Sauquoit – The home team’s good finishing left the visiting squad with a bad start
Sauquoit Valley’s girls soccer team defeated Clinton 6-1 on September 10 thanks to a relentless and balanced offense and great possession. It was the fourth straight win of the 2015 season for Coach Tim Clive’s team while it was the opener for Clinton.
“We looked great in scrimmages,” Clinton coach Beth Baker said. “We need to work together more.” That should come in time as Clinton figures to be one of the better Class B team in Section III this fall. Sauquoit Valley (1-0, 4-0) on the other hand may be the best Class C team in the section right now and one that could challenge for state honors if it continues to improve.
“The training we had over the summer was all the difference,” Clive said. “We controlled the ball well.”
Indeed. Aside from a stretch of 20 minutes when Clinton (0-0, 0-1) had the better of play, the match belonged to the hosts. Adrianna Grande opened the scoring in the third minute when she took a great pass from Elma Sarajlija and placed it perfectly past Clinton goalie Audrey Gale. Immediately afterward is when the visitors came to life.
Jenna Devine had a shot go just high in the sixth minute and in the 11th Ericka Arancio had a shot go off the crossbar for Clinton. The visitors kept possession for the next few minutes and tied things at 1-1 in the 16th as Emmeline MacPherson converted a pass from Allie Lehman. It was a play in transition and MacPherson chipped the ball over Sauquoit valley goalie Allison Moreau. But a few moments later the hosts began to play as they did in the first few minutes and kept the pressure on until Abbey Mielnicki scored. Serena Kiss started the play with a direct kick that Gale could not hang onto and Mielnicki tapped it in for a 2-1 lead. That’s how the scored remained until halftime and the hosts held a 6-3 edge in shots.
It stayed close until the midpoint of the second half despite Sauquoit Valley having much better possession. Then a goal by Sarajlija started a flurry of goals that sealed the outcome. The junior forward finished off a play that Sydney Gifford started by deflecting a 50-50 ball she had with the goalie. The ball came loose and Sarajlija finished it off for a 3-1 edge in the 61st minute and three minutes later Kiss struck a perfect direct kick into the upper right corner from 30 yards.
The 4-1 lead didn’t leave the hosts complacent. A long direct kick by Paige Harris saw Raquel Burton finishing it for a 5-1 lead and Gifford ended the scoring when she made a penalty kick with 23 seconds to play.
“We came out strong,” a happy Grande said afterward. “We knew we could win. We have confidence. We wanted to do better than last year.”
The teams split their two games last year. “We’ve always had good games,” Kiss said of the rivalry. “We stepped it up.”
Sauquoit Valley ended with a 15-4 edge in shots. Gale wound up with eight saves while Moreau had two for the winners.
Clinton (0-0, 0-1): Emmeline MacPherson 1-0, Allie Lehman 0-1. Saves – Audrey Gale 8.
Sauquoit Valley (1-0, 4-0): Adrianna Grande 1-0, Elma Sarajlija 1-1, Abbey Mielnicki 1-0, Serena Kiss 1-1, Sydney Gifford 1-1, Rauel Burton 1-0, Paige Harris 0-1. Saves – Allison Moreau 2.