Gouverneur Soccer Looks To Continued Growth
BY DAVE SHEA
The Gouverneur Girls Varsity Soccer team began practice on Monday looking to follow up an historic season.
Last season the Lady Wildcats recorded the school's first undefeated regular season going 15-0, winning the NAC Central Division title and sharing the Section 10 Class B Championship with Potsdam before losing a shootout which advanced the Sandstoners into the state tournament.
"We had a great season and received a lot of support from the community. After the final regular season game we received an escort home from the fire department and other vehicles," said Coach Mark Martin.
"It was also a great source pride in our school and it was mentioned as one of the top achievements in the school year at graduation by our principal."
Martin feels that the Lady Wildcats can make a concerted effort to repeat those achievements.
"We lost some seniors who were very big in our success but we have several girls back who kept playing all year," he said.
According to Coach Martin the Lady Wildcats season was product of intense development in Gouverneur Soccer from the high school and youth levels for girls and boys.
Several Gouverneur Lady Wildcats have played for the Section 10 Selects for the past two summers . Gouverneur Central Girls Varsity Coach Mark Martin served as head coach for the Section 10 Selects who played competitively high level showcase tournaments.
"This year we expanded the Section 10 Selects to include players from the Watertown area and we played the in largest showcase tournament in the state with 40 teams. We tied one game and lost three but the girls played well against very powerful programs," said Martin who was assisted by Coach Bill Ault and received further assistance from St. Lawrence University Assistant Coach Sinead McSharry who provided valuable training sessions.
"Some of our players also go to the Watertown YMCA to play indoor soccer for 20 weeks. We are definitely getting better."
Martin feels that the improvement will continue in the future in both the girls and boys ranks. Gouverneur youth teams now compete in several age groups for both boys and girls.
The Gouverneur Soccer Club now involves 120 players, boys and girls, who play in the Northern New York Youth Travel League along with a house league. The Gouverneur Recreation Soccer Program involves 300 youngsters starting at the 7-8 year old level.
"Dustin Courier is the president of the Gouverneur Soccer Club and has done a fantastic job. We have played in more intense tournaments and we have excellent coaches at all levels," says Martin.
"We want all of our kids top be more active. That is how you get better and we are getting better."