Oct 26, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Even with a no. 8 seed for the Section III Class B playoffs, the Solvay girls soccer team imagined that it could accomplish just what it did a season ago, making a deep run into the tournament and knocking off some long-established powers out of the way.
But Westhill, the no. 9 seed, saw to it that the Bearcats did not make it out of the first round, charging into Earl Hadley Stadium Tuesday night and prevailing, 2-1, to advance to a meeting with top seed and defending champion Watertown IHC in the quarterfinals.
The Warriors had beaten Solvay by that same 2-1 margin at “The Pit” on Sept. 27. But the Bearcats had won the rematch 4-1 at Westhill on Oct. 20, a mere six days before the two neighbors squared off once more, with a season on the line.
A wild opening sequence saw both teams get multiple shots without converting. Solvay took several direct shots, but Sam Peebles, the Warriors’ freshman goalkeeper, handled all of them.
In the 14th minute, Westhill took its turn on the attack. Lindsey Lippert got open at the point and, from 20 yards out, fired a hard shot off the crossbar – but it hit the back of Solvay goalie Chelsea Root and scooted past the line, putting the Warriors ahead 1-0.
Three times late in the half, Solvay forced corner kicks, but could not convert as Allie Bush, Alyssa Cywilko, Page Rogers, Kelly Lippert and the rest of the Warriors’ back line remained calm and cleared out the ball.
Just as the teams hit halftime, the breeze doubled in intensity, reaching up to 25 miles per hour – and Westhill would enjoy that wind advantage in the second half, a major break that would not go unnoticed.
Four minutes into the second half, Maggie Tripodi took a long, wind-aided pass up the middle of the field and was tripped inside the 18-yard box before she could take the shot. Westhill was awarded a penalty kick, and though Kelly Ristoff hit it right at Root, the ball just slipped out of Root’s fingers past the goal line.
Now trailing 2-0, and going into the wind, Solvay did not get many opportunities to cut into the deficit. Still, with 6:10 to play Anna Salvagno fit in a goal from the right side to cut the margin to one, and the Bearcats did make a couple of late runs, but were unable to tie it.
As Westhill advanced to face IHC, the Bearcats saw its season end at 9-7-1. In all, 10 seniors will depart, including Gina Venuti, Gabby Santoferrara, Rachel Peterson, Mickenzie Moore, Lauren Hunter and Tiffney Guinta. However, the return of standouts like Salvagno, Root, Alexis Bandera, Loren Lucio and Mikayla Perotti means that Solvay, in 2011, should still be dangerous.
Over in Camillus, West Genesee, the no. 5 seed in the Class AA playoffs, shook off a last-minute scheduling change and beat no. 12 seed Utica Proctor 3-0 in its first-round game.
Originally, only 11 teams qualified for the AA tournament, but upon further review Proctor had met the qualifying standards to be the 12th qualifer. Thus, instead of going straight into the quarterfinals against no. 4 seed Liverpool, the Wildcats had to play an extra round.
For a half, things were nervous as, despite having most of the scoring chances, WG still found itself in a 0-0 stalemate. But that changed in the second half as the Wildcats converted three times, earning the trip to Liverpool.
Brianna McGraw, Julie Dussing and Melissa Fumano each had one goal, with Kara Datellas and Erica Geremia earning assists. Moriah Saidel only had to make three saves to preserve her shutout.