The Ogdensburg Free Academy Girls Soccer Tournament will feature three local teams in a rebuilding mode in Tuesday and Wednesday night’s action at OFA’s new artificial turf stadium.
Lisbon and Heuvelton will renew their NAC West rivalry at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and OFA meet Norwood-Norfolk at 8 p.m. The consolation and championship games will follow at 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday.
First year coach Renee Tebo looks to lead an upswing in the Devils’ program while veteran coaches in Heuvelton’s Gus Burns and Lisbon’s Scott Richardson need to replace several all-star caliber players from strong teams.
OFA: Renee Tebo begins her first season as the Blue Devils’ varsity coach but she is no stranger to the players or the OFA program.
She succeeds Al Rishe at the varsity helm after previously coaching at the modified and junior varsity ranks.
“This is an exciting year for me because I have worked with all the girls in the past. It is great to see how their level of play has developed from the modified to the varsity level. Tom Pinkerton and Doug Farley are doing a great job coach at the JV and modified levels and I look forward to working with them.,” said Coach Tebo.
“We have been working on communication and the team has really started to gel. We have been practicing on the new turf and the girls are excited to play on it and to showcase the new stadium.”
Coach Tebo and the Lady Devils are looking to make a forward move from a 2-12 record in the NAC Central which features outstanding strength and depth.
With Potsdam moving to Class C this season the division could very well produce the Class A, B and C Champions.
Leading the Devils into a new season is senior sweeper-stopper Courtney Sherwin who earned the team’s only All-NAC Central selection last fall. Junior midfielder Kaylee L’Orange earned the team’s All-NAC Sportsmanship Award.
Other members of a cast of 11 returning players are: Mollee Ahrens (Sr MF/Sto), Janell Cordwell (Sr FB), Kayli Downie (Sr MF/F), Danielle Guimond (Jr MF/F), Sadie Brown (Sr FB), Riley Luckie (Jr F/D), Samantha Rishe (Jr (MF/F), Alicia Sharpe (Sr Sto), Alicia Shaver (Sr MF/F) and Taylor Smith (MF/D).
Junior Alicia Garcia has moved into the role of starting goaltender where she works closely with Assistant Coach Chip Bracy showing an excellent attitude according the coaches.
Other first-year members of the team are: Jadienne Averill (Jr FB), Elissa Baldwin (Jr MF/D) who transferred from Morristown, Sarah Bracy (Jr MF/F), Cassie Breen (Jr MF), Sadie Brown (Sr FB), Kiera Johnson (So MF/F), Lexi Kennedy (Jr MF/F), Jillian Lincoln (Jr Sw/FB), Abby Marshall (So FB), Natalee Ryan (Jr MF) and Erin Tooley (Jr FB/F).
Heuvelton: It will be rebuilding season for the 16-1-2 Bulldogs coming off a remarkable season of 2013 where they allowed just five goals in a 13-0-1 NAC West Championship - their fourth straight and earned a school record seven All NAC West selections.
“My team is really young, we are going to make some early mistakes but should be able to field a pretty competitive team by the end of the season,” said Coach Burns who must replace the trio of Alexis Weidner, Maddie St. Pierre and Logan Tallman enjoyed a four-year record of 59-9-6.
“We lost our big role players in Team MVP and First Team All NAC Logan Tallman, NAC West and Team Offensive MVP Alexis Weidner (37 goals, 10 assists - 80-20 in career) and NAC West and Team Defensive MVP Maddie St. Pierre (5-12). We also lost Rachael Thorhnill, Shelby Williams (2nd Team All NAC), Ashlyn Foster, and Renee Breault to graduation so we are really rebuilding our defense,” noted Burns who is looking for leadership from senior Kylie Piercey and Olivia St. Pierre (2nd Team All NAC) sophomore Paige McCormick, and three year freshman Alex Steele (2nd Team All NAC).
“Kylie will play defense and Paige returns in goal. Alex returns to the midfield and that should be solid with Olivia and junior Nathalie Barr,” Burns said.
Offensively, the Bulldogs see junior and first team All NAC Hannah Thornhill returna group of very capable players in sophomore Carin Sherwood and juniors Karina Warren, Miranda Donnelly, and Erin Kennedy.
And coach Burns likes his newcomers too.
“We have some new players that have been showing inmprovement each day with eighth grader Madison McCormick, ninth grader Aylssa Johnson, sophomores Sydney Thornhill and Katie Palmer. We are replacing some very good players from last years team but I think we are adapting pretty well,” said Burns who also has sophomore Brooke Armstrong, Kristi Donnelly and Kedan Mack junior Gabrielle Johnson and senior Taylor Dawley on the roster.
At last years awards night, McCormick was named Most Improved, Barr was selected Rookie of the Year and Eliza Jane Hamilton was named the Coaches Award.
Lisbon: Lisbon Coach Scott Richardson must replace eight regulars that made great progress last year in a 13-3-2 season.
“Last season we made a lot of progress in the 12 weeks. We had 14 girls contribute 51 goals but we need to replace all but one defensive player,” said Richardson.
Gone is five year keeper Jackie Sovie who compiled 11 shutouts in 2013 which earned her MVP honors in the NAC West and now playing at SLU. Sovie had 600 saves and 30 shutouts in her career.
Offensive leader Beth Crowley earned First Team All NAC West honors and defensive stalwarts Alyshia Murray and Holly Williams both earned Second Team selection. Also graduating were Hannah Richardson, Maeve Bowdish, and Sierra Erwin.
“We’re going to young in the defense. I expect junior Katie Sovie to assume a lot of leadership back there. We have Maddie Vine returning to the offense and we are hoping seniors Alex Amo and Rileigh Mee increase their production offensively,” said Richardson.
Vine scored 22 goals last year as a sophomore and was named First Team All NAC West and Amo was a second team selection.
Rounding out the returnees include: Kati Barney (Jr., FB), Madeline Caufield (Jr. Mid), Aneissa Fields (Sr. FB), Courtney Green (Sr. Mid), Claire Donaldson (Fr. Mid), Rebekah Robinson (Jr. FB), Adrien Hyde (Jr. Mid), and Fayeanne West (Jr. Mid).
Newcomers to the team are: Hailey Addison (Fr. Mid), Sierra Ashley (Fr. Mid), Marissa Bigelow (Fr. FB), Maggie Crowley (Fr. Mid), Michaela Fields (Fr. Mid), Lorriane Hollis (Soph. Goalie), Lexi LaFlair (Soph. For), Anna Robinson (Soph. Mid), Emma Stemples (8th, FB), Lauren Truesdell (Fr. FB), and Hope Walker (8th,Goalie).
“I hope that we can be competitive in our division. It is going to be a battle every game,” Richardson said.