Lady Rams soccer drops game to Johnstown

Their effort made for a very competitive game against the Johnstown Lady Bills, but the result wasn’t what the Lady Rams girls varsity soccer team hoped to achieve. A pair of second half goals helped Johnstown come away with a 2-0 win Tuesday night at Lynch Field.

The Lady Rams battled their Foothills Council division rival to a scoreless tie at the end of the first half. Both teams had opportunities to score but Amsterdam goalkeeper Jareymarie Aponte and her counterpart Lady Bills net minder Alison Morey kept the nets empty. Less than ten minutes into the second half, the Lady Bills got on the board on an odd play that wound up with the ball rolling across the goal line.

Johnstown striker Jenna Thompson sent the ball toward the goal near the end line to the left of Aponte, who let the ball roll past when she thought it went across the line and out of play. The ball continued to roll into the net and the whistle sounded to signify a goal with 30:46 left to play.

“Jarey (Aponte) said to me she saw it hit the line and let it go,” Amsterdam coach Jessica Byerwalters said. “It kept rolling and the referee let it go.”

Less than four minutes later, Madison Delgado was in the right spot at the right time when a shot by teammate Abby Gottung was blocked by Aponte, and bounced right in front of her. Delgado booted the ball in for the only blemish on a stellar night by Aponte in goal. Johnstown led 2-0 with 26:48 left to play.

“Sometimes the ball just falls where it falls and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Coach Byerwalters said. “Jarey (Aponte) has taken an unbelievable turn from someone who just started to play goalkeeper three weeks ago to someone who looks like she’s been playing for years.”

Aponte registered 18 saves for Amsterdam and kept the Lady Rams in the game with several impressive efforts in the first half including a point blank shot by Jess VanNostrand with just over 25 minutes to play in the opening half. VanNostrand, Abby Levine, and Ally Queeny all sent the ball on goal in the second half, but Aponte stood her ground and made the saves. The Amsterdam offense meanwhile had its chances, but didn’t connect.

AHS freshman Antonia May had a point black shot stopped by Morey with 28:51 left in the first half. Emma Patrei’s kick with 11:20 left in the half sailed over the goal. The Lady Rams fought furiously to rally in the second half with a kick by Haley Madej going wide of the goal at the 25:30 mark, and a shot by Lucia Liverio ending up in Morey’s hands with 16:30 left to play. Amsterdam had two chances in the final minute but to no avail.

“We had crosses and good shots, but just missed them,” Coach Byerwalters said.

Before the start of the second half Byerwalters said to her team that they need to play ‘a full forty minutes’, and that they could not let Johnstown have the momentum. The effort was there for the forty minutes, and if Johnstown felt they had any momentum, the Lady Rams were not about to let them get comfortable with the lead, and they worked hard to even the score.

“I thought we played really well together,” Amsterdam team captain Kelsey Bogdan said. “We were on the ball and hustled back to get it all night.”

That hustle and determination along with the memory of Tuesday nights’ result are what the Lady Rams will bring with them when they face the Lady Bills the next time.

“We will just come back better and stronger and beat them on their home field,” Bogdan said.

The Lady Rams travel for their next two Foothills Council games, starting with a 4:30pm contest at Hudson Falls on Thursday, and at Scotia- Glenville for a 4:30pm contest on Tuesday.

Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.