Wednesday, October 8, 2014 by Matt Seehusen
The seniors of the girl’s varsity soccer team wanted to leave a mark on their special night Tuesday. They did just that with a solid 4-1 win over the Shaker Blue Bison.
It was An especially significant game for one particular senior, captain Ellery Bianco, who picked up three of the Blue Streak’s four goals after a slow first half for Saratoga.
“I don’t know where it came from,” Bianco said of her performance.
A back and forth first half kept both teams on their feet, neither holding a clear advantage until Shaker senior Margaret Iverson tallied a goal six minutes in. The momentum shift was neutralized two minutes later, when Saratoga sophomore YaYa Van Ness slipped the ball past Shaker goaltender Madison LaMarche.
“When YaYa scored that one, I thought, ‘That should be me, this should be my night,'” Bianco said jokingly about the goal to tie.
After halftime, Bianco’s night began to take shape. Just eight minutes into the second half, Bianco scored off a crossing pass from Sarah Covell to put the Streaks up 2-1.
“Shaker plays a different formation than we’re used to,” Blue Streaks head coach Adrienne Dannehy said about their opponents, “we were a little confused at first. We had a bit of a problem in the back, but we adjusted to it, and after that things just started clicking.”
The second half was dominated by Saratoga. Their defense came up with some good stops, helping sophomore goalie Julia McDonald land a second half shutout in net. The defensive battle was a physical one played by both teams, neither side allowing many shots by the other. Saratoga got the better of the shut-down Shaker defense 31 minutes into the half when Bianco put in her second goal of the night, extending the Blue Streak’s lead to two.
With 2 minutes and 49 seconds left in the game, Bianco put the finishing touch on a phenomenal night, scoring a goal one-on-one against LaMarche to bring the score to 4-1.
Bianco said of her hat trick performance, “My first one came, then another one came out of that, by the time of my third one I was saying ‘This is your night, just go take it.'”
“That’s just Ellery being Ellery. That’s what she does, that’s who she is,” Dannehy said.
As the clock hit zero, roars of applause and cheering came from the Saratoga stands for the team and their seniors.
“They played phenomenally,” Dannehy said of her seniors. “I couldn’t have asked for a better senior class. I know that they wanted it very bad tonight, and they played well.”
The senior night win gave Saratoga a 10-2 record, which they will hope to improve on Thursday as they play at home against rival Shenendehowa at 4:15 p.m.
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Matt Seehusen is a junior and Journalism student covering sports for The Lightning Rod.