Tuesday Sectionals: In game of chances, No. 11 Mt. Morris upsets No. 6 GV/Belfast in PKs after scoreless tie; No. 12 Lady Lions stick with No. 5 Penn Yan, but late Lady Mustangs goal cements 3-1 win
By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com
BELFAST — If you were one of many spectators in attendance at the Rich Sullivan Complex in Belfast on Tuesday, let’s just say you got your money’s worth of admission. And then some.
Sectionals had arrived in full force, and while the majority of the teams in action hit the road for battle, the spotlight was on Genesee Valley/Belfast and their opening round battle in Class D play against defending Class D2 champion, No. 11 Mount Morris. Between the two squads, an unreal whirlwind worked its way across the pitch.
As time progressed on, the chances each team would accumulate over time from start to finish, were outstanding. From multiple corner kicks, to breakaway opportunities, to potential game-breaking plays being set up on the fly, the opportunities were absolutely endless. But somehow through it all, Mount Morris and Genesee Valley/Belfast would need not one, but both sets of extra time to settle a score that remained without one on the board.
Even more chances to try and end the game on both sides came into fruition, but after 30 final minutes of soccer, a scoreless tie — the third deadlock for Genesee Valley/Belfast this season, would become the end result.
A chance to continue their Sectional journey hung in the balance like never before, as the action swiftly advanced towards penalty kicks. A stage where the tension was at an all-time high and the moment in the limelight was no brighter.
When it was all said and done, the grand total of rounds in the penalty kick session was seven, as each team connected with three goals through the first five rounds, forcing extra shooters to step up in the sudden victory stage of the 1-on-1 battle. After a 4-4 tie was reached and both shooters in the sixth round saw their shots by their opposing netminder, it would come down to a monumental seventh round.
One more score would make all the difference. And at the end of the night, a thrilling war in the opening stage of the Class D playoffs marked its conclusion.
Mount Morris has both Robbie Lonsberry and Aidan Stanley to thank for that, as Lonsberry posted the go-ahead tally on a laser beam past Kyle McCumiskey to the left side of the cage to take the lead. To ensure that the lead would remain glued together, Stanley stuck his two big mitts out against Wyatt Weaver and provided one final save to clinch the Blue Devils the upset victory over Genesee Valley/Belfast, as the defending Sectional champions overcame all the adversity in the world to record a 4-3 win in penalty kicks to move onto this weekend’s Quarterfinal round.
The chances would come raining down across the first half of play between both teams, with Mount Morris taking firm control of the possession while pinning Genesee Valley/Belfast (8-6-3) deep in their own zone. But the hosts in black were able to escape the grasp of the Blue Devils with a pair of back-to-back wide-open crosses directly in front of the Mount Morris cage, both slid along by Evan Turybury on the run.
Both attempts from Hunter Newman could not be capitalized upon, as the Blue Devils were able to clear the zone right away. In turn, the visitors in white and blue saw two different chances themselves formulate, both hitting a piece of the Genesee Valley/Belfast cage itself before Kyle McCumiskey was able to get his mitts on a third follow-up chance to clear the zone.
In the next session of 40 minutes, the script was flipped by Genesee Valley/Belfast, as they assumed control over the majority of play in the second half against Mount Morris. The No. 6 seeds would continue to knock and knock ever so loudly at the door of opportunity, with their biggest in the early stages stemming off a Thayne Cobb second touch up the middle to Turybury in front of him, firing a shot that was redirected towards the post and out of the zone.
Cobb continued to pummel the Mount Morris cage himself with two more monstrous chances against Mount Morris, with the last seeing him positioned perfectly in front of the net to take a redirection off the back and into the net. But that was before a humongous call in front of the Blue Devils cage negated the potential ice-breaking score and saw the defense clear the zone.
The pressure between both teams ramped up when the two 15-minute sessions of overtime approached, as Genesee Valley/Belfast kept pushing Mount Morris towards the edge with another fine chance to strike gold in front. After a pass from Ian McKenzie straight up to Turybury on the run, Stanley was forced out of his cage to provide a challenge on the ball, galloping his way to the top of the box to meet and collide with Turybury that ultimately created a loose ball in front of an empty Blue Devils cage.
McKenzie was able to race in time to improvise a second chance on the ball, but somehow, Mount Morris and their defense was able to regroup in the nick of time to clear the zone away in the final 15-minute period of the game, as both teams settled on a scoreless tie to put towards a penalty kick session where “win or go home” meant everything.
Through the first six rounds of the penalty kick session, both teams would match one another across the board, with both shooters scoring goals in rounds one, three and five to record a 3-3 tie going into sudden victory penalty kicks.
After misses in a scoreless sixth round, it would all come down to Lonsberry’s first attempt in extra kicks for the Blue Devils — one opportunity he would not allow to slip away from his grasp, as he connected with a rocket straight past McCumiskey to the left side of the cage to record the 4-3 lead.
The game now hung on the shoulders of Wyatt Weaver for Genesee Valley/Belfast, as they looked to match Mount Morris’ marker one last time to continue play.
But with his mitts, Aidan Stanley was able to make one more outstanding save in goal for the No. 11 seeds to finish off their upset victory of Genesee Valley/Belfast in dramatic fashion.
With a shutout being awarded to both sides at the end of the night, it was a night of offense that Genesee Valley/Belfast absolutely controlled from all angles, as they outshot Mount Morris by a 21-6 total count.
In goal, Kyle McCumiskey recorded all six stops for the hosts.
Genesee Valley/Belfast’s season has officially reached its conclusion, as they wrap up with a record of 8-6-3 overall. The team will witness seven seniors walk across the stage for graduation later this year, including McCumiskey, Cobb, Chris Weaver, Matt Cater, Sean Mahon, Owen Heaney and Jayden Beckwith.
No. 7 Marion 5, No. 10 Houghton Academy 2
COHOCTON — Right after a lengthy first half midfield battle that spanned across the opening 20 minutes, the action began to ramp up at the Cohocton Sports Complex. One after another, the goals began to find their way into the back of the net, with three of them coming in a span of just over six minutes.
All of those were tallied by No. 7 Marion, as the Black Knights set the tone immediately against No. 10 Houghton Academy from that point forward, as they maintained their cushion on the Panthers and took complete control of the field from start to finish, claiming a spot in this weekend’s Class D Quarterfinal round with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday.
“We didn’t have enough juice to find a way to score past them,” said Panthers coach Jeff Prentice. “Marion is a fast team, and they’re pretty skilled with the ball. They have a couple of quality players that dominate the midfield, and their counter-attack was outstanding. We weren’t able to match the speed they gave us. They attacked our edges really well, and they kept us on our feet the whole game.”
Crossing into the 19-minute mark left in the first half, the Black Knights gradually turned up the heat on Houghton Academy (6-10-1) with their offensive pressure, with Ethan Welch paving the way with his first of two goals to break the ice. The score would remain frozen until Welch found the back of the net with his second of the game — the first of back-to-back scores for the Black Knights in a span of 17 seconds, with the latter coming from Mitchell Hendricks to branch their lead to 3-0.
Despite the first half hole, the Panthers were able to find some relief towards the end with 10 seconds remaining with a foul against the Black Knights that set them up right in front of the net. With the indirect kick, Jack Prentice shipped the ball off to Josh Davidson to cut their deficit down to a pair going into the break.
But it was as close as the team in gray and blue were able to get to Marion, as the Black Knights branched their lead back out two more times in between Ricky Song’s marker just past midway for the Panthers off a pass from Davidson, with Hendricks’ second marker putting a wrap on the victory and a spot in this weekend’s Quarterfinal round.
The five goals by Marion were connected off 27 total shots, as they outshot Houghton Academy by a 27-8 count. In goal, Marco Zanini and Wes Davidson combined to record 22 saves for the Panthers.
The season is officially over for Houghton Academy, as they wrap up their 2023 campaign with a record of 6-10-1 overall. The team will graduate five seniors in all, including Zanini, as he joins Wes Davidson, James Adenuga, Francis Chen and Jack Qi in walking across the stage later this year.
“We’re kind of a young team up the middle, and we had our ups and downs along with some injuries we had to fight along the way,” Prentice said. “We had to do a lot of moving around with some parts, and the guys did their best they could playing in some new positions. The seniors are a great group of guys that worked hard this year, especially Marco, who’s been here the last few years as our leader in goal.”
No. 8 C.G. Finney 7, No. 9 Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg 3
COHOCTON — Although Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg fell behind the eight-ball after the first 40 minutes closed up, they simply never quit.
On the adjacent field alongside Houghton Academy and their game against Marion at the Cohocton Sports Complex, the No. 9 seeds fought back against No. 8 C.G. Finney down the stretch, closing the gap to as little as one at one point.
But the Falcons were able to provide a big finish to close out their victory that awaited at the final horn, as they scored three unanswered markers in the last 10 minutes of play to pull away towards a 7-3 victory on Tuesday in opening round action in the Class D bracket.
C.G. Finney opened up the scoring right away in the game’s opening sequences and continued to build onto their first half foundation with three big goals to set the tone on Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg (7-10) — all set up by Octavio Gefell, who scored twice in between a helper dished out to Ethan Snavely.
But the No. 9 seeds came back with a quick strike of their own to open the window in the second half, as Robert Bradley took advantage of the opportunity he was given by Ronaldo Vasquez, scoring just over a minute after the kick at midfield to cut the deficit to a pair.
After the Falcons got their three-goal lead back again 10 minutes later, Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg kept chipping away as much as they could, closing the gap to one with a pair of goals in six minutes past the midway mark, as Kaiden Miller connected with a score of his own off a Vasquez pass, while Bradley tallied his second of the game from Brody Vance with 13:24 left to play.
With a 4-3 lead and little room to maneuver, the Falcons had to act quickly with the visitors in white hot on their trail. Past 10 minutes remaining in the contest, they would do just that, garnering all the room they needed to stay out in front for good with three unanswered scores — two more from Gefell to complete a four-goal night on offense, and the team’s filling of a Quarterfinal vacancy this weekend.
Despite the defeat, Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg was able to edge their way towards a 13-11 advantage in the shot department. In between the posts, Derek Perkins made four saves in net for the No. 9 seeds.
The season is now over for Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg, as they wrap up their campaign with a record of 7-10 overall. At the end of the school year, the team will graduate four seniors in Bradley, Miller, Perkins and Austin VanCuren.
“The boys had a great year winning our League and setting the tone for the future of this program,” said AWJT coach Cody Borden. “I’m extremely proud of everything we’ve accomplished and I look forward to seeing a lot of these boys come back next year. I’m also extremely sad to see Derek, Robert, Kaiden and Austin leave, but I know they will accomplish great things as they continue their senior year onto their next life adventure.”
No. 2 Fillmore 13, No. 15 Friendship/Scio 0
FILLMORE — The Class D State Title defense is now officially on for the Eagles of Fillmore. On Tuesday, there was no bigger step forward they could take than with an opening round victory against No. 15 Friendship/Scio, as the two-seeds saw 10 different contributors record at least a point to set up a 13-0 win on their home field.
“We were able to put together a top-notch effort tonight to get things rolling in Sectional play. Anytime you can get eight different goal-scorers, and 10 different guys to earn a point, you know things are clicking for you as a unit,” Eagles coach Jarrett Vosburg said. “With a group as young as Friendship/Scio, there’s a lot to be said for simply showing up and competing like they did tonight. The best days are ahead for many players on that team. We accomplished our goals tonight of getting our feet moving, playing solid two-touch soccer and playing for each other.”
Layton Sanasith paved the way for the Fillmore (17-0) offense with four goals, three of them in the first half of play to complete his hat trick. Henry Sardina and Zach Sisson each followed with a pair of goals and a helper to further the team’s cause.
In addition, Eben Schilke scored once and handed out three helpers, while Noah Strickland, Jack Cool, Isaiah Sisson and Carson Sanasith all had a goal and assist each. Rounding off was Kalen Beardsley and Nolan Krzeminski, as both Eagles recorded one assist.
In net, Brayden Hennard and Ryan Vedder combined to record the shutout.
The season rolls on for Fillmore on Friday, as they return to their home field to face No. 7 Marion for the second time this season in the Class D Quarterfinal round, beginning at 7 p.m.
As for Friendship/Scio, their season comes to a close, finishing with a record of 2-15 overall. The team will graduate three seniors in Greg Wesche, Tyler Nickerson and Ky Babyak.
Class B First Round
No. 5 Penn Yan 3, No. 12 Wellsville 1
PENN YAN — Despite relinquishing a pair of goals towards the tail end of the opening half, the No. 12 Lady Lions of Wellsville battled tough on the defensive end with No. 5 Penn Yan all game long.
They were within reach after an early tally in the second half’s opening sequences allowed them to knife their deficit straight down the middle all the way down to the wire. But when crunch time settled in, the host Lady Mustangs made sure that prime opportunity did not slip away, as they cemented their lead back out to a pair of goals with under 10 minutes remaining to end Wellsville’s season in the opening round of Class B playoff play on Tuesday with a 3-1 win.
“We played tough, fast and aggressive all game long,” said Lady Lions coach Erica Aftuck. “We put the pressure on, offensively and defensively. We had some opportunities to score, but we just couldn’t find a way to get that one goal that we needed to shift the momentum a little bit. But despite the outcome, I am so very proud of every girl on the team. They gave it their all tonight.”
Two quick scores just past the midway mark helped break open a fairly defensive battle across the midfield between both teams, as Penn Yan got on the board first with a 2-0 lead off markers from Irelynd Densmore and Maihue Miranda Wiltberger in a span of four minutes, holding the advantage straight into the break.
But the Lady Lions (5-11-1) responded with a rapid response in return upon their reappearance onto the field, as Talia O’Connor scored nearly four minutes into the second half to cut Penn Yan’s advantage in half. After the goal, Wellsville was able to keep the pressure up against the Lady Mustangs for much of the second half, providing even more chances to try and tie the game.
But with 9:58 left on the clock, the Lady Mustangs cemented their lead permanently with a big marker from Ruby Berry to officially end Wellsville’s season on the pitch.
The Lady Mustangs held a 16-9 shot advantage against the Lady Lions on the attack when it was all said and done. In goal, Lydia Kaye set aside 13 shots she faced for the visitors in white and orange.
Wellsville’s 2023 campaign is officially history, as they wrap up with a record of 5-11-1 overall. The Lady Lions will bid farewell to seven seniors at the end of the school year in Lauren Viglietta, Makenzie Cowburn, Madison Thompson, Hailey Lanphier, Edahlia Sebastian, Kaylie Fuller and Kaitlyn Carpenter.
“We battled all season long. We played some tough teams, but if we didn’t see them during the season, we would not have been prepared for tonight,” Aftuck said. “This group of girls love soccer, and you could see it in each and every game. They never gave up on themselves and each other, and that allowed us to score more goals and win more games. That’s a big win for us to carry into next year.”
Class C2 First Round
No. 6 Geneseo 7, No. 11 Cuba-Rushford 0
GENESEO — Madeline Mark had a hand in six of Geneseo’s seven total markers that found the back of the Cuba-Rushford net on Tuesday, scoring four of them herself whilst dishing out a pair of assists along the way to propel the No. 6 Lady Blue Devils and their red hot offense towards opening round success in Class C2 play, skyrocketing past the No. 11 Lady Rebels with a 7-0 shutout at home.
The Geneseo offense was able to connect right off the bat with a marker in the first three minutes of play against Cuba-Rushford (7-9-1), setting the tone for big things in the first half to claim what would be a 4-0 lead going into the break. While the attack continued to keep their pistons firing on all cylinders, the defense held down the fort with an outstanding performance back the other way, holding the Lady Rebels to just three shots.
In all, the Lady Blue Devils claimed a 24-3 advantage in the shot department against the visitors in white and blue.
In between the posts, Lilly Johnson-Clark made 17 saves for the Lady Rebels.
The season is over for Cuba-Rushford, as their 2023 campaign wraps up with a 7-9-1 record overall. The Lady Rebels will say goodbye to just three seniors at the end of the school year in Shae Maples, Sydney Howard and Harlie Jones.
“We gained some really valuable experience this year for what is really a pretty young team with only three seniors,” Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight said. “We played some tough games down to the wire against some good teams, and we had some games where we showed that we can really put the ball in the goal. These are things we will take away now, and hopefully continue to build on towards next season.”
No. 4 Byron-Bergen 9, No. 13 Bolivar-Richburg 0
CALEDONIA — No. 4 Byron-Bergen was at the very top of their game from start to finish, as they opened up their Class C2 journey on a monstrous footnote against No. 13 Bolivar-Richburg, witnessing six different goal-scorers all find the back of the net to set up what was a 9-0 shutout at Caledonia-Mumford, Tuesday night.
The tone was set by the Lady Bees after the first 10 minutes of play, as they quickly established their ground with a pair of goals near the midway mark to claim their advantage against the Lady Wolverines, building it towards what was a 4-0 halftime advantage that they never looked back on.
While the offense continued to hit all strides, the defense allowed just one Bolivar-Richburg (4-12) shot on goal, as they cemented their spot in this weekend’s Quarterfinal stage.
In goal, Caitlyn Steiner made 25 saves for the Lady Wolverines.
Bolivar-Richburg’s campaign has officially closed up, as they conclude with a record of 4-12 overall. The team will graduate four seniors, including Steiner, as she joins Sarah Perkins, Claire Pangburn and Kylee Gruber for Graduation later this school year.