North Adams girls pick up a pair of wins

North Adams freshman Ainsley Grooms fires off a shot on goal in the Lady Devils’ win over Northwest on Sept. 11. (Photo by Sharon Campbell)

Lady Devils soccer climbing towards the .500 mark, now 3-4 – 

By Mark Carpenter – 

After a slow start to their 2018 season, Coach Dave D’Avignon and his North Adams Lady Devils varsity soccer team seemed to have found their groove. After starting 1-3, the Lady Devils have won two of their last three, including two wins this past week, 4-1 over Northwest at home on Sept. 11 and 7-0 at Ripley on Sept. 12, improving them to 3-4 on the season as they inch towards the .500 mark.
After a 10-day layoff due to weather-related cancellations, the Lady Devils finally got back on their home field on Tuesday, playing host to the Northwest Lady Mohawks in non-conference play. On a chilly night and a wet field and in a game finished in near darkness, the North Adams girls prevailed, riding a 3-0 halftime advantage to a 4-1 triumph.
The Lady Devils wasted little time in taking the advantage, getting a goal by Karissa Buttelwerth, assist Ainsley Grooms, less than two minutes into the game and followed that up with Grooms goal at the 20:39 mark of the first half, this time the assist going to Laney Hesler. Seven minutes later, it was Buttelwerth striking again after passes from Cloie Vance and Braylie Jones.
The Lady Mohawks shaved one off that lead with a goal midway through the second half but North Adams answered with just 6:37 remaining as Grooms made the pass to teammate Breanna Piatt who poked it into the net from about 20 yards away, putting the final touches on the second win of the season for the Lady Devils.
“Our girls are starting to figure things out, especially in the second half when we were passing the ball much better than we have all year,” said Coach D’Avignon. “We got some quality minutes from our bench tonight which will help us as the season progresses. We got some nice saves in goal from Alaina Eiterman to help preserve our lead, she is invaluable to our team.”

With a pair of Northwest opponents in hit pursuit, North Adams’ Cloie Vance (5) pushes the ball upfield in the Lady Devils’ 4-1 win over Northwest on Sept. 11. (Photo by Sharon Campbell)

One night later, the Lady Devils were on the road in Southern Hills Athletic Conference action, traveling across county lines to face off with the Ripley Lady Jays. This was a makeup of game scheduled a week earlier because of lightning and it turned out to be romp for the visitors, as they got a combined shutout in goal from Eiterman and Brianna Robinson on their way to a 7-0 victory.
North Adams scored early and often in the win at Ripley, getting four goals in the game’s first eight minutes. The first three of those goals, a hat trick in six minutes, belonged to Buttelwerth, getting assists from Piatt, Jones, and Piatt again as the Lady Devils made the early statement. At the 32:43 mark, freshman Sydney Figgins scored her first varsity goal, taking control of the ball in the middle of the field and scoring on a long-range shot to make it 4-0.
With 20:14 left in the first half, freshman Paige Scales matched Figgins’ effort with her first high school goal, coming on an assit from fellwo freshman Kaylee Tumbleson. Coach “D” moved Eiterman out of the goal and into the field, where she was fouled at the 3:09 mark, giving junior Mary Sonner the free kick, which she rocketed home for a 6-0 halftime advantage.
The only goal of the second half came less than two minutes in as Grooms centered the ball from the right side to Piatt, who knocked it home to close out a 7-0 conference win for the Lady Devils.
“Our reserve players got a lot of playing time tonight for the second game in a row,” said D’Avignon. “With a busy schedule our reserves are doing a great job of holding down the first and keeping our starters fresh.”
The Lady Devils were back in SHAC action on Friday, Sept. 14 as they made the long trek to Fairfield to face the Lady Lions. On Saturday at noon the Lady Devils will play host to the Minford Lady Falcons in an out of conference affair.