By Perry L. Novak
Mohawk – The first time New Hartford’s state-ranked girls soccer team beat Central Valley Academy it was by a 7-0 score. The rematch saw a much closer score, but the Spartans still prevailed and impressed.
Coach Frank DuRoss Jr.’s team beat the Thunder 5-1 as Micaela Honsinger led a balanced attack with a goal and two assists in the October 15 night match. Fellow junior Christina Paul was the only other Spartan with more than just a goal or an assist as she had both.
I’m honored to be on such a team,” NH senior Nora Buffington said. “It’s such a great group, and not just the talent. It’s the high spirit.”
The visitors began Thursday’s Tri-Valley League finale with better possession but nothing to show for it. CVA’s Camryn Stone made a critical defensive play in the fifth minute to deny NH’s Jordan Restivo an almost sure goal then CVA goalie Alyssa Wadsworth made three saves in a span of four minutes to keep things scoreless. Paul had the best chances for the Spartans in the early going along with Honsinger and Restivo while freshman Julianne Sekula set up many of the plays with great passing in the middle.
CVA had a couple of chances to open the scoring, but Mia Lopez had a long direct cleared and eighth grade scoring phenom Reilly Rich was wide on her first shot.
NH finally broke through in the 24th minute as Paul set up Sekula for a perfect floater that just went over Wadsworth and under the crossbar.
A little more than a minute later it was a 2-0 lead for NH as Paul scored from 15 yards, and Hannah Cahill assisted.
Rich created a great chance for CVA to get back in the match three minutes later with a pass back from the end line, but Tori Love cleared it for NH. It took a while for either team to threaten after that then NH regained momentum with a superb shot by Buffington. Wadsworth made the save in the 33rd minute and another a minute later on a shot by Honsinger. There was no stopping Honsinger in the 36th minute as she sent a great pass to Buffington on the right wing. Buffington volleyed it in perfectly and suddenly it was 3-0.
Little happened at the end of the half, but a lot did at the start of the second. Honsinger sent a great through pass to the wing and Restivo hit a hard shot past Wadsworth for a 4-0 NH lead in the 43rd minute. The hosts countered with a goal by Skylar Mower in the 49th minute. Jazmyn Gillette set up the play with a great cross from the left side and Mower hit it in just inside the right post.
CVA’s momentum was short lived as Honsinger made some great moves in the middle to get by defenders and hit a hard shot in for a 5-1 NH lead. There were few good chances the rest of the night, but there was still good play by both teams in the battle between TVL divisional champs.
“It felt great,” DuRoss said about his team’s play. “We had a goal to play as a team and have possession and have opportunities.”
The visitors had plenty, and they came from many different players. “We’re not a one-player show,” DuRoss said.
CVA coach Dave Wolfanger came away impressed once again with NH, but also happy with some of the things CVA did. “The other team is fast, but I got a lot of nice things out of this,” the veteran coach said. “I made a lot of defensive changes. But we still have to be more aggressive at the top of the 18.”
Wadsworth wound up with five saves. Gabby Hobika had three and Abby Buchholz added two for NH.
Next up for both schools is Class A playoff action next week. Seeding will be determined this weekend.
NH (10-0, 14-1-1): Christina Paul 1-1, Jordan Restivo 1-0, Hannah Cahill 0-1, Micaela Honsinger 1-2, Nora Buffington 1-0, Julianne Sekula 1-0. Saves – Gabby Hobika 3, Abby Buchholz 2.
CVA (9-5, 11-5): Skylar Mower 1-0, Jazmyn Gillette 0-1. Saves – Alyssa Wadsworth 5.