NEW BERLIN – Despite falling short in the first round of sectionals, the Unadilla Valley Storm girls soccer team kept their heads held high as they celebrated a successful 2022 season that led to a second place finish in the MAC league.
The Storm accomplished beginning goals of bettering themselves from last year where they went from sixth to second in MAC and were competitive against every team. They were successful at beating every team at least once while the losses were close.
The Storm were led by its four seniors, who each received valuable playing time.
Before a season-ending injury against Greene, Kadence York finished fourth in the MAC with a team-high 11 goals and five assists. Surely, her talent was missed in the last six contests, especially in sectionals where UV needed her the most.
Coach Jeanine Potter appreciated York’s presence on the sidelines as another coach who cheered her teammates on and continued to attend practices and games in support.
Aside from York, fellow senior Kailee Figger finished with 10 goals and two assists. She was seventh overall in the MAC in points scored this season.
“Kailee has played about every position (except for keeper) in her time on the team. She was always willing to do what she had to do to help the team be successful,” Potter said. “A few times this year she was moving from mid to front line, right side of the field to left side and always with a positive can-do attitude.”
Potter was thrilled to see Emily Nichols come out for her senior year. Nichols didn’t see much playing time, but contributed with one goal and made the most of her time on the field.
Pyper Kneale rounds out the seniors with her contribution on defense. She mostly played at the stopper position, but also helped out at mid or sweeper when necessary.
“Pyper has a very even-keeled personality and always knows when someone needs a boost or encouragement to do their best,” Potter said.
While Potter and the rest of the coaching staff will miss the four seniors and all their efforts for the UV Storm soccer program, there is still much talent left in the next season and for seasons to come.
Potter looks to count on upperclassmen Phalen Hill, Isabella Potter, and Kalie Fernandez-Naughton on the defensive end.
Naughton was fierce as a junior goal keeper this season as she had 68 saves and earned seven shutouts this season. Brynn Grant also stepped in as backup.
Potter also appreciates Shelby Rose and Avery Hill, who are expected to return next season, in their roles on defense.
“ Shelby, Avery, along with Kora Johnson and Emmalyn Montgomery, round out a returning defense that this year placed first in the MAC for least number of goals allowed in the regular season,” Potter said. “Defenses don’t always get a lot of notice or credit as most stats focus on the offense, but we are very proud to have only allowed 11 goals scored against us.”
Potter mentioned that Greene and Unatego defenses followed with allowing 16 and 17 goals respectively.
Aside from a strong defense, Jaiden Schrag played tremendous on offense in York’s absence. She finished with eight goals and two assists that tied her for ninth in the MAC overall.
“Jaiden is a large part of our midfield and works well with her teammates to get some passes in and shots off,” Potter said. Natalie Crandall, Gracie Gorrell, Adrienne Hodge, Myriah Taylor, Lyla Taylor, Emma Bonacci, and Natalya Schrag are also expected to return to fill in offensive holes around Jaiden.
Overall, Potter and the rest of her staff are pleased with the hard work the team has produced this season. They also hope the ladies are able to put in work in the offseason to keep up with their strong skills. All hard work continues to come from a strong program that anticipates a steady growth.
“The youth and modified program help keep numbers up and skills improving. It would be nice to see enough numbers to maintain a JV to help bridge the gap from modified to varsity,” Potter said. “The coaches within our program do an amazing job and we are thankful to have assistants and volunteers who are dedicated to helping these athletes compete at UV.”
UV also received All-Star Honors with Kailee Figger, Isabella Potter, Jaiden Schrag, and Kadence York on the first team and Pyper Kneale on the second team. Kalie Fernandez-Naughton and Shelby Rose received honorable mentions for their efforts this season.
The team also gave out its own awards. Offensive player of the year went to Jaiden Schrag while Kalie Fernandez-Naughton and Isabella Potter shared defensive player of the year honors. Kadence York received the Golden boot award for scoring the most goals as Pyper Kneale earned the coaches choice award. Most Valuable Player went to Kailee Figger while Adrienne Hodge received most improved.
Congratulations to the 2022 UV Storm girls soccer team.