GIRLS SOCCER: CV GIRLS WELL AWARE OF CHALLENGES THAT AWAIT IN STATE QUARTERFINAL
By ROB CENTORANI
Broome County East Sports Report
Chenango Valley senior Skylar Schaefer talked the speed of play.
She didn't talk in terms of small differences. About half of the Warriors' girls soccer roster knows what it is walking into at noon Saturday at Waverly.
Many of the girls have seen it twice. There was the 3-0 loss to Bronxville two years ago and the 5-0 loss to Irvington last year.
"It's a lot different," Schaefer said. "You have to adapt to the change of pace and adapt to the speed."
This year's Class B state quarterfinal opponent is Section 3 champion Marcellus, a 17-3 squad. The Mustangs advanced with a 2-0 victory over Christian Brothers Academy in the sectional final Oct. 27.
Cece Powell scored both goals in that game.
"Marcellus is good," said CV coach Devon Lash, whose team is 12-2 this season. "They definitely have good players with speed. They play with pace, they have good touch on the ball, they definitely know what they're doing. It's going to be a tough competition for us."
While acknowledging that state competition is a different animal and that their opponent is skilled and fast, Schaefer nor Lash was about to concede anything heading into Saturday.
"This year I think we have more of a chance," said Schaefer, a valuable midfielder who often gets CV's attacks started. "In past years, we had certain areas that were weak points, but this year I feel we're fully covered. As a team, we're confident in each other."
Lash added that the experience of having advanced to this level the past two years will be beneficial.
Powell has 29 goals on the season. Claire Card, Janine Powell and Jadyn Baker have 15, 14 and 11 goals, respectively, for the Mustangs.
CV counters with a talented trio of scorers in juniors Maddie Hayes and Emily Nickson, and freshman Tiffani Schaefer, Skylar's sister. Those three have scored at least five goals in a game this season and all three scored in the Warriors' 3-2 win over Oneonta in Saturday's Section 4 final at Maine-Endwell.
But Lash said contributions in the back will be equally important Saturday. He pointed to defenders Sophia Ashman, Caelyn Koch and Molly Berg, who'll try to frustrate the speedy Mustangs.
And for Skylar Schaefer's part, winning in the midfield will also be vital for CV's chances.
"I feel we're best when we're winning from the back, pushing it forward, getting it to the outside and then crossing into the box," she said. "We need to win 50-50 balls and then move back together and go forward together."
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