FIELD HOCKEY: VANDERPOOL, FINN SCORE IN WINDSOR'S STATE QUARTERFINAL WIN
By ROB CENTORANI
Broome County East Sports Report
VERNON -- A dominant performance that the final score does not reflect has Windsor's field hockey team two wins from the program's first state title.
Makayla Vanderpool and Anna Finn scored goals and their ball-hawking teammates saw to it that Rome Free Academy never had much of a chance during a 2-0 Class A state quarterfinal on a sunny and breezy Sunday afternoon at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.
From the get-go, Windsor controlled possession, generated penalty corners and kept the ball in Rome FA's end for long stretches. All it needed was a goal and that came late in the first quarter ... really late, like the-scoreboard-showing-zeros late.
But after a short discussion between officials, it was deemed Vanderpool's backhander from 6 yards counted. Three quarters remained, but those who watched the first quarter must have felt like Windsor had done all the scoring it needed to do.
By the end of the first 15 minutes, Windsor had six shots and eight penalty corners. RFA didn't take any shots or attempt any corners and that stat wouldn't change until late in the third quarter.
Next for Windsor (15-3) is a state semifinal against Section 1's Mamaroneck at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Long Island's Centereach. Mamaroneck advanced with a 4-0 victory over Section 9's Kingston.
Windsor's victory was part of an impressive display by Section 4's three contestants at V-V-S. Two-time defending Class C state champion Whitney Point earned a 6-0 victory over Little Falls and defending Class B state champion Vestal concluded the triple-header with a 5-0 win over Camden.
"It definitely feels great," Windsor coach Taylor Lippolis said. "It's great for the girls. They've worked so hard had ups and downs. Even from the setbacks, they've learned and they've done nothing but progress. I'm just so happy they get to experience this moment."
Allie Greene set up Vanderpool's goal. After gaining possession, Vanderpool moved left before lining a shot inside the left post.
"I think it was huge for us because it got our momentum going," Vanderpool said of her goal. "I feel like if we didn't score in the first quarter, we would have felt defeated."
Things evened up a bit in the second quarter, but there was nothing close to a quality chance offensively for the Section 3 champs.
Then with 5:32 left in the third quarter, Finn struck on a penalty corner. Windsor finished with 21 penalty corners and most of them were well executed, but the one player it had trouble beating was RFA goalie Jaylene Decker. She played an aggressive game, moving away from the goal any time she sensed trouble and that strategy worked well, as evidenced by her 12 saves.
"We challenged her all day," Lippolis said. "She did fantastic. We didn't make it easy on her. The girls did exactly what I asked, they just kept firing away."
It was another backhand goal that made it 2-0. After Sydney Angelo's penalty corner, Vienna McCombs sent a short pass that freed Finn. Her 8-yarder inside the left post smashed off the back of the cage.
"This week in practice we worked a lot on our corner offense," said Finn, Windsor's all-time leading goal scorer. "That was a play we drew up and it worked."
It would be another three minutes before RFA took its first shot and earned its first corner. The final stats had Windsor with a 15-1 advantage in shots and 21-3 in penalty corners.
"Obviously, this year is a great to end on," said Finn, who'll play in college at Rider University. "I'm really excited for Long Island and we'll see what happens."
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