The Scotia-Glenville girls’ soccer team has been the gold standard in the Foothills Council since leaving the larger Suburban Council 19 years ago.
While Queensbury, South Glens Falls and Broadalbin-Perth have all made inroads into the Lady Tartans’ dominance in recent seasons, there’s no reason to think Lise Williams’ Lady Tartans won’t be successful again this fall.
“We’ve got 14 returning players, which is a large number,” said Williams, approaching 200 wins as she starts her 14th year as head coach. “I graduated five seniors, but I only have five seniors in this group. We have a strong core, and there’s quite a bit of potential there.
“I think we shoud be even stronger, because we have so many players back, and we have strong underclassmen. We’ll also be deeper.”
Leading the group of returning players are seniors Maddy Carroll, Dom Puglisi and Kayleigh Denny. Juniors Alyssa Williams, Abby O’Connor and Gracie Mailey head up the junior class.
Carroll will be up top, with Puglisi in support. O’Connor and Williams will be in the middle of the field, with Denny in back.
Denny will be a key player, as Scotia’s biggest hit from graduation was in the defensive third of the field.
“I lost three starters out of the starting lineup, two defenders and the goalie,” said Williams, whose team finished 11-3-0 in league play last fall, second to Queensbury, which went unbeaten behind then-sopohomore Brittany LaPlant, who scored 73 goals during the season and has 148 for her varsity career.
The Foothills Council will have a different look this year, Amsterdam and 2013 Wasaren League champ Schuylerville have joined to make it a 10-team league, split into two divisions.
That means losing a pair of games to two of the other top teams in the league.
“For me, in some ways, it’s bad because we’re not going to play South Glens Falls and Queensbury twice,” said Williams, whose team will play in the South Division with 2013 Class B semifinalist Broadalbin-Perth, Amsterdam, Johnstown and Gloversville. “They are competitive games that we like.
“I don’t know Amsterdam and Schuylerville well enough. I like that we’re playing a North vs. South playoff in the end, because hopefully, then we’ll get another game with one of them.”
Schuylerville will be in the FC North with South Glens Falls, Queensbury, Glens Falls and Hudson Falls. The teams will face their division rivals twice, then play once against the five teams in the other division.
The North and South will have a crossover game to cap the regular season.
Scotia has never lost more than four games in a a season since joining the Foothills, and that 2005 team was the only one since 1981 to not reach at least the semifinal round in postseason.
As has happened in seven of the last eight years, Scotia’s 2013 season ended with a playoff loss to neighboring Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, a 2-0 setback in the Class A semifinals.