BY MICHAEL KELLY
The Niskayuna Soccer Club’s U10 girls squad is playing so well, the whole team is moving up to the U12 level.
Head coach Cheryl Kuzniar’s U10 squad just recently finished up an undefeated campaign in the Afrim Sport’s Winter 1 session in Colonie. The group of 11 local girls has been experiencing success for quite some time, Kuzniar said, leaving the coach wanting to give the girls more of a challenge in their next session, which starts in January.
“These girls have been doing pretty well,” Kuzniar said Dec. 24. “They won their fall outdoor league, too, and then in this one (at Afrim’s), they were undefeated and killed every team they played.”
The group has been playing together for a few years and has steadily improved during its time together, Kuzniar said.
“They work so well together and they’re very committed to being excellent soccer players,” said Kuzniar, who coaches a few teams for the Niskayuna Soccer Club in addition to leading the high school’s modified squad.
“They work with me at practices and they work … on things at home,” continued Kuzniar. “The growth has been incredible.”
Growing together, the girls say, has been the best part of the experience.
“We just work together and have fun,” said Ella Moskov, a 9-year-old on the squad.
“I like that all we know everyone (on the team) and we’re all friends,” said 10-year-old Jane Biaglow. “Our coach, she sets up team bondings so that we know everyone on the team real well.”
With the victories piling up, Kuzniar said the challenge of playing up a division — most of the team’s girls are not even 10 years old — is important so that the squad’s players can continue to improve after a winning so many games recently by several goals.
“When you’re beating a team like that, you don’t have pressure,” she said. “I need them to feel that pressure and still be able to perform.”
Adelyn Farrell, a 9-year-old on the team, said the squad is ready for the challenge.
“I think it’s great that we’re moving up to the U12 division together,” she said. “I think we’ll do a really good job.”
Team members include Addison Appert, Emily Bateman, Biaglow, Farrell, Jillian Gillooley, Lauren Goyette, Grace Mackey, Ava Mauriello, Moskov, Tiniki Van Niekerk and Kayleigh West.
Kuzniar said she is excited for the next season to start.
“The girls are all awesome,” Kuzniar said.