“I was really scared at first, but they made me feel very comfortable as a new person,” said Arcidiacono, a forward on the junior varsity team last season. “I was new to defense, so I was really scared coming in and playing a new position, but Meg and Madison really helped me adjust.”
Playing positions where communication is vital, it took some time for Oneonta’s newcomers to familiarize themselves with each other.
“Right in the beginning of the STAC playoffs, when we started playing harder opponents and we were more challenged, we kind of figured out what worked and what didn’t,” said sweeper Burns, whose ability to stop opponent’s runs before they get started and her booming leg that sends balls well out of harm’s way has keyed the Yellowjackets’ defensive success.
Gillette added that even if a defender makes a mistake, teammates are there to make sure it doesn’t turn into a goal-allowing miscue.
“Meg is always there,” she said. “I feel she’s always reading the play very well, so if Archie or I make a mistake and a girl goes by, Meg is always there or if my girl gets by, Archie drops back and picks her up, or Madison is there to pick her up. We’re all there to help each other.”
Miller, a Second Team all-state stopper last season, said she’s been impressed with how quickly the newcomers have jelled.
“From the beginning, we started off playing off of each other well, but as Meg said was saying, when it got harder, that’s when we got challenged and these girls are doing amazing. We’re in sync. We mesh really well. It’s all communication and we have a good system.”
The times opponents have managed to get shots off, Grau has been positioned perfectly to make the save. Whether it’s staying home or coming off of her line, she’s made the saves.