POWERHOUSE COMING THROUGH — Springville-Griffith Institute girls soccer player Alena Woodarek blasts past a Pioneer defender, on the way to the 100th goal of her high school career. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith Institute senior Alena Woodarek made school history when she became the first-ever Springville player to reach the 100-goal plateau in a 4-0 win against Pioneer on Oct. 10. Heading into the game, Woodarek was 3 goals away from the 100 goal milestone. The senior forward opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a goal off a slick feed from her sister Tia. Alena Woodarek then broke away from the Pioneer defense in the 20th minute, off a ball from her sister once again, and scored for goal No. 99. The exclamation point to that first half came in the 31st minute, for goal No. 100 of her 5-year varsity career.
Woodarek found herself all alone in front of the net, after a ball from Nicole Paler, and she buried it into the left corner. After scoring 23 goals a year ago, Woodarek was not selected first team All-Western New York, but instead took home second team recognition.
“Despite such an accomplishment, I was upset and angry I wasn’t a first team all-star,” Woodarek said.” During the offseason, I used that to motivate me, while I trained. Since the first game, I’ve played with a chip on my shoulder. My two personal goals this season were to score 100 career goals and get first team All-WNY. The season is not over, and I’m not finished yet.”
That chip on her shoulder has been noticed by first-year coach Shawn Bullard. Her attitude has been on display during her 26-goal campaign thus far, according to the coach.
“Alena is intense,” said Bullard. “She is the emotional twin. She is the one who is driven to just beat you, rub it in your face; whatever it takes to let you know that she’s better than you. She will out-work you; you can just see that passion on her face. That’s what’s driving her. Tonight [against Pioneer] she’s blessed; she got her hundredth goal and you couldn’t have asked for a better game from her.”
Alena’s sister, Tia, scored Springville’s fourth and final point of the match, sending a ball from just outside the 18 into the top corner of the net, early in the second half. Woodarek’s tally now leaves her just 7 goals away from joining her sister in the 100-goal club. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Woodarek twins have combined to score 193 goals in their five years on varsity.
“It’s just fun to watch. I find myself sometimes just watching and just seeing these cats and what they can do,” added Bullard, about his senior forwards. “It’s special. With coaching, you have to have talent to work with. No matter who you are, what level you play on, you have to have talent, in order to win. Both of them are just so gifted in various areas and it’s fun to just sit back and watch them go to work.”
The Lady Griffs’ 4-0 win over Pioneer avenged an early season 0-0 tie, after double overtime. The 4 goals scored against the visiting Panthers is the most goals Pioneer has given up, all year.
“Going into the game, the seniors understood it was their last [home] game,” added Bullard. “You try to draw the attention to the emotional aspect of the game; see if that can fuel the game, a little bit. We were just on, right from that get-go, because of that. It was a total team effort; everyone showed up. That was the most complete game we’ve played, all year.”
Springville goal keeper Heaven Rollek registered her fifth shutout of the season against Pioneer and her third consecutive, after blanking Cheektowaga and Lake Shore in Springville’s two previous games.
The Lady Griffs have not allowed multiple goals in a game since the first week of September. According to Bullard, the backline of Brittney Luther, Shea Scheble, Ashley Blidy, Kate Darling and Nicole Paler is really coming together and leading the defensive charge in front of Rollek.
The Springville ladies finished off their league schedule against East Aurora on Oct. 15 and Maryvale on Oct. 17.