RICKY ST. CLAIR
CLINTONVILLE — The Saranac girls’ soccer team and its relentless offensive attack was too much for AuSable Valley to handle on Senior Night Thursday.
The Chiefs (14-0, 12-0) received goals from Summer Gillespie, Kayla Napper, Ellen Thew and Emily Heywood en route to a 6-0 win in Northern Soccer League play.
Saranac, which was ranked sixth in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association Class B poll, finished its league schedule undefeated.
“I think they wanted to close it out in style,” Chiefs coach Mary LoTemplio said. “I think they were motivated to finish the undefeated thing.”
Gillespie, a junior, finished with two goals and one assist in the match. Each of her two tallies was a result of finishing corner kicks inside the 6-yard box.
“Well, we’ve got our own little Abby Wambach with Summer Gillespie,” LoTemplio said. “She can jump higher and she’s taller than everybody else. All Amy LoTemplio has to do is put it on Summer’s head. She’s been very good with her head this year. That’s what we aim for — to get it on Kayla and Summer’s head. They’re tall.”
Napper and Ellen Thew opened scoring in the first 32:11 of play.
Then Gillespie extended Saranac’s advantage to 3-0 with her first of the match at 39:50.
“That was really big,” Gillespie said. “It kept us going. We didn’t have any let downs.”
Gillespie’s score with 10 seconds remaining in the first half helped the Chiefs manage a three-goal lead as the two teams exited the pitch for halftime.
“It made you feel like maybe we were going to close this out,” Mary LoTemplio said. “We were nervous. They just pushed Beekmantown to overtime, and we didn’t want to take anything for granted. Any goal is a good goal. Every time we score, I’m happy. But with 10 seconds left, that’s great.”
After Gillespie recorded her second goal of the game with 1:22 gone in the second half, Napper made it 5-0 just over seven minutes later.
“The first (goal), you’ve got to get it to get the team ahead and get everyone pumped for the game,” Napper said. “The second goal just added it on and helped the team win.”
Emily Heywood closed scoring on a penalty kick with 11 minutes remaining in regulation.
Amy LoTemplio finished with three assists, while Thew accounted for three points in the win.
Jamie Favreau kept the Patriots (3-8, 3-8) off the scoreboard, recording her fourth shutout with four stops between the pipes.
“She’s been a force to be reckoned with for the last three years,” Mary LoTemplio said. “We’re going to miss her when she’s gone.”
The Chiefs will experience a 15-day layoff before sectional time. Saranac secured the No. 1 seed in Class B earlier this season.
“I think that was one of the things we were also talking about — not only did we want to win (Thursday), but we wanted to get ourselves into playoff form,” Mary LoTemplio said. “There have been so many games I don’t think we’ve played to our potential. Maybe we got close (Thursday). It’s a big accomplishment to win the division, but we really want to win sectionals.”
Saranac 6, AuSable Valley 0
AuSable Valley 0 0 — 0
Saranac 3 3 — 6
First half- 1, SCS, Napper (Gillespie), 17:43. 2, SCS, Thew (LoTemplio), 32:11. 3, SCS, Gillespie (LoTemplio), 39:50.
Second half- 4, Gillespie (LoTemplio), 1:22. 5, SCS, Napper (Thew), 9:07. 6, SCS, Heywood, 29:00 (PK).
Shots: Saranac 15. AuSable Valley 5.
Saves: Favreau, SCS, 4. Douglass, AVCS, 8.