The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity soccer team all has the elements of a team that can string together wins: an outstanding goalkeeper in Cassandra Robataille, a defense that can control the tempo, and an offense led by Madison Healy and Diana Constantine that can score goals. Tuesday night at Lynch Literacy Academy Field those elements came together in a 6-0 win over Hudson Falls. More importantly, the win came on Senior Night as the Lady Rams honored Healy, Shannon Hughes, Bridget Fitz- James, Alexis Wells, Carissa Bottisti, Erica Russo, and Olivia Brodie for their commitment to the game.
“I was happy with the turnout,” AHS coach Deanna Alex said. “I wanted to get all the seniors in and score a couple goals.”
All night long the call went out to “pass the ball to a senior” as Amsterdam looked to score early against the Lady Tigers and get as many seniors involved as possible. However, it was a familiar and consistent part of the AHS offense who got on the Lady Rams on the board early, and not once but twice in the first half; Diana Constantine.
Constantine has provided the Lady Rams with plenty of scoring chances on corner kicks and crossing passes throughout the season, but Tuesday night she drilled the ball into the net past Hudson Falls goalkeeper Autumn Bryant in the sixth minute of play. Then, near the midway point of the half Constantine intercepted a clear attempt and found the back of the net again giving AHS a 2-0 lead.
“Diana and Maddie have been our go to goal scorers all season,” said Coach Alex.
Kaitlyn Burkhart connected for the Lady Rams at the 11:02 mark for a 3-0 lead. Amsterdam had all the goals it would need, but the Lady Rams wanted to keep the Lady Tigers out of the scoring column knowing that the outcome would have an impact on their finish in the Foothills Council’s southern division standings. Before the start of the second half, AHS junior goalkeeper Cassandra Robataille encouraged her team to “keep the ball in their end.”
“It was crucial not to let them score,” Robataille said. “We were aware of how important the Broadalbin Perth and South Glens Falls game was. It was about the score and the goals scored against. If they (Hudson Falls) scored, the chances of us finishing in second place in our division were very slim.”
An Amsterdam win and the outcome of the game between Broadalbin- Perth and South Glens Falls had an impact on who the Lady Rams would play in the Foothills Council crossover game on Thursday. And while Robataille needed to make only three saves on the night, helped by a defense led by junior Kaitlyn Devine, the AHS seniors got into the scoring column in the second half.
Healy had made a habit of driving down the right side of the field pushing the ball deep in the Hudson Falls end. The senior, who leads the Lady Rams in scoring found her mark at 33:01 in the second half on an assist from Aubrianna Crowe. Healy also demonstrated throughout the night her commitment to teamwork and passed the ball to her fellow senior teammates.
“It doesn’t happen often getting all the seniors in the game,” said Coach Alex. “Sharing the ball was really nice.”
Three minutes after Healy’s goal, Carissa Bottisti got a pass from Shannon Hughes and booted one in from better than twenty yards out. Bottisti earned the game MVP award from her teammates. Less than ten minutes later, Hughes, to the delight of a crowd that kept cheering her name, scored her first goal on an assist from Healy.
“Those were the first goals for Carissa and Shannon,” said Coach Alex. “They shared the wealth tonight.”
The six goals were more than what the Lady Rams had scored in their last three games. Robataille faced only five shots while Bryant faced a barrage of 22 shots from Amsterdam. The Lady Rams await the result of the BPHS and South Glens Falls game to determine where they will travel on Thursday. AHS will play either South Glens Falls or Schuylerville in the crossover match up.
“We stepped up tonight,” said AHS senior Madison Healy. “If we stay up we will be able to do well.”
(Photos by Scott Mulford)