By Mike Zummo
The Pine Bush girls’ soccer team is young with three eighth graders in their starting lineup.
So, it wouldn’t have been unexpected if the Bushmen would have taken some lumps early on in their season, especially after an abbreviated Fall 2 season in the spring and some of their youngest players didn’t play in the spring due to the lack of a modified program.
Still even after winning only one of their three games last week, they are over .500 with a 3-2 record.
“That’s a good start for us for where we’ve been the last few years,” Pine Bush coach Dan Conley said. “And we were 3-1 going into it and now going into next week, staying on the positive side of .500 is going to be huge.”
Pine Bush opened the week by suffering a 2-0 loss to the Newburgh Free Academy Goldbacks at E.J. Russell Elementary School on Sept. 13.
“Newburgh has a little more experience than us,” Conley said. “They were stronger to the ball, which was an eye-opener for us, so hopefully the next time we see them, we’ll learn from that and be a little more aggressive.”
Newburgh goalkeeper Taryn Judson made seven saves and Pine Bush goalkeeper Grace Druke made eight.
“We were in that game,” Conley said. “I think they outplayed us for the majority of the 80 minutes, but it was still only 2-3. We get a bounce one way or the other, it could be a different outcome.”
Pine Bush (3-1) rebounded the following day with a 7-0 win over Monticello behind three goals from Kathryn Cragan.
Angelina Cardone, Deirdre Meberg, Tea Rauch, and Taylor Hoemann had a goal each.
Hoemann had two assists. Morgan Tubbs, Meberg, Amanda Watkins and Hannah Pawlowski each had an assist.
Druke and Hannah Goudreau made a save each. Monticello’s Gianna Kinne DeMaio made 12 saves.
Pine Bush then finished the week with a 9-0 loss to Monroe-Woodbury, who expects to be one of the top teams in the section despite losing the spring Section 9 Class AA championship game to Valley Central.
Ella Natal had three goals and Sarah Hudson had two. Druke made 12 saves and Pawlowski made 3.
“We held our own for the first 15, 20 minutes or so,” Conley said. “They just have so much depth. They’re bringing kids off the bench that would start for most teams. I said to the girls, ‘they have one sophomore on the roster and she’s a good player’. We’re starting eighth graders. With this group of eighth, ninth and 10th graders, we should be matching up against their JV.”
Pine Bush plays in a three-team Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association Division II. They split their first run through the schedule, losing to Warwick, but beating Valley Central.
But one thing Pine Bush has shown this year, is that they’re going to be more competitive than years’ past.
“Instead of those games where you get down one or two and it’s like, ‘we don’t have any goal scorers’, we have some goal scorers this year,” Conley said. “They can put the ball in the back of the net and defend.”