SAUQUOIT VALLEY GIRLS TAKE CENTRAL REGION-STATE FINAL FOUR NEXT
Header – Loud, Proud and Frozen! Big crowd followed the Indians to Fulton
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The Section III Champion Sauquoit Valley girl’s soccer team earned a trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class “C” Final Four with a convincing 2-0 win over previously unbeaten Unatego (Section IV) this afternoon at Fulton High School.
While many across this state would view Sauquoit’s win over Unatego today as an upset, anyone in attendance can testify that the Lady Indians showed they were the better club.
Unatego entered the game as the State’s fourth ranked Class “C” team, compiling a record of (18-0-1), having yielded just three goals goals against in those twenty previous games.
Did we mention that the Lady Spartans also scored eighty seven goals in the same amount of games so far this season?
Sauquoit meanwhile came into today’s regional contest with a record of (17-2-1) and ranked #10 in the latest State poll.
Today’s match represented the third trip to the regionals in the last four years for the Lady Indians.
The first half saw Sauquoit assert itself offensivley, almost from the opening kick.
Player for player, the Indians were significantly faster than their counterparts from Section IV and it showed right away.
Despite the speed advantage, Sauqoit was unable to penetrate the Unatego defensive schemes and therefore really didn’t mount a significant threat to Spartans keeper Robin Foster.
Coming into the game, Unatego head coach Sue Herodes planned to clog the middle of the field and try to deprive Sauquoit leading scorer Elisa Marchione, who had tallied tewnty eight goals this season.
Herodes’ plan to defuse Marchione revolved around matching up Katrina Clark, a senior midfielder who is considered Unatego’s shut down defender, with Marchione for the entire game.
Coach Herodes plan was a valiant one and it worked. For the first forty minutes.
Sauquoit Valley pretty much dominated Unatego’s end of the field for the first half, but produced just four shots on Foster.
Unatego on the other foot, managed just two shots on Sauquoit super keeper Alyson Gaffney in the opening stanza.
The first eighteen minutes of the second half was pretty much a continuation of the first forty minutes, with Sauquoit winning more of the 50/50 balls than the Spartans and also seeing more looks at the Spartans goal.
Then, with 22:14 remaining, Serena Kiss broke the ice and dented the twine for the Indians, on a cross from Jenna Mazza, giving Sauquoit Valley a 1-0 lead.
Kiss’ goal seemed to deflate the Lady Spartans and understandably so, given the fact that it was just their fourth goal against all season. It was Serena Kiss’ third goal of the year.
After almost fifteen more minutes of relentless pressure by Sauquoit, Elisa Marchione nailed her 29th goal of the season, this one coming on free kick from about twenty yards away.
Marchione beat the Unatego defensive wall with a low roller to the left, which spun just out of the reach of Robin Foster and into the back of the Spartans goal, making it 2-0 Sauquoit Valley, which is the way this one would end.
The jubilant Section III champs gathered around Alyson Gaffney as the final horn sounded and celebrated their ticket to the State Final Four next weekend.
Sauquoit Valley will face Holland High School of Section VI next Saturday at noon at Cortland.
Holland is the State’s 7th ranked team with a record of (18-2).
One thing is for sure regarding next week for Sauquoit Valley. If their very large, loud and proud legion of families and fans travel to Cortland with their beloved Indians next week like they did today, it might just feel like a Sauquoit home game!
Good luck ladies, bring it home!
Sauquoit Valley 2 Unatego 0
1 2 Total
Unatego 0 0 0
Sauquoit Valley 0 0 2