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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

FALLSBURG GOALIE ABBY Smassanow holds the ball after making a save on a shot by Eldred’s Jess Bisland, right, in Wednesday’s non-league soccer match.

High-Strung Game,
Low-Score Teams

By Rob Potter
ELDRED — September 24, 2004 – The Eldred Lady Yellowjacket soccer team certainly kept Fallsburg goalie Abby Smassanow busy on Wednesday afternoon.
The host Lady Yellowjackets sent a total of 40 shots at Smassanow in the non-league match. Only two of those shots got past the senior goalkeeper, however.
Unfortunately for Smassanow and her Lady Comet teammates, they could not get any shots past Eldred goalie Angel Garofalo. As a result, the Lady Yellowjackets posted a 2-0 victory.
Eldred improved to 3-5 on the season, while Fallsburg fell to 1-3.
With just 3:14 left in the first half, Eldred sophomore forward Jess Bisland gave her team the lead. Seconds earlier, fellow Lady Yellowjacket forward Kim French had sent a low shot right at Smassanow. As Smassanow dropped to the grass and attempted to cradle the ball, Bisland kicked the ball from Smassanow’s fingertips and into the back of the net.
Bisland scored Eldred’s other goal at the 32:02 mark of the second half. After gaining control of the ball, Bisland quickly closed in on the Fallsburg goal cage. From just a few feet away, she kicked the ball just past Smassanow and into the corner of the net.
Smassanow stopped numerous quality shots by the Lady Yellowjackets throughout the match. One of her best saves came on a penalty kick off the foot of Eldred senior forward Kim French approximately 10 minutes into the second half.
But the Eldred offensive pressure was just too much. Much of the game was played in the Fallsburg half of the field and the Lady Comets only registered two shots on goal in the contest.
“We stayed focused and kept the pressure on them,” Eldred Coach Jolene Porter said. “When we keep pressuring the other team on offense, we can win.”
Porter was also quick to point out that Smassanow made a number of big saves.
“Their goalie had 32 saves, she did an awesome job,” Porter said.
While the Eldred scorebook credited Smassanow with 32 saves, the Fallsburg stat sheet listed 18 saves for the senior goalie. Either way, Smassanow had a spectacular afternoon guarding the Lady Comet goal cage.
“Our goalie really did an outstanding job,” said Fallsburg Coach Lee Smassanow, who is Abby’s father.
The elder Smassanow credited all of his players for their gritty performance.
“All of the girls played with a lot of heart today,” he said. “The girls kept working hard and hustling throughout the game. We had a very thin bench today, but these Fallsburg girls didn’t give up and kept playing hard.”

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