SARANAC LAKE - Saranac Lake's girls realize they are facing a tough schedule this season as they take on the biggest schools in the new Northern Soccer League.
Entering her sixth year as the team's head varsity coach, Sam Betters hopes her Red Storm players will be up to the task.
Saranac Lake has 11 members returning from a varsity team that posted a 6-10 record a year ago, and with some key players spread around the lineup, the Red Storm will look to be competitive against some of the stronger programs in the league.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
As a Division I team, Saranac Lake has a 14-game schedule this season. The Red Storm will play two games each against Beekmantown, Plattsburgh, Northeastern Clinton, Saranac, Peru and AuSable Valley. They have two out-of-division matches, one each against rival Lake Placid and the Northwood School.
"We want to be competitive, be in the games, be positive and have fun," Betters said. "I think with all the changes, we are definitely in a more competitive league this season."
Five seniors bring leadership to the Red Storm, including scoring threat Chelsea LaFountain and versatile playmaker Hope Laramee, who are team captains. LaFountain will be counted on to put the ball in the net as she moves up to the striker position, while Laramee could be relied on to contribute at any position from offense to defense. After playing the first three games of last season before seeing her year end with a knee injury, Mackenzie Cotter returns as a senior who will be looking to score goals.
Marisa Farmer and Jazzmyn Tuthill are the other two seniors expected to make an impact for the Red Storm.
Betters said she likes her mix of juniors who are either returning to the varsity or moving up from the junior varsity ranks. Sydney Battistoni, Annie Frenette, Megan Kilroy, Megan Moody and Vanessa Salamy are back as juniors playing in the field, and Regan Kieffer returns as a second-year starting goalkeeper. Salamy will anchor the defense from the sweeper position.
Juniors Marisa McDonough, Jordynne McDougall, Jennifer McGuoirk and Erin Ryan are first-year varsity players who have moved up from the junior varsity ranks.
Maggie Darrah, Kelsie Glinski and Alexis Laramee are sophomores on the varsity squad. Betters said Darrah should be a player who could produce some offense for the team
"Our seniors are definitely going to provide leadership, and we have a lot of returning juniors with a lot of speed, which is great," Betters said. "Every team loses players, so it's tough to say whose going to be the top teams this year. One thing I do know, we are going to be a fast team."