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Lady Blue Devils Ready To Make Mark in NFL

Kenmore West girls’ varsity soccer coach Clarence Boatman doesn’t want to start counting his wins before they happen, but even on the first day of training camp Boatman had a strong feeling this years team had something special within them. Their mix of skill, experienced veterans and promising youth had Boatman believing anything was possible. After a 4-1 opening day win over Mt.St. Mary on Aug.29, Boatman and the Blue Devils all believe that anything is possible.

Coming into the new season the Blue Devils are led by Gallivan (midfield) and fellow senior captains Grace Ferguson and goalkeeper Jess Phillips. While Boatman can certainly lean on  his captains to set the proper and right examples of what it means to work hard everyday, he also has a strong cast of younger talent that have quickly made their mark.

Namely freshman Molly Tobin who’s game winning goal against the Mount was her first-ever varsity goal and the first of her two goals on the day.

“It feels really good because it’s my first goal for the season,” Tobin said. “It starts it off, the first game, really well. I look forward to keep going through the season.”

Tobin gives the Blue Devils some added scoring punch to go along with junior Jessica Leone, who had a goal and assist against the Mount.

Though she didn’t register a point in the game, freshman Gracie Meciszewski had a very strong, complete game. Defensively, she gave her marks virtually no room to create. Offensively she control the ball on the outside, made strong on point passes and, together with Gallivan in the midfield, was a big reason why the Blue Devils were able to maintain sustained pressure on the Thunder during the second half.

Sophomores Faye Panagopoulos and Vanessa Schmidt (goal) are also part of the Blue Devils talented younger cast of players.

“We had high expectations from the younger players because a lot of these girls play all year round,” Boatman said, “and I was excited to bring them up. Gracie, Molly they had a fantastic game.”

Slow out of the gate, the Blue Devils fell behind when Ruth Riggie gave the Mount a 1-0 lead on the Thunder’s first shot of the game. Once the Blue Devils settled down they were able to control the tempo of the game.

“We definitely started off slow. I think once they scored that goal off the kick off it was definitely a wake up for us,” Gallivan said.

“It definitely showed us that we can’t sit back on any team. I think the second half of the game definitely showed how much talent we have this year and how we can play together as a team.”

Christina Wende, who went to states in the hurdles this past spring, is emerging as a solid play maker as she picked up assists on both of Tobin’s goals.

Defensively, Ken-West will also look to senior Rachel Sefried and junior Inaya Queeglay, who was a big part of keeping the lines of communication open on the field.

Extremely pleased by what he saw out of his underclassmen, Boatman didn’t hesitate to say it’s still his vets are the foundation.

“I’m very excited about the returning veterans,” he said. “We have six seniors who have been with the program for five years. We have our tri-captains back from last so I’m expecting a lot of things from the veterans who worked very hard during the season and off season, also.”

Mary Tobin, Emma Pfohl, Maya Eubanks, Kaleigh Knab, Cassandra Bozzard, Milena Ellis, Nevaeh Limber, Heather Schultz complete the opening day roster.

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