Holland Patent’s greatest girls soccer season just got a lot better and one of Clinton’s best got even better for coach Beth Baker.
The New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports just released its 27th annual All-State Girls Soccer teams Sunday and HP’s Josh Olney and Baker were named New York State Co-Coaches of the Year along with Christopher Walsh of Chenango Forks. Olney and Baker led the way for Mohawk Valley with the highest honors while two Little Falls players, one Sauquoit Valley standout and two from Poland made All-State First Team in their respective classes.
Olney completed his 12th year at the helm with a 21-2-1. That comes on the heels of a 2017 season that saw HP going 13-5. His recent success is a far cry from his start.
“We were 1-17 in 2007, my first year, and 1-17 in 2008,” Olney said. In 2010 we made sectionals for the first time and we’ve made it every year since.”
Olney was overwhelmed with the news of his being named the state’s top coach in Class B.
“It feels absolutely incredible,” Olney said. “I’m completely honored and excited. (The reason for it) was the hard work my girls put in. They really worked and played as a family this year.”
Olney and Baker guided their teams to identical league records and shared the Center State Conference title. Their teams shared the Section III Class B title as well, though HP won the penalty kick battle to earn a trip to the state tourney. Once there, Olney’s team reached the finals, beating defending Class C state champion Allegany-Limestone 4-0 along the way. In the finals, Walsh’s Chenango Forks team was dominant in a 2-0 victory and it helped the Section IV power win its second state title in three years.
While Clinton had to sit and watch the state playoffs, Baker was not overlooked by the NYSSCOGS committee.
“It’s really unexpected – I don’t ever expect accolades,” said Baker, a former Baldwinsville High School star. “It’s nice to be acknowledged as one of the best, and sharing it doesn’t bother me. Josh has done a great job, the Forks coach is a great coach.”
The 17-2-1 mark Baker crafted in 2018 began with a championship at the NYS Hall of Fame tournament and ended in her first sectional crown as coach. It also upped her career record to 239-96-22 with Clinton’s best finish during her 19-year tenure.
“I have to give the credit to the girls,” Baker said. “I’m just behind the scenes. The championship was on them.”
The Mohawk Valley saw players named in all classes, AA through D.
In Class AA, Rome Free Academy senior striker Katharine Balog made the sixth team.
New Hartford senior keeper Abby Buchholz was the lone local selection in Class A, as a second teamer.
In Class B, the second team included junior forward Reilly Rich of Central Valley Academy, senior defender Elyse Jackson of Clinton and junior midfielder Hannah Freeman of Lowville.
The Class B third team included senior defender Mayle Lupia-Eannace of HP, the fourth team included senior midfielder Sydni Dreimiller of Clinton and junior goalie Haedyn Roberts from HP, the fifth team included senior forward Hannah Bochniak of HP and the sixth team included sophomore goalie Caitlyn Williams of Clinton.
In Class C, Gabby Sylstra and Nicole Failing were named All-State First Team for Section III Champion Little Falls, along with senior goalie Allison Moreau of Sauquoit Valley . The Class C third team included senior midfielder Delaney Holohan from Cooperstown and the fifth team included LF senior midfielder Geena Morotti and senior goalie Charlotte Rodio of Frankfort-Schuyler.
In Class D, Section III co-champion Poland saw Leah Basel and Riley Wisheart named to the first team, while fellow Tornado, sophomore defender Amanda Sweet made the 3rd team.
The Class D fourth team included senior goalie Kayla Usborne of Madison and Poland’s senior forward Tayler Clark. Poland was unbeaten and dominant in 2018 and shared the Class D title with Cincinnatus but, like Clinton, lost the penalty kick shootout to Cincy and did not get to take its No. 1 state ranking to the state tourney.