The Daily Star
---- — Staff Report
Oneonta High’s Ben Gollin and Alex Fox have the golden touch.
For the second straight game, Gollin converted a pass from Fox in overtime to lead OHS to a victory in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference boys soccer playoffs.
On Friday, though, Gollin capped a 3-2 victory over host Corning to give the Yellowjackets their second STAC championship and first since 1985.
“We’ve been there a lot the last few years,” said OHS coach Alex Brannan, whose team has reached the STAC final three times in the last four seasons. “The other two times we lost to Vestal, so this is my first one as coach. I came in in 1985, but I must have coached junior varsity. Tom Duffy was still the varsity coach then.”
On Wednesday at Oneonta, Fox set up Gollin for the golden goal 13 seconds into overtime as the Yellowjackets beat Vestal, 4-3, in a STAC semifinal.
“This time it took a little longer,” said Brannan, who added Gollin’s goal Friday came less than two minutes into the extra period. “Wednesday, we got the kickoff and went down the field and scored. This time they got the kickoff and we had to get possession before we could go down the field and score.”
Eric Bischoff’s throw-in at the Corning end set up the winning goal. The ball came back out to Bischoff, who passed to Stijn van Pel. He found Fox, who sent a cross inside the box.
Brannan said Gollin reached the ball about 8 yards away from the goal and was pulled down by a defender but quickly got back to his feet.
“I thought we were going to have a penalty shot coming,” Brannan said. “Ben jumped right back up, however, and put it to the far post. I think maybe the goalie (Alex Goforth) thought he was not going to jump up so quick.”
Oneonta jumped to a 2-0 lead five minutes into the first half.
Connor Brown scored 20 seconds in, on a pass from Gollin, then set up Van Pel for the second goal.
Noco Summa converted a pass from Will Comfield about a minute later as Corning cut its deficit in half. Comfield followed with the equalizer, off a pass from Franco Summa, with 6:56 left in regulation.
“We were pushing hard to get that third goal,” Brannan said. “We had chances. Their goalie made a couple of great saves on shots by Stijn, Alex and Kragh (Delello). We just couldn’t score.”
Zach King made two saves for OHS, which finished with a 17-8 advantage in shots.
“Our goalie, even though he had just two saves, had a lot of crosses he cut off,” Brannan said. “Even though it doesn’t count as a save, if he doesn’t go out and get them, they go in the net. He was pretty active for having two saves.”
Oneonta (12-2) is seeded second for the upcoming Section Four Class B Tournament and has a bye for Tuesday’s first round. The Yellowjackets will host the winner of No. 6 Union Springs and No. 3 Dryden next Friday.
“We’ve played Dryden the last three or four years, so I have a good idea about them,” Brannan said. “I don’t know much about Union Springs, but I have a week to go.”
Cooperstown 16, M-E 0
Ryan McGuire, Isaac Gomez and Michael Rowley had two goals apiece as host Cooperstown thumped Morrisville-Eaton in a Center State Conference Division III game.
Max Clinton contributed four assists for the Redskins (14-2, 9-1), who earned a share of the CSC D-III title with Hamilton.
Cooperstown coach Frank Miosek said the seedings for the Section Three tournaments will be announced Sunday.
Windsor 14@DS | Breakhead:
Mat Robinson caught a two-point conversion pass from Brendan Lord with 47 seconds left as host Oneonta High earned its first victory of the season with a Section Four Football Conference Division III defeat of Windsor.
“I knew the kids wanted to go for it and I had confidence in the play – we work on it all the time,” said OHS coach Adam Hoover, whose Yellowjackets (1-7, 1-2) clinched a third-place finish in the four-team division while sending Windsor (3-5, 0-3) to the bottom.
“It was a do-or-die type of thing,” he continued. “I would be a disappointment if you lose, 14-13, but one way or the other, we wanted to end it right there.”
Lord hit Robinson, who kicked an extra point in the first quarter, between two defenders on a short slant over the middle for the winning points.
“I didn’t think that hard about kicking it,” Hoover said. “We worked hard all year and haven’t got some breaks. It was one of those things that as soon as we scored, I knew we were going for two.”
Lord set up the conversion attempt with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Joe Spataro on third-and-10.
“He had some time and he stepped up,” Hoover said of Lord, who completed 12 of 24 passes for 176 yards and was intercepted twice. “He was about to take off and would have gotten some yards, but he threw a bullet into the end zone. It was a 36-yard touchdown pass, but he was 8 yards back and Joe caught it another 5 yards into the end zone, so it was about a 50-yard pass.”
Lord opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the first quarter, and Robinson followed with the extra point.
Windsor took the lead in the third quarter when Josh Cady completed an 18-yard TD pass to Ben Riverva and hit him again on a two-point conversion pass for an 8-7 edge.
Darick Barlow made it 14-7 on a 23-yard TD run with 1:56 remaining, but James Longo knocked down the conversion pass.
“He made a heck of a play,” Hoover said of Longo. “If they made that conversion, the game was over.”
Skylar Thompson mishandled the ensuing kickoff as OHS started the final scoring drive at its 12-yard line. Thompson made up for the miscue, though, catching a 37-yard pass from Lord on the next play.
Thompson also came up big on a fourth-and-2 play at the Windsor 43, catching a pass from Matt Bitzer on a half-back option for a 7-yard gain. Lord followed with back-to-back incompletions before finding Spataro in the end zone to pull Oneonta to 14-13.
Thompson finished with 94 receiving yards on nine catches for the Jackets, who got 73 rushing yards from Sam Sherrill on 25 carries.
Isma’il Griffin amassed a game-best 110 rushing yards on 30 carries for the Black Knights, who received 50 passing yards on 3-for-13 passing from Cady.
Spataro (51 yards) and Robinson (37) had two catches apiece for Oneonta, which will play a non-division game next weekend. Hoover said he believed OHS would be traveling to Susquehanna Valley for a Saturday game, “but it’s not set in stone yet.”
Unatego 46, END 8
Tyler Butler had three rushing touchdowns and two passing to lead Unatego to a road victory in a Section Four Class D quarterfinal.
Unatego (6-2) advanced to a semifinal against top-seeded Tioga, which beat Walton, 33-8, on Friday. No information on the Walton-Tioga game was available at press time.
Elmira Notre Dame took an 8-6 lead Aaron Carson’s 3-yard touchdown run to cap a long drive in the second quarter.
“They had a good drive,” said Unatego coach Frank Microni, who added the semifinal may be played next Friday or Saturday in Binghamton. “It took up a lot of the first quarter and half of the second quarter. After that, we tightened up and played a lot better on defense.”
Butler followed with TD runs of 56 and 6 yards as the Spartans scored the last six touchdowns. Butler and David VanAlstine each finished with 115 rushing yards, and Kevin Thayer contributed 50 more.
“We’re real lucky,” Microni said. “Kevin is a real under-center power-runner while David and Tyler are high speed, read-option guys. We can beat you running either way. We’re not one-dimensional in that aspect.”
Microni said he has three films on Tioga and expects them to be very physical.
“They are a Walton-type team,” he said. “They have two hard backs with speed and their line is very disciplined. We played two games like that, against Chenango Forks and then Sidney. I think we improved from the Forks game to the Sidney game. So we hope to improve this week, too, and handle a bit of their power with our speed.”
Cooperstown 1, NH 0
Maggie Hall’s penalty kick six minutes into the second half stood as Cooperstown (8-7) won a first-round game in the Sauquoit Valley Tournament.
After starting the season 0-5, the Redskins have won eight of their last 10 games heading into next week’s Section Three tournament. Cooperstown coach Jennifer Pindar said seedings will be announced Sunday and she expects her team to be “somewhere in the middle.”
Hall was awarded the penalty kick after a New Hartford defender used her hands to stop a shot by Julie Dykstra.
“It definitely was going to go in,” Pindar said. “The referee told me he made a delayed call because he thought we still might get it in the goal.”
Katie Kleban made 17 saves for the Redskins, who were outshot, 20-5.
“Katie kept us in the game,” Pindar said. “They had the advantage in the first half, and Katie made some big saves.
“In the second half, we got the penalty kick pretty quick and then all the momentum changed,” she continued. “We were able to drop the defense back and keep the ball out of our half of the field.”
Cooperstown will play Sauquoit Valley or Ilion at 6 p.m. Saturday for the tournament title.
Afton 2, Walton 1
Victoria Lent made three saves in a shootout as Afton won a penalty-stroke round, 3-1, to earn a decisive point for a Section Four victory on the road Wednesday.
Lent finished regulation and two sudden-victory overtimes with two saves for the Crimson Knights (9-7), who got a second-half goal from Shakari Cross en route to a victory in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Jess Fisher converted a pass from Kiley Lamoreaux with 14 minutes left in the first half to give Walton (9-7) a 1-0 lead.
Katrina Kilmer stopped six shots for the Warriors, who will compete in the first round of sectionals Thursday.
Marathon 4, Sidney 1
Hannah Wood scored a second-half goal, but Sidney dropped a Section Four match on the road Wednesday.
Kelsey Decker stopped 24 shots for the Warriors (8-7, 7-3), who were outshot, 28-4.
Sidney 3, Delhi 0
Jillian Young had nine aces and Paige Redmond contributed 11 assists as host Sidney earned a 25-16, 25-9, 25-18 victory in the Midstate Athletic Conference.
Sherra Bedrend had 12 assists for Delhi, which received nine digs from Colleen Byam.
Sidney (11-4, 8-2) is at Harpursville on Monday, when Delhi visits Bainbridge-Guilford.