Winning a third straight Section 3 title was the goal for the Poland Tornadoes and Little Falls Mounties soccer teams during their respective sectional finals Saturday at SUNY Cortland.
Both local powers accomplished that mission, but only the Mounties went home satisfied as Little Falls blanked Watertown IHC 3-0 to win the Class C title.
In the Class D final, Poland and Cincinnatus battled through four overtimes deadlocked in a scoreless tie and were named co-champions. However, the Lions won 4-2 in penalty kicks and will advance to represent Section 3 in the state tournament.
Poland controlled the majority of the game, peppering Cincinnatus keeper Kara Steacy, but the senior stood strong to turn the Tornadoes away.
Once again, Poland’s defense in front of keeper Emily Schraeder was rock-solid as they recorded their 15th shutout of the season.
Poland, ranked No. 1 in the state, has dominated the section recently and seemed primed to deal with some unfinished business after losing to Wheatland-Chili in the last two state title games. Saturday’s blustery and rainy conditions likely were a bit of an equalizer, but the Tornadoes still had their chances and just couldn’t finish.
Cincinnatus (19-0), which lost 4-1 to Poland in last year’s final, returns to action 7:30 p.m. Friday at Herkimer County Community College against the Section 4 champion. Downsville and South Kortright play Monday to decide the Section 4 champion.
Second-seeded Little Falls had no such trouble in finding the back of the goal in the Class C final. Nicole Failing netted a pair of first-half goals and assisted on Gabby Sylstra’s late tally as the Mounties eliminated IHC in the final for a second time in three years.
Kylie Miles recorded the shutout for the Mounties (18-2), who extended their winning streak to 16 games.
Little Falls begins its quest for a state title at 5:30 Friday at HCCC. The Mounties play the Groton/Unatego winner in a state quarterfinal.
Top-seeded Watertown IHC finishes its season with a 15-4 mark.