Utica- To say that the Tri-Valley Girls Soccer Leagues (East and West) are going to be evenly matched this season, would be an understatement. Sure, there is plenty of speculation that the Spartans of New Hartford might just be the team to beat, but there are plenty of contenders that could have a say in each division in 2015. One of those teams is the Camden Lady Blue Devils, who return veterans at key positions and welcome some very solid youngsters.
Today at Notre Dame High School in Utica, the Lady Blue Devils of Camden came calling to take on the home standing Lady Jugglers of Notre Dame, for a TVL East Division contest. This was almost a “no go”, based upon NYSPHSAA rules, which state that a real feel temperature of 96 degrees means that can be no athletic events conducted outdoors. At the 4:30 p.m. game time today, the real feel, according the Accuweather was 95 degrees, so play was commenced.
The Lady Blue Devils, coming off of a stinging 3-2 loss to RFA a week ago, struck early and often on the Lady Jugglers this afternoon, building a quick 3-0 lead on three consecutive goals from senior striker Hayley Kelley, all before the first 15 minute mandatory water break of the contest. Freshman midfielder Aislynn Rose assisted on Kelley’s first two tallies, while senior Alyse Griffin assisted on the 3rd score.
After the hydrate break (every 15 minutes due to the heat index) Camden came out roaring again, as defenders Kaylee Turner, Kylie Sullivan and Cinnamon Kahler did an outstanding job pushing the ball up in transition, feeding the very fast front liners.
Another freshman, Emma Hilts hit a roller past Jugglers keeper Abby Hawes with 13:57 to go in the opening half, giving Camden a 4-0 advantage.
Gwen Faldzinski added one more Camden score before the half, just :58 after Hilts’ goal, sending Camden to the half up by a score of 5-0. The Lady Blue Devils out shot Notre Dame 10-3 in the first 40 minutes.
The second half saw the Lady Jugglers ramp of the offensive pressure, but the Camden defense and veteran keeper Kiersten Leos were up to the task. Notre Dame had multiple chances in the second 40 minutes, as Adrienne Smith and Melina Chitt each hit strong shots late in the game, one of which went wide and the other hit the cross bar.
Emma Hilts joined the hat trick club herself, when she scored twice for Camden in the second half, once to open the second half and then again to close it, with under a minute left in the game. Kiersten Leos notched her first shutout of her senior campaign, to go along with the 16 combined shutouts she amassed in her sophomore and junior seasons.
Abbey Hawes finished with 11 saves for Notre Dame, while Leos blocked all 8 Notre Dame shots she faced.
The win evens Camden’s record at 1-1, while the very young Lady Jugglers fall to 0-4, 0-2 in conference.