By Sam Wilson
Goals are always at a premium in soccer, and last year the Springville-Griffith Institute girls team had plenty of them.
The Griffins scored 71 goals over 16 games last season, good for an average of 4.4 per game as they went 12-1-3. Eric Holler, in his fifth season as the SGI varsity girls soccer coach, said this year’s team hasn’t had as much success piling up goals so far.
“We have had difficulty scoring in tight games,” Holler said. “Last year we had more success with scoring and that allowed us to make up for any mistakes we had. We are still trying to find consistent scoring against the top teams in our division. Repetition and
hard work will go a long way to improving our finishing.”
This year, the Griffins have 36 goals in eight games through Monday, averaging 4.5 goals per game. But nearly half of those goals (18) came in the last two games, victories over JFK by 10-1 and 8-0 scores.
Now at 5-3, the Griffins’ three losses have been one-goal games.
“(We’re) never truly happy with losing but all of the teams we have lost to have been quality and close games,” Holler said. “All three losses were one goal games that could have gone in our favor. With that said, we have a lot of work to do in order to be a top team in our division and Class B as a whole.”
Springville had 10 different players with at least two goals so far this season. Co-captain Nyah Solly leads the team with six goals
Morgan Kotlarsz serves as SGI’s other co-captain.
“It’s a unique group, in that there aren’t really one or two leaders that are separating themselves,” Holler said. “It’s more of a team leadership. Different days, different times, gets different individuals to step up.”
Overall the team has 17 members with five seniors, seven juniors, four sophomores and one freshman. Holler sees a bright future in the pipeline for the program as well.
“We are not overly experienced,” Holler said. “We have 17 girls on the team and a large amount are first year varsity players. We have five seniors this year and are pretty well split between the other grades. Most play some sort of club soccer in the off-season.
“There is a group of middle schoolers and a couple others that have been putting in the extra time and challenging themselves. They will get their opportunity and the hard work should pay off.”
At 5-2 in league play, the Griffins currently sit second behind Tonawanda in ECIC Div. IV.
“The goal is always to be competitive for the division,” Holler noted. “That will be hard to replicate with two division losses already, but it is attainable. The main focus of this group is to win some games in sectionals. Regular season success is great but the postseason is where good teams step up. We need to work towards that.”
In SGI girls soccer action this week:
Springville 8, JFK 0
Hannah Goetz (assist) and Shelby Stisser scored two goals each to lead Springville, which took a 5-0 halftime lead in Cheektowaga and cruised to victory. Autumn Snyder, Mabel Robinson, Jackie Roggie and Erin Drewiega had one goal each.
Jacy Schelble and Nyah Solly scored two goals each and Hannah Carrow and Erin Schneider had one assist each. Logan Lukert needed two saves to earn a shutout.
JFK 10, Springville 1
Nyah Solly scored three goals and Erin Schneider (assist) and Autumn Snyder scored two goals each on Thursday, Sept. 19 in Springville.
Jacy Schelble (two assists), Jackie Roggie (assist) and Shelby Stisser also scored for the Griffins. Hannah Carrow and Shay Ellis had an assist each.