Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
The fall soccer season is fast approaching and Coach Dave D’Avignon had his North Adams Lady Devils squad on the move on July 8 and 9, participating in the Eastern Brown Lady Warrior Shootout. Because of some inclement weather, the Lady Devils played their game on July 8 on the turf at Western brown High School, then traveled to the fields at Sardinia Elementary the next day to finish up.
The shootout was originally planned as a Saturday and Sunday event, but because of the beginning of the Adams County Fair affecting the availability of players, the North Adams girls played their games on Friday and Saturday. Even with that change, Coach D’Avignon had to scramble for players, actually bringing up some eighth grade athletes to fill out his squad.
“The purpose of these summer shootouts is to have fun and give everyone a chance to play,” said the North Adams coach, who is entering his sixth season as the varsity coach in Seaman. “It is also the beginning of the bonding process for a new team.”
Friday night’s action for the Lady Devils began as a match up of last year’s co-runners up in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference as North Adams battled Eastern Brown. In the shootout format of two 25-minute halves, the Lady Devils got goals from senior Jessica Woodall and junior Taylor Hesler, plus the shutout in the net by Madee Shipley for a 2-0 win. Their second match up of the night was with Georgetown, where the Lady Devils fell behind 2-0 in the first half, but rallied in the second half with a goal by junior Lakyn Hupp and a penalty kick score by senior Abby Shupert to finish in a 2-2 deadlock.
Saturday’s play opened with the Lady Devils facing a very strong Division II squad in the Western Brown Lady Broncos, and Western handled business with a 3-0 victory. Next was a contest with the Western Brown JV squad, and despite a long goal by Hupp, the shorthanded Lady Devils fell 2-1.
Game three of the day came with fellow SHAC member Ripley, always a competitive team, and the Lady Devils got goals from Hupp, Kitasha Mesmer, and Jordyn Kell, and a shutout performance in the net by Shipley and freshman Alaina Eitermann.
The final outing of the shootout for North Adams came against county foe West Union, which was actually a combination of players from West Union, Peebles and Northwest. The Lady Devils got another shutout performance in goal from Shipley and goals from the potent trio of Hupp, Mesmer, and Kell to win 3-0 and finish the two-day shootout with a record of 3-2-1.
“I got a chance to watch our new players for the first time and observe the progress of our returning players,” said Coach D’Avignon. “I believe this is going to be a good group both on and off the field. The team will be mostly returning veterans and we will have some good new players too. We will be fun to watch.”