The Albany Alleycats under-15 girls’ soccer team has achieved a No. 1 national ranking based on results from its 2017 season, which was highlighted by two impressive performances in November.
GotSoccer ranked 4,334 under-15 teams, and the 29-3-5 Alleycats finish on top with 25,114 points accumulated through league and tournament play to beat out squads from Las Vegas (24,956) and Arizona (22,958).
“When I found out about the ranking, I sent out a group text to the girls, and they were over the moon,” Alleycats coach Lisa Cotter said. “They were so excited. It’s an unbelievable group of girls. If I’m not mistaken, they are the first [Alleycats] team to do it.”
The Alleycats have players from several Section II high schools, including Schenectady, Niskayuna, Schalmont, Guilderland, Mechanicville and Stillwater.
“Most of the girls have been together for years,” Cotter said. “They definitely have a chemistry. They work so well together.”
In November, the Alleycats placed first at the Elite Development Program Cup Showcase in New Jersey, and second afterward at the National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase on Long Island, where the title was decided on penalty kicks.
“In September, we were ranked 24th,” Cotter said. “We went to two high-caliber tournaments and collected a lot of points.”
The Alleycats competed in the Eastern Premier League and National Premier League as part of their 2017 schedule, and were among seven under-15 teams nationally to achieve Diamond Tier status with 20,000 points or more.
The Alleycats scored 94 goals and allowed 33.
“Usually you have one or two kids who dominate play, but we’re the exact opposite,” Cotter said. “The scoring was spread around. The assists were spread out.”
Team members are Danielle Rubino (goalkeeper, Mechanicville), Kristen Paravella (defender/midfielder, Troy), Isabella Tronco (striker, Holy Names), Corrine Jackson (forward/striker, Colonie), Jules Monlea (defender, Schalmont), KayLee Alix (midfielder, Shaker), Ashley Cirilla (midfielder, Schalmont), Brooke Designare (forward, South Glens Falls), Marissa DeMartino (defender, Holy Names), Christina Cummings (striker, Queensbury), Caroline Canty (defender, Schenectady), Keelyn Peacock (midfielder, Stillwater), Joanna Van Royen (defender/midfielder, Bethlehem), Olivia Olsen (midfielder, Niskayuna), Sydney Wells (midfielder, Shaker), Lauren Conti (defender, Guilderland) and Olivia Martuscello (midfielder, Shaker).
“I’ve coached for a while, and I’ve never seen work ethic like these kids have,” Cotter said. “That’s the reason they’re producing. They don’t know how to give up. I’m exhausted after they play.”