senior sweeper and captain Megan Melton. Junior midfielder Molly Kacmarski is also a team captain.
DiaPaul said that senior Mary DePalma exhibited her leadership and unselfishness by moving from forward to defense, because of the need for players on Frontier’s back line. She also is happy with the work put in during the offseason by senior goalkeeper Holly Richardson.
Among the talented youngsters on this team is starting eighth grade forward Meghan Roche, who DiaPaul will also look to in carrying the offense.
“It’s been a transition for everyone and we’ve had our struggles but I know many of the girls from coaching them at JV,” DiaPaul said. “We have a very young team that’s doing well.”
Also locally, Hamburg
is off to a 5-0 start to the season after beating Springville 4-2 on Monday (Sept. 17). Freshman sensation Kara Daly scored her 12th and 13th goals of the season, along with adding an assist, while senior captain Jenna Smolinski also recorded two goals. She now has four goals and seven assists on the season. The Bulldogs have also outscored their first three ECIC Division II opponents 16-2.