Future is bright for South Girls Soccer
Never before in his tenure as coach has Williamsville South’s Kevin McNamara had more than one eighth grader on his roster at any time.
This year the Billies have three eighth graders playing varsity.
And so far, Ava Plezia, Paige Szymanski and Regan Moore are showing that the future is very bright for Williamsville South.
The trio contributed to all of the Billies’ goals Thursday night as they beat crosstown rival Amherst 5-1 at Dimp Wagner Field.
“To have three eighth graders it says a lot about the quality of play that they bring,” McNamara said.
Szymanski knocked in a rebound off a direct kick for South’s first goal the less than 10 minutes into the game. The goal was set up by senior Ashley Krzyznowski who stole the ball at midfield and gave to a streaking Plezia who was desperately taken down about 20 yards in front of the net.
Plezia gave her team a 2-0 lead a few minutes later. While being covered by three defenders, the eighth-grader carried the ball 15 yards downfield before striking it in the right side of the net.
“My teammates are playing really good balls to me and I just try to finish all of the chances I get,” said Plezia, who leads the team with 14 goals this season.
Another key to Plezia’s success is assistant coach and former South star Carissima Cutrona, who has been working with the eighth grader all season long.
Will South quickly got things going in the second half as senior Madeline Payne scored a little more than five minutes in.
While the Billies may be led on the stat sheet by their youth, McNamara says his captains in Payne, Krzyznowski and juniors Clara Richards and Heather Carey – who each have at least three years varsity experience – are the ones setting the example.
“Those kids really are the backbone of the team,” McNamara said. “If you can get kids to come back and return and it’s always going to be good. And they came back better.”
Junior Camryn Moley knocked in the Tigers’ lone goal with 12:12 left, but South responded moments later with two more tallies.
Senior Lindsey Olen was strong in net for the Billies making five saves.
Williamsville South is now 5-2 (5-1) and has a rematch with division-leading Williamsville East on Saturday. Amherst, who falls to 4-3 (4-3), hosts the Flames Monday.