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October 11, 2013

Saranac girls focused heading into soccer playoffs

SARANAC — A season ago, a young Saranac girls’ soccer team kept pace in an extremely talented division in the Northern Soccer League.

After securing the No. 3 seed in the Section VII Class B playoffs, the Chiefs put together a pair of victories to reach the championship game, but fell by a single goal in the title game to Plattsburgh, 2-1.

Saranac used that run to secure a lot of experience and it appears to have paid off as the Chiefs have now moved to 12-0 in the Northern Soccer League action and 14-0 overall, which currently has them ranked sixth in the state for Class B.

With the success the team has endured to start the season, it is easy to get sidetracked with the hype. Coach Mary LoTemplio, however, has repeated to her team to take it “one game at a time.”

“We have to stay focused on the team we’re playing right now,” LoTemplio said. “Our goal for the season is to go out each and every day and get the job done.”

Saranac senior defenseman Lena Menia reiterated her coach’s philosophy.

“We’re very focused,” Menia said. “We don’t want to let down and we can’t go into the next game thinking it’s just another walk in the park.”

The Chiefs have outscored their opponents 57-16 over their first 14 games of the season. Some of the credit goes to the addition of junior Ellen Thew, who missed the entire 2012 season due to injury.

“Ellen is a very good goal scorer and she takes some pressure off of our other players,” LoTemplio said. “She has scored a lot, but so have a lot of our players.”

Thew is just one of Saranac’s many offensive weapons. She leads the team with 43 points on 19 goals and five assists.

Right behind Thew is Kayla Napper. She has accumulated 34 points on 13 goals and eight assists. Summer Gillespie now has 33 points with 12 goals and nine assists, while Amy LoTemplio has 23 points on five goals and 13 assists.

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