Welcome Back Unadilla Valley

Patrick Newell

Once upon a time, Unadilla Valley had a pretty good girls’ soccer team. Memories of those strong teams seem so far off in the past, but it was just four years ago when the Storm were contending for division and league championships in the Midstate Athletic Conference with all-league players Walbrecht, Lorence, and Baio leading the team to prominence. Then there was the inevitable talent dearth that hits every team at some point followed by precious few wins. Unadilla Valley girls soccer, once a regular top contender was off my radar screen. The drop off of the girls’ program coincided with the ascendance of the boys’ program. The two programs flip-flopped in a manner of speaking. Now, in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten streak that included a New York Pizzeria Tournament title, UV’s girls are in the hunt for a league championship. Talking with head coach Chris Bieniek during the preseason and early-season games, I did not get an indication that big things were expected of the Storm this year. Truthfully, I’m sure Bieniek expected her squad to be at this level either. “I’m sure a lot of people are surprised,” Bieniek said in a recent interview. “It’s a been a while… .” Yes, it has been too long. Welcome back Unadilla Valley, you’re not only back on my radar, you’re front and center in the crosshairs.