Heuvelton Girls Look To Bounce Back, Move Up In West
BY DAVE SHEA
The 2019 NAC West Girls Soccer season was a major deviation from the norm at Heuvelton Central School. After consistently contending for division honors under Coach Gus Burns for many years the Lady Bulldogs slipped to 4-8-0.
Coach Burns and the Bulldogs are looking to make a quick resurgence in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season which opens on Friday with a challenging home game against defending NAC West Champion Hammond which dominated the division race last year and reached the New York State Class D semi-finals.
Coach Burns feels that Hammond and Edwards-Knox, who have controlled the last four division titles, will once again prosper featuring outstanding players and looks for Lisbon to make a forward move.
"With no sectional or state play everyone is playing for the division title and the way I see it there are a few teams that should be at the top. Where we will fit into the picture is still a mystery. I would like to think that we will be competitive and in the race for the division title," said Coach Burns.
"This is a crazy year with no scrimmages and opening up against Hammond who knows how things will play out. We are happy to be playing and we’ll do what we have to continue to play. Going this late into November the possibility of snow being a factor and cold weather is going to be a challenge."
Heuvelton's 15-player squad features a promising mix of veteran and young players and Coach Burns sees the potential for significant team growth over the course of the season.
"This is the smallest team as far as numbers go that we have had in some time. We have some good athletes, the girls are doing their best to get use to playing with the masks. We have been working on basics and trying to slowly get everyone into playing shape," said Coach Burns.
"We have some good players returning this year with Grace Mills anchoring our defense, Bella Doyle in the midfield, and we have some young ninth grade girls that should make an impact for us right away. Emma LaFaver returns in goal which gives us good experience in the net.. Our team strengths are the number of players we have returning that should already know the style of play we are looking for. Our young players developing into varsity players is a big key for us. We are hoping to get through the season without any sickness and along the way the girls have fun doing it."
2020 HEUVELTON LADY BULLDOGS
Grace Mills # 11– Sr. – Captain, Defense, Trista Ashley #10 – Sr – Defense, Bella Doyle #22 – Jr – Midfield, Emma Lafaver #0 – Sr – Goalie, Lily Spooner #4 – SO – Defense, attack, Allison Trathen #21- So – midfield, Lara Martin #31 – Sr – Defense, Midfield, Carley Simmons #14- Fr- Defense, Amber Cunningham#18- Sr- Defense, Katie Cunningham #3 – Fr – Midfield, Attack, Rylin McAllister #7 – Fr – Midfield, Attack, Chasity Johnson #20 – Fr – Midfield, Attack, Dakota West #28 – Sr – Attack, Molly Williams #24 – Sr- Attack, Deanne Bellinger #9 – Jr – midfield, attack.