CLIFTON PARK — The lack of any preseason scrimmages or early non-league contests didn’t hurt the opposing defenses Tuesday night, as the Shenendehowa and Shaker girls’ soccer teams played to a 0-0 tie.
Plainsmen goalie Maddie Franklin turned back all nine shots she faced, while her Shaker counterpart Bria LaBella denied Shenendehowa on 13 occasions.
“Usually, during the [preseason Shen Scramble scrimmages], I can kind of see who is left-footed, where people tend to shoot or who I should be threatened by the most,” Franklin said. “I think you can also pick that up in the first five minutes and I think Sophia [DeMura] and the defense helped with that a lot, too.”
With the goalies providing stellar play, Shaker utilized its speed to deny the Plainsmen solid scoring opportunities.
“Their speed and [their] quality forwards were high pressuring our backs, so we were launching it out of the back a little bit more than we normally would, not creating and building like you normally see our girls doing,” Shenendehowa coach Holli Nirsberger said. “I think you saw us fall into that in the second half, but because of that those opportunities were far and few between. I thought the forwards did a good job of creating when they could and opportunities that they could.”
The Suburban Council boys’ and girls’ soccer coaches voted to eliminate overtime sessions during the regular season.
With both teams only two games into the season, the lack of a traditional offseason and preseason showed late in the game on the pitch.
“This game was super physical, super-fast and you’re seeing kids in the last 10 to 12 minutes cramping, coming off because they need a sub or a mask break because they can’t breathe,” Nirsberger said. “It’s early on in the season. We’re going to have to build fitness and be patient with everybody making a comeback.”
Shenendehowa and Shaker each won their season-opening games.
Shaker scoring: None. Shendehowa scoring: None. Goalies: Shaker, LaBella, 13 saves. Shenendehowa, Franklin, 9 saves.