Allegany-Limestone Girls Soccer Team Prepares for Sectionals


ALLEGANY, NY -- At the beginning of the season, Allegany-Limestone girls soccer coach Dale MacArthur told the Buffalo News that winning the sectional title is always the goal, but conceded, “It doesn’t always work out that way.”

As his Gators gear up a run at a Class C repeat, the 29-year coach with more than 400 career wins thinks there’s a good shot things will work out again this year.

“I think we have as good a chance as anyone, probably better than most,” he said. “We’ve had a good season, and have learned and improved with each game.”

Sign Up for E-News

With one game left to play in the regular season, at Amherst on Friday, the 14-1 Gators are third in the sectional playoff standings, behind only Maple Grove and Holland. At 15-0, Maple Grove is the only team with fewer losses. Class A1 powerhouse Grand Island is the only team in Section 6 with more goals (114) than Allegany-Limestone’s 86.

The Gators haven’t just won 93 percent of their games; they’ve breezed past the majority of their competition, winning by an average margin of 5.5 goals. After a 3-2 loss to Ellicottville on Sept. 19, they responded by scoring 28 goals over their next four games, more or equal to what four teams in their class have put in the back of the net all season.

The blowouts displayed the team’s formidability, but the close matchup against Ellicottville gave Allegany-Limestone a much-needed taste of adversity before a decisive 5-1 victory against the Eagles in the rematch.

“Ellicottville was a competitive game, and I think the biggest thing we learned from it was that you have to be prepared to play every game,” MacArthur said. “At some point in each season that lesson has to be relearned. I think there was a positive in losing that game because we could have been unprepared against a weaker team and got away with it. We weren't mentally ready, and we didn't get away with it."

He continued, “We had other competitive games, including Portville, Catt/Little Valley and Pioneer, but we were mentally where we had to be in those games.”

The high-powered offense is part family affair, as cousins Alyssa and Danielle Spring have combined for 34 goals and 25 assists. Molly McClelland is the other 30-plus point scorer, with 13 scores and 12 helpers, filling out a “Big 3” that is all in the top 15 for individual scoring in the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Athletic Association.

Just don’t say “Big 3” to MacArthur, who’s a team concept guy, first and foremost.

“I prefer to think in terms of the Big Nineteen,” he said. “Everyone on the team has contributed to our wins and our loss. It's always good to have more than one person you can rely on to score, but unless we get them the ball and create opportunities for them it's a moot point. Unless we defend well, we don't get the ball to create those opportunities as often as we'd like.

“As an example, we've scored seventy-eight goals and had assists on sixty-four of them. Over eighty percent of our scoring is a direct result of one player giving another player the ball in a dangerous position. One hundred percent of our scoring is an indirect result of someone else's play, whether they get credited with an assist or not.”

Starting next week, the Gators’ caliber will be put to the strenuous test of sectionals. Of the top six teams in Class C, they have only played Portville, a squad they beat twice. They have not faced aforementioned Maple Grove and Holland, nor have they matched up against Frewsburg or Chautauqua Lake.

MacArthur noted that Maple Grove and Holland have played similar top five competition, but acknowledged that they play the larger schools the Gators have not played.

“Interestingly, (one is) the same number of top five teams in Class C that Maple Grove has played. Holland has played none of them,” MacArthur said. “However, Maple Grove has also played (and beaten) the second ranked (class) B2 school twice. Holland has split with the top ranked B2 school. We have played and beaten the second ranked A2 and will play the third ranked A2 this Friday.

“That said, I believe both Maple Grove and Holland have an advantage in that they regularly play larger, potentially stronger schools because of their league schedules. That's not to say that their opponents are always better than ours, but the potential exists simply because those opponents are class B and larger.”

Whether Allegany-Limestone goes back-to-back or not remains to be seen, but MacArthur said the game plan won’t change, no matter who the team draws each match.

“Our game plan is always the same,” he said. “We want to focus on the things we do best. If the opponent has a particularly dangerous player, we might make some slight adjustments, but likely nothing major.”

The official tournament bracket will be released after each team has concluded the regular season.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

'March for Our Lives' Started A Historic Movement

Shoes on the ground. People chanting. Signs held high. Music playing in the background.

It is the start of a historic movement. A moment when every race, gender and age came together as one. A movement that involved change and a March for Our Lives.

As a student journalist going out to the world, taking part in a national movement truly moved me. Reporting the significance of March for ...

Bonnies Historic Season Will Give Community Source of Pride Years to Come

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY -- The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball season came to an end earlier than the team had hoped. Coaches looked disappointed, and players covered their faces with towels. St. Bonaventure’s (26-8) loss to Florida (21-12) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament left many thinking what if?

However, the Bonnies historic season is nothing for the team to ...

Sights and Sounds: The First Four of the NCAA Tournament

Traffic is a common occurrence, but for fans of the Dayton Flyers, it’s a usual event every gameday. A trip across the Great Miami River leads to the Flyers’ athletic complex. It became the same ritual for Bonnies fans heading to the University of Dayton Arena for the team's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012.

Snow, sleet and hail pounded down on the car as we ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 10:00 AM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Simply Stories


Tue, April 24, 2:00 PM

Canticle Farm Market, Allegany

Canticle Farm Market

Tue, April 24, 2:00 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Preserving Family Recipes Webinar


Olean Litter Control Program Prepares for Spring

April 18, 2018

OLEAN, NY – Spring weather is approaching and the City of Olean Litter Control Program is armed with bags and gloves to start cleaning up the litter that winter has left behind.

“This year we are in great need of volunteers” said Lila Ervay, the committee’s chairman. “We currently have a number of volunteer groups consisting of schools, businesses, churches and ...

New Scholarship Dedicated to ALCS Teacher “Bernie” Taylor

ALLEGANY, NY -- The teachers that make learning simple and fun while connecting with students are often the ones most fondly remembered.

Bernadette “Bernie” Taylor was that kind of teacher at Allegany-Limestone Central School for more than 30 years according to her widower, Thomas Taylor.

“She had the skill of making chemistry easy. Chemistry tends to be tough for ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...