By Rob Potter
SCOTTSVILLE November 21, 2000 No matter the sport, displaying a team speed advantage and playing outstanding defense usually bode well for the team that possesses those qualities.
Unfortunately for the Roscoe Lady Blue Devils, the St. Johnsville Saints had plenty of both Friday afternoon at Wheatland-Chili High School in the Rochester suburb of Scottsville.
Speed, defense and a hat trick by senior striker Sarah Jones paced St. Johnsville as the Saints pounded the Lady Devils 8-0 in the semifinals of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Class D Girls Soccer Tournament.
Top-ranked St. Johnsville (1831) grabbed a 2-0 lead within the first 20 minutes of the game and never looked back. A pair of scores by Jones and goals by Danielle Barhydt and Chelsey Baker gave the Section II Champions a 4-0 halftime advantage.
And while Jones and her fellow speedy front-liners were taking care of the offense, Hillary Hart played a major defensive role. Hart, a senior striker, literally became Roscoe striker Danielle Austins shadow as soon as Austin stepped on the field.
As a result, Austin, who scored 49 goals this season, did not even register a single shot on goal.
Number 24 (Hart) just followed me everywhere, Danielle Austin said after the contest. I didnt have any good looks (at the goal) today.
The rest of the St. Johnsville defenders helped limit Roscoe (1361) to only nine shots in the match.
In the second half, Jones completed her hat trick and Kayla Sutton added a pair of goals for the Saints.
The Saints fired 25 shots on goal in the game and repeatedly used their quickness to maneuver past Lady Blue Devil players.
Even their substitutes were quick, Roscoe coach Mary Austin said. Maybe they have a lot of quick people in their town.
Mary Austin noted that her team had not seen an opposing squad with that kind of overall speed and quickness. And she compared Jones talent to that of former Tri-Valley standout Natalia Dean, who scored over 100 goals in her career.
She is even faster than Natalia Dean, Austin said. And I think Sarah Jones has better ball control than Dean had.
Since they had received a bye in the quarterfinal round and therefore had not played a match in two weeks, it seemed to take the Lady Blue Devils awhile to get going in the first half. Mary Austin made that same observation, but was not using it as an excuse.
We just were not ready for their quickness, she commented.
Despite the lopsided loss, the Roscoe coaches and players found positive aspects in playing the game.
We gave up too much space and made some defensive mistakes today, Mary Austin said. But the girls are gaining valuable experience by just being here. Theyre finding out what it takes to reach this level of play.
Roscoe goalie Chrissy Rosen-cranse made 14 saves in the contest. One stop came on a penalty kick just six minutes into the game when Rosencranse made a nice kick save on a low shot attempt by Ashley Nightingale.
Just being one of the four best class D girls soccer teams in the state should bode well for the Lady Blue Devils. Although Danielle Austin and fellow senior Melissa Gayron will graduate in June, the majority of the team members will return to the soccer field next August.
This is a credit to all of the girls on the team, Danielle Austin commented. At the beginning of the season, we were looking at it as a rebuilding year. But we won another sectional title and we made it here. Im sure these girls will be back in full force next year.
NOTES: Although Danielle Austin was held without a shot or goal versus St. Johnsville, she still ended her brilliant career with 117 goals scored
if the cold temperatures werent bad enough, a brief squall filled the bitter air with snowflakes as the final minutes of the game ticked off the scoreboard clock
Roscoe can take some solace in the fact that it lost to the best team in the state. On Saturday, St. Johnsville defeated Section IV champ Schenevus 1-0 to claim the Class D state title.