With sectionals two weeks away, Scotia-Glenville girls’ soccer coach Lise Williams is looking for her team to step up the intensity.
She got that effort Friday, as the Lady Tartans dominated possession in defeating Johnstown, 3-0. The win, fueled by two goals and an assist from sophomore Gracie Mailey, left Scotia with a record of 7-3-0 in the Foothills Council and 8-3-0 overall.
“We lost 10 seniors from last year’s team, so part of it is the newer kids getting more into the flow,” said Williams, whose team reached the Class A championship game last fall. “We’re also playing with more intensity.
“Against Queensbury last week, even though we lost, we played more intense. They’re getting that intensity and focus. That is helping us.”
With Johnstown not nearly as dangerous as Queensbury and standout sophomore striker Brittany LaPlant, Scotia was able to get forward more easily.
That was fine with Mailey, who buzzed around and past the Lady Bills’ defenders.
“I like to run, and my speed helps me,” said Mailey, who set up Maddy Carroll for the game’s first goal less than five minutes into the contest.
“That calmed us down,” she said. “Whenever you score first, or whenever you’re ahead, it makes it easier.”
Williams was pleased to see Mailey have a strong game. But she confessed to not being surprised, given the oppposition.
“We haven’t seen a lot of it this year, so it was nice to see her step up,” said Williams. “I tried to get it in her head, because when we played at Johnstown last year, she played well. When we went up there this year, she played well. She just seems to play well against Johnstown, so maybe I’ll just try to make here think every game is against Johnstown.”
Not only did the purple jerseys of the opponent not bother Mailey, the late start had little effect, as the game didn’t begin until 30 minutes past its scheduled 4:30 start, because of a Johnstown transportation issue.
“Today was our Spirit Day, and we found out about it before our Spirit Day celebration,” Mailey said. “So, we knew the game would be pushed back.”
Her pass that put the ball on Carroll’s left foot in the box and resulted in the game’s first goal helped push Johnstown back, as the Lady Bills’ committed more players to defense. That opened up the field, and Mailey took full advantage, as she scored twice in the first 12 minutes of the second half.
“She has that potential,” said Williams of Mailey’s ability to attack defenses with speed. “She plays some defense in the off-season, so she has that mentality. We’re trying to convert her.
Scotia’s latest win kept the Lady Tartans within sight of Queensbury and Broadalbin-Perth, which both went into Friday’s play tied for the league league with one loss each.
The remainder of the Foothills season has Scotia visting South Glens Falls and Gloversville, and hosting Hudson Falls and Broadalbin-Perth.
“We’ve grown as a team. We lost 10 seniors last year, so there were a lot of new kids here,” Mailey said. “It took a little time, but I think we’re playing a lot better now.
“We’re hanging in there,” Williams said. “I’ll know better after we play South Glens Falls next week. I truly think we have a good shot at Broadalbin next time. I think we could have played them stronger the first time.”