GIRLS SOCCER: CV WITHSTANDS ONEONTA RALLY TO WIN THIRD STRAIGHT SECTIONAL TITLE
By ROB CENTORANI
Broome County East Sports Report
ENDWELL -- When Tiffani Schaefer scored on a picturesque shot with 13 minutes, 43 seconds left, it appeared to be window dressing for Chenango Valley's girls.
Schaefer's goal into the right corner of the net from 20 yards gave the Warriors a three-goal cushion over top-seeded Oneonta in the Section 4 Class B soccer Saturday at Maine-Endwell.
By game's end, that score by Schaefer proved to be mighty important as second-seeded CV held on for a 3-2 victory and its third straight sectional title.
An Oneonta squad that had been run over by the Warriors in an 8-1 loss back in early September received two goals from Grace Slesinsky in the late going, the last coming on a 20-yard shot with 3 minutes, 13 seconds left.
The Yellowjackets (10-4-1) generated no serious threats thereafter and the Warriors celebrated in front of their goal after the final horn sounded.
CV (12-2) also received a goal and two assists from Maddie Hayes and a goal from Emily Dickson.
The Warriors will play Section 3 champion Marcellus in a state quarterfinal Nov. 4 at a Section 4 site. CV coach Devon Lash said he though the game might be played at the Wright National Soccer Campus in Oneonta.
Make no mistake, the Warriors had to work for this one. Following cakewalks over Interscholastic Athletic Conference opponents in the first two rounds of sectionals, Oneonta provided legitimate and stiff competition in the final.
"The biggest factor is it's a sectional final game," CV coach Devon Lash said. "It doesn't matter who you are at that point, whether you're the first seed, eighth seed, it doesn't matter. You get in this final game, every girl wants to play. Oneonta gave us a great contest."
And though the usual suspects scored for the Warriors, the whole team was tested Saturday, a fact that did not escape Lash.
"Even though they get the goals, you still have to defend," he said. "I have to give a shout out to my center back, Sophia Ashman, she did a heckuva job. Caelyn Koch, who stepped up on the outside, Molly Berg, the whole defensive unit. It took a team to make this happen. We're not just one piece. We may have a few goal scorers, but it's a whole team that gets it done."
But getting back to those goal scorers. Allow Oneonta coach Jerry Mackey to explain the problems they present.
"When you have three, at least, that can get the ball played to them and say, 'Go to work,'" he said. "It doesn't matter if you're trying to bracket them or not. They go before the bracket gets there or they're strong enough to get through the bracket, or they start and stop, start and stop and get you wrong-footed, and they unleash a shot from an angle our girls don't see historically, game in and game out, it's tough to simulate the speed of that."
Hayes opened the scoring midway through the first half. She received a throughball from Skylar Schaefer that set her up 1-on-1 with the keeper. Hayes finished with a low shot inside the left post.
Early in the second half, Hayes set up Dickson to make it 2-0. From the right side, Hayes sent a flat pass to Dickson in the middle. Dickson touched it right and scored on a low shot inside the right post with 35:14 to play.
Hayes also freed Tiffani Schaefer for the third goal. From the middle of the box, Hayes sent a 10-yard pass right that Schaefer had time to settle before nestling her shot over the goalie and into the back right netting.
"I was thinking, 'I have to make this,'" Schaefer said. "Another goal would get us even more on top. You never know when you're going to need it, obviously. The more goals the better. In your head you have to think I'm going to make this and hopefully, it goes in."
Then Slesinsky took over for a spell. Her first goal came 40 seconds after Schaefer scored, a liner from 25 yards to the right side of the goal.
After a header by Hayes just went wide of the right post off a corner kick from Dickson with 11:30 left, Slesinsky got behind CV's defense and hit a hard shot to the left side that just evaded diving goalie Hannah Watson.
"You go down, 3-0, with five seniors, you can start feeling sorry for yourself, but I thought we did a great job of just playing," Mackey said. "We made the last few minutes, 3-2, playing into the wind pretty interesting."
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