Hammond Girls Ready For Repeat Run At NAC West Title
BY DAVE SHEA
HAMMOND - Hammond came out of the 2019 Girls Soccer season running and were never significantly slowed until Avoca used three splendid second half strikes by Swedish exchange student Selina Judd to frustrate the Red Devils 3-0 in the New York State Class D semi-finals. The Lady Devils repeated their soccer run in the basketball season and reached regional finals before COVID-19 shut down the state championships and the entire spring season.
The Red Devils (15-1-0) posted a dominant 12-0 NAC West Soccer Championship led by Offensive MVP Kelsey Bennett who delivered 42 goals 17 assists as a senior who has moved on to SUNY Potsdam. The Devils' other seniors all provided excellent leadership.
But this year's Red Devils, who open defense of their division title at Heuvelton on Friday, will be lead by another outstanding senior class featuring relentless marking back Nora Pease who was honored as the NAC West Defensive MVP, explosive First Team All-NAC West selection Avery Kenyon who scored 33 goals with 25 goals as junior and Second Team All-NAC West selection in midfielder-forward Hailey Cunningham.
Sophomore sweeper Zoey Cunningham also earned First Team All-NAC West honors last fall and junior goalie Alyvia Crosby enjoyed a season of emergence in the crease and earned the NAC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.
"Last years final 4 team in soccer was one of the most exciting soccer seasons we have had. Along with the 2016 Final 4 season. Losing those seniors will be a challenge to replace. That experience they had was key," said Coach Shawn Dack.
"But we have a strong core back and the young kids are progressing well and are going to be exciting to watch grow. I believe they will fit in very well. We hope that we get through this soccer season with no stoppage and have a great push towards basketball season and have a chance to finish what was taken away from us. What bothers us the most is that all this is out of our hands and we can’t control that situation. But so far so good at Hammond and it’s so great to see the kids on the field and playing."
Also counted for consistent leadership will be seniors Jordan Kloeping, Caitlynn Cunningham, Madeline Rathbun and Tori Martire and juniors Lily Towne and Natalie Howie.
Zoey Cunningham is part of a sophomore class expected to emerge quickly along with Sadey Sprabary, Brooklyn Arquitt, Hailee Manning, Olivia Jewett and Hannah Belknap.
Freshman Landree Kenyon and eighth grader Ava Howie are also being counted for consistent contributions in a very deep team.