F-M girls soccer run ends in first-ever state Class AA final

first_imgTears mixed with smiles, sadness blended in with gladness – those were the mixed emotions everyone associated with the Fayetteville-Manlius girls soccer program felt on Sunday afternoon at the end of an historic season.True, the Hornets had lost, 1-0, to Monroe-Woodbury in the state Class AA championship game at SUNY-Cortland, and there was plenty of disappointment in not capturing the last and most important prize.But there was also plenty of good feelings, too. Never before had an F-M girls soccer team made it this far, and the mere fact that it did was something to celebrate, now and in the future. Once in Cortland, F-M’s character revealed itself again in a tense, competitive state semifinal Saturday against Long Island powerhouse Massapequa, where it took the best shot of the Chiefs and answered well, claiming a 2-1 victory.Having won six previous state championships, Massapequa had far more good history at this level, but F-M didn’t blink, getting on the board less than six minutes into the game thanks to an impressive goal by eighth-grader Morgan Goodman, who took a pass from Lauren Clark and drilled a left-footed shot into the net.The Chiefs tied it 1-1 in the 16th minute on Gianna Savella’s goal, and would possess the ball for long stretches, testing F-M’s defense. Laura Bonomo, Haley Ingram, Alora MIller, Ryann Dauksza and the rest of the back line held up well, and Ingram even made a save in goal early in the second half when Sydney Mahr briefly let the game.With the issue still in doubt in the 59th minute, F-M pulled off a decisive play with some great footwork from Hannah Knych, who took the ball off the end line and crossed to the middle, where Clark, whose four goals had carried the Hornets past Bethlehem, put home the go-ahead goal.To hang on from there, F-M needed a big save from Mahr with 10:20 left and more strong defense, and now found itself in new territory for the championship game, a place that Monroe-Woodbury knew well, having won it all in 2018.The Crusaders, off its own 2-1 state semifinal win over Clarence, were technically sound and, throughout the first half of the state final, had the majority of the possession. M-W nearly scored late in the first half, but had a chance off a corner kick careen off the crossbar.Despite a counterattacking approach, F-M still earned a fair share of corner kicks and free kicks, yet could not do much with them against the Crusaders, Anna Hartzheim having a free kick in the waning seconds of the first half go right to goalie Angela Fini.Ultimately, the game turned on a sequence of events that began in the 51st minute when Goodman found herself wide-open with a point-blank chance to put F-M in front, only to have Fini save it.Seconds later, Goodman left the game with an injury on a play F-M thought was a foul that merited a penalty kick. Nothing was called, and on the other end a turnover gave M-W the ball, Katherine Mullins passing it to the middle, where Josephine Sorce pushed a shot past Mahr.In the remaining 25-plus minutes, F-M had plenty of runs, yet kept getting turned back, and as time wound down it played the same possession game it had earlier, locking up back-to-back state titles.Having finished its best season in program history 19-2, F-M will perhaps rue the missed chances in the final game, but not forget just how much was accomplished.“Looking at the whole picture, it was a phenomenal season,” said Ostrander. “These girls made history.”Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story “I couldn’t ask for a better group of young women,” said head coach Brent Ostrander. “They’re so competitive and so dedicated to this program, and right to the end we gave it our all.”Indeed, without that heart and spirit, there was no way the Hornets could have made it anywhere near this point. It had shown itself through a tough regular-season slate where F-M went 15-1, and continued to grow through a run to a second consecutive Section III title.And that resolve had allowed the Hornets to rally from an overtime deficit to edge Bethlehem in the AA regional final, avenging a 2018 defeat to the Eagles in this same round and bringing F-M to the state final four.center_img Tags: F-Mgirls soccerlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *