The Kingston High School varsity girls soccer team is 1-1 on the season, quickly finding their rhythm in a 6-1 win over Pine Bush on Tuesday, just days after opening their Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association 2019 campaign with a tough 1-0 defeat against Valley Central.
The Tigers started the season on their home turf at Dietz Stadium in a game that was ultimately decided just eight minutes in when the Vikings’ Madeline Feller found the back of the net. Both teams played well on defense, with the Tigers’ Kyla Burns recording four saves in goal and Valley Central’s Deanna Murdock five. Kingston’s Adrianna Williams, Isabella Williams, Sinra Thomas and Delisiana Naccarato all played well.
Kingston Coach Nick Malvai said that a better preseason might have yielded a different result against Valley Central.
“There were a lot of good things but we did not play as well as we did in scrimmages leading up to this game,” he said. “We have to have better awareness of opponents around our goal. We need to keep better composure with the ball and find each other on the field. Most of all we have to play with more discipline as a team. All these areas we are working on improving.”
Improvement came quickly at Pine Bush on Tuesday, Sept. 10 after the Tigers again found themselves down a goal early on. This time, though, the offense struck back. Arianna Burns scored consecutive first half goals to put Kingston up 2-1, a lead they never relinquished. Also scoring were Naccarato, Paige Bennett, Milia Chamas and Roaa Weisenberg, while Kyla Burns turned away two Pine Bush shots to preserve the win.
Malvai said this year’s Tigers will be led by a handful of veterans, but is mostly comprised of younger players.
“We are very fortunate in having Kyla Burns a senior in goal,” Malvai said on Monday. “Kyla is signed up to play goalie at [NCAA Division I school University at] Albany. She gives our back a solid chance to do well. We also have a young team with just four seniors, one who is injured currently. The youth on the team can be and is a strength but this would be a rebuilding year for a team that lost 13 seniors from last year. Challenges we face are in getting our younger players up to speed and giving them the tools to be confident in what role they are playing on the team.”
Despite the youth movement, Malvai said the goal remains the same as last year: Make the postseason, then get past the first round. In 2018, the Tigers earned a regular season tie against a Monroe-Woodbury team that won the state title, but later lost to Washingtonville in the playoff opener.
“I am optimistic that if we continue to grow from game to game we will be able to do well this year,” Malvai said. “Young team and a lot of talent. A lot will depend on how we jell as a group. So far I am very positive in what I see. [I’m] encouraging all my players to buy into the philosophy ‘One team, one vision, no excuses: We are responsible for us,’ making them individually and collectively responsible young adults.”
Next up for the Tigers was a visit to battle non-league Warwick on Wednesday, Sept. 11 after the Kingston Times went to press. Kingston closes out a five game road trip against New Paltz, Washingtonville and Newburgh Free Academy before finally returning home to Dietz on Tuesday, Sept. 24 when they host defending state champ Monroe.