ON THE BALL — S-GI’s Dakota Nesselbush drives the ball past two defenders, during a recent game. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity soccer team is off and running on a four-game winning streak. After dropping their first two games, the Springville ladies defeated Olmstead, Lake Shore, Cheektowaga and Mount St. Mary’s, to pull their record to 4-2. Springville took down Cheektowaga on Sept. 13, by a score of 5-1. Alena Woodarek scored 3 goals for the Lady Griffs, while her sister Tia netted 2 goals and dished out an assist.
“Cheektowaga was tougher than advertised,” said Springville coach Shawn Bullard. “Ever since that Lake Shore game, we’ve just been rolling. After losing our first two games, it just seemed like we needed more practice and more game experience. Each game has been a step up from the previous game.”
On Sept. 16, Springville’s Heaven Rollek pitched a shutout in net, as part of a 6-0 win over Mount St. Mary’s. Alena Woodarek scored a season-high 5 goals and added an assist. Tia Woodarek scored 1 goal and assisted on another.
“That game was a big improvement from the Cheektowaga game, in terms of our ball movement,” said Bullard, of the team’s win against Mount St. Mary’s. “We’re still struggling moving off the ball. What you want to see from the team, as a whole, is progress. They’re understanding the mistakes they’ve made previously and improving on those, as we go forward.”
Alena Woodarek’s start ranks her second in all of Section VI, with 16 goals through six games. Her sister has netted 8 goals. The twin sisters have been the Lady Griffs’ main source for scoring this year.
“They’re off to a great start; they’re just on fire,” said Bullard, of his senior forwards. “Those girls are obviously gifted technically, on the field. They can definitely play. They just feed off of each other. What’s nice about having sisters, is that familiarity of playing with each other they have. That breeds that sense of awareness and they always know where each other are on the field.”
During the team’s four-game winning streak, S-GI has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 27-2. After being limited to 2 tallies in the team’s early losses; the offense has really been coming around, according to Bullard.
“That all starts with our backend,” said Bullard, of the team’s success. “Our back has to be solid and lately, we’ve been able to solidify that back line. Our midfield is really starting to come together. We pulled up Jena Schelble, to play midfield, and having control in the midfield has really dictated our level of play, of late. It’s really easy to understand when you have the ball, the other team doesn’t. Instead of kicking the ball, which is what we’re used to, we’re moving the ball and getting more opportunities.”
Schelble, an eighth grader, is the sister of senior captain Shea Schelble, who is a part of Springville’s defense. The Lady Griffs losr starting defender Brittney Luther to injury, the coach noted.
Springville took on Pioneer on Sept. 18 and East Aurora on Sept 20. The team’s battle with East Aurora will be a match-up of two teams that shared the divisional crown, a year ago.