Editor’s Note: We originally had the 1st overtime goal in this game incorrectly credited to Shiane Irwin. In fact, the goal was scored by Jordan Batson. Correction made and a big thank you to the Poland fans who pointed this out to us. See you Saturday in Cortland!
Chittenango – New York State’s top ranked Class “D” girls soccer team, the Poland Tornadoes, advanced to the Section 3, Class “D” Championship Game, following their 2-0 overtime win over Cincinnatus on Wednesday night.
Claire Lepper’s first half heroics in goal, followed by overtime goals from Jordan Batson and Riley Wisheart, were just enough to propel the top seeded ladies from Poland into the Section 3 final against second seeded Sacket’s Harbor, a 2-0 winner over 3rd seeded LaFargeville.
On Wednesday night in Chittenango, the Cincinnatus Lions gave Poland all they could handle in the first half, peppering keeper Claire Lepper and putting the Tornadoes defense firmly on its collective heels.
At the 18 minute mark, Lions senior striker Elizabeth Brencher hit a low ball through the defense in the Poland box which was deflected, taking Lepper by surprise. Fortunately for the Tornadoes, Taylor Allen was their to clear the ball as it approached the goal line, keeping the game tied at 0-0.
Then in the 25th minute, Lions midfielder Carlecia McUmber nailed a shot from about 25 yards away, which looked like the go ahead goal for Cincinnatus. Instead, Lepper went vertical and barely got a fingertip on the ball, forcing it up and off the top bar to preserve the 0-0 scene on the scoreboard.
The two teams went to the intermission with Cincinnatus believing they were not only in the game, but definitely able to win it. Poland, on the other hand used the break to regroup and relish the fact that they had withstood several offensive assaults by Cincinnatus and come through unscathed.
After a scoreless second half, Poland’s Jordan Batson and Riley Wisheart notched goals in the first 10 minute overtime period and the Poland defense took over from there, holding Cincinnatus scoreless in the second 10 minute overtime period and giving Poland a hard fought 2-0 victory.
Poland, which improved to (18-1) on the season, remained unbeaten in Class “D” (the Tornadoes lone defeat came against Class C Sauquoit Valley) and will move on to face Sackets Harbor (17-1-1), which is ranked 5th in the most recent NY State Sportswriters Class “D” poll. Sackets Harbor’s lone loss of the season came against Class “C” Beaver River.
The Class “D” Sectional Championship will be played Saturday, 10/29 at 5:30 p.m. at SUNY Cortland.