By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
Tuesday Roundup: PK by Hill, insurance from Turybury paces No. 7 GV/Belfast towards Quarters with 2-0 blank of No. 10 Avo/Pra; Lady Lions fall in Play-In, B-R & C-R girls capture 1st round wins
BELFAST — It has been highly lauded by many sports fans as one of the best times of the year. The Fall season — there honestly isn’t anything quite like it. Especially this year.
On the professional level: The return of football, hockey and basketball, playoff baseball is now in full swing and in one month from now, the World Cup will be getting underway overseas, in Qatar.
A divine, and impeccable slate to deliver some sports euphoria, isn’t it? But as we minimize more locally in our neck of the woods in our Allegany County as far as competition is concerned, you can add a little bit more to that global equation to sweeten the sports pot, if you will.
Tuesday night was as chilly and misty of a Fall night as you could expect for the hunt for playoff glory to begin. After spending the last month plus on writing down goals, battling and garnering for position, marking their territory across Section V and preparing for what lies ahead in the autumn epilogue, it was “win or go home” season.
Ah yes, Sectionals have returned.
With three additional soccer games seeing the Wellsville, Bolivar-Richburg and Cuba-Rushford girls beginning their second season travels around the area, the journey for the boys soccer side would begin at the Rich Sullivan Complex in Belfast where No. 7 Genesee Valley/Belfast went to battle with No. 10 Avoca/Prattsburgh for the second and final time this year.
Back at the very beginning of the month, on Homecoming for the United squad, it was one of those games where they would have to try and ward off their opposition. Although the scoring chances mounted up in a hurry, Genesee Valley/Belfast was able to do that behind Evan Turybury’s guidance in their 2-1 victory over the Titans.
18 days later, a bit of a different story.
While Genesee Valley/Belfast was able to find the back of the net first again against the Titans, they made sure this time around that Avoca/Prattsburgh would not reach the board.
With an early penalty called against the Titans in the first half, it was an opportunity that the hosts in black and white would not allow to slip by, as they broke the ice tremendously with a crucial penalty kick to take the lead. When the second half came around, they looked to Evan Turybury one more time to lock it down with a massive piece of insurance to ensure their lead, as they went on to knock off Avoca/Prattsburgh with a 2-0 shutout to move onto the Class D1 Quarterfinal round.
“We played sound defense all night tonight. The defense has been playing solid for most of this year, and it all came down to it being a matter of scoring the goals and buckling down right now,” said GV/Belfast coach Mark Sullivan. “It was a great combined win from everyone out there. They were excited to give this team their first win together as one since the merger. We took that next step forward in Sectionals after being knocked out of the first round last year.”
It would begin to unfold for Genesee Valley/Belfast (7-6-4) through some early battling with Avoca/Prattsburgh across the midfield. Battling that would see an intensification of competitive physicality as time went on. It would also lead towards the game’s first gigantic chance to break the ice just past half way after a Titans penalty inside their own box set up a free kick to be taken by the hosts.
With Justin Hill electing to take the chance, it would not go to waste, striking it towards the far right post past Chris Ruest and in for the early 1-0 lead.
It would hold through into the second half where a massive piece of insurance was accounted for by Evan Turybury, as he jarred the ball free in the middle of a scrum in front of the Avoca/Prattsburgh net, prying it free with his back heel and then fired it home moments later for the huge extension that they would comfortably hold until the horn ended the battle, clinching a spot in Friday’s Quarterfinals.
The two goals were a part of a nine-shot display by the Genesee Valley/Belfast offense, while the defense in turn held Avoca/Prattsburgh to just four. Thai Norasethaporn would make all four stops to pick up the Sectional-starting shutout in goal, while Ruest made seven saves for the Titans on the other end. The season is over for the visiting No. 10 seeds, as they wrap up the 2022 campaign with a record of 5-12 overall.
Genesee Valley/Belfast now moves into the Class D1 Quarterfinal round, which will begin early for them on Friday, departing school early for a 3 p.m. visit to take on the No. 2 seeded Harley Allendale-Columbia Wolves.
Class B2 Play-In
No. 7 Dansville 4, No. 10 Wellsville 1
DANSVILLE — For many teams in the Class B2 playoffs, their spots for the Quarterfinal round this weekend were already secured. But for the Lady Lions of Wellsville, they found themselves having to fight for one of the final spots remaining in one of the bracket’s Play-In games on the road, Tuesday night in Dansville.
Across the first 40 minutes of play, the No. 10 seeds gave the No. 7 Lady Mustangs everything they could handle, despite falling into an early deficit just over 10 minutes into the game. Down by a goal at the break, it would give them a chance to make their move ahead of them.
As for Dansville, they would deny that chance.
In the last 40 minute session, it was used by the Lady Mustangs to cushion their lead. Right from the opening kick, they held all momentum and control, using it to deliver three more goals in a span of 12 minutes to push the advantage out insurmountably despite a late Lady Lions goal to end the shutout, as they rolled towards victory by a 4-1 count to end Wellsville’s season.
“It was a great game. 1-0 at halftime, we gave Dansville a fight,” said Lady Lions coach Erica Aftuck. “We knew going into this year that this was going to be a bit of a building year. I’m very proud of every girl on this team. They worked hard all season long, and they never gave up on themselves or each other. The future looks bright for Wellsville Lady Lions soccer.”
Dansville made their mark with the game’s icebreaker just past the 10 minute mark of the game, leading an odd-man rush into the Wellsville (1-15-1) zone with Megan Tyler charging down the sidelines with possession. With it, she would squib over a pass to her left where Ellie Mountzouros met it with a one-timer into the net.
Although the lead was held, the Lady Lions would keep pace with the Lady Mustangs minute-for-minute until the end of the first half to keep the offense frozen in their tracks, going into the break.
But the hosts in red and black would then run the table in the first 12 minutes of the second half, as Tyler, Chelsie Tyler and Aynsley Belcher all recorded goals to further the team’s cause, pushing the Dansville lead out to four before the Lady Lions netted their final goal of the season on a rush into the zone with 10 minutes remaining, as Mackenzie Cowburn put away a far post shot after a send-in from Carissa White near the sidelines.
The shot was one of eight shots the Lady Lions had applied against Dansville, as the Lady Mustangs outshot their opposition by a 23-8 count. In goal, Madison Thompson made 17 saves for Wellsville.
The season is over for the Lady Lions, as they wrap up their campaign with a record of 1-15-1 overall. The majority of the team will be back for another go-around next season, as the team says goodbye to just two seniors — Jasmine Wentzl and Pearl Brizzee at year’s end, as they depart for Graduation this upcoming June.
Class C2 First Round
No. 7 Bolivar-Richburg 3, No. 10 Red Creek 1
COHOCTON — Without a doubt, the Harris siblings are the engine that makes Bolivar-Richburg go. It’s been the case time and time again, all season. When their first entry into the Sectional journey began its illustration on Tuesday, the Senior starlets made all the noise they possibly could on the attack.
Both McKinlee and Madigan Harris had a hand in all three goals that the seven-seeds would find the back of the net with against No. 10 Red Creek, each scoring once while handing out an assist along the way to propel the Lady Wolverines towards a triumphant start to their Class C2 journey with a 3-1 win over the Lady Rams at the Cohocton Sports Complex.
Bolivar-Richburg (9-8) would hone in on a 2-0 lead after the first 40 minutes of play, with McKinlee getting the goal-scoring started with the game’s icebreaker, connecting off a feed surfed along by Allison Zilker near midfield, racing in towards the Red Creek goal alone for the score.
Adding to it, was Raegan Giardini, who branched out the advantage at the break to a pair with the team’s next connection off a pass crossed along by Madigan. The team’s final goal would come in the second half, as the siblings interchanged on the scoring opportunity, as McKinlee helped along a pass to Madigan to finish off, adding one final piece of insurance on the board to secure the team’s victory.
Further in-depth statistics were not made available to report upon publication.
The Lady Wolverines are back on the field in Quarterfinal round action Friday night at a time to be announced, as they begin preparations to go up against second-seeded powerhouse Marion.
No. 8 Cuba-Rushford 5, No. 9 Bradford/Dundee 0
CUBA — A little over after the final bell inside the school, the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford made their way outback to the field to battle No. 9 Bradford/Dundee to kick off their second season. And it was a game that they couldn’t have asked for a better start for.
The spark plug that gave the eight-seeded Lady Rebels an extra jolt of electricity came right away, scoring back-to-back goals in just 50 seconds to open the game — three first half goals in all being scored in a span of six minutes to knock the door down on what was a brilliant 5-0 shutout.
“We created a lot of chances right away, and we finished well right from the first whistle. I was really pleased with how we passed and moved the ball. Credit to Tara (Duvall), she really helped us out big time in the net, and our defense kept two of their great goal-scorers in check all game.” said Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight.
Fran Childs and Sofia Riquelme would go back-to-back for Cuba-Rushford (9-7-1) in the opening 10 minutes after the kick at center, with Childs getting on the board first with her tally stemming off a direct kick in the Bradford/Dundee zone. Riquelme would follow up 50 seconds later with an extension off of the first of two assists Cloey Larabee would dish out to set up shop, immediately clinching a 2-0 lead to work with.
Adding to it to close out a dominant first half was Taylor Searle, who was provided a pass from Larabee at the 27:51 mark of the half, rocketing that shot into the goal for the 3-0 lead.
Riquelme would contribute more to her resume in the second half by putting a bow on her hat trick with the team’s last two goals, grabbing a pass from Searle for her second in the early stages before closing it out on the strongest of notes with 90 seconds left to play with her last.
All five goals came on 11 shots while the defense held Bradford/Dundee to just six shots back the other way. In net, Tara Duvall was strong in between the posts, making all six saves for the shutout victory — one that would award the Lady Rebels a second straight winning season, officially.
Cuba-Rushford now advances into the Class C2 Quarterfinal round, which is set to begin Friday night, as they prepare to spar with top-seeded Byron-Bergen over the road at a time to be announced.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 3, Archbishop Walsh 0
OLEAN — After a straight-set sweep defeat to the hands of Wellsville the previous night, Genesee Valley/Belfast would leave it in the rearview mirror back over the road on Tuesday and come away with a victory in hand at Archbishop Walsh, as they swept the host Lady Eagles by a 25-15, 25-13, 25-20 count to return home triumphant.
Leading the charge for Genesee Valley/Belfast (2-15) was Raygen Haggstrom and Madison McKenzie, as they both scored four team-leading kills on the attack, with Haggstrom chipping in four aces from the back line, while McKenzie had two more to pitch in herself. The team’s setter in Cassidy Hand provided six more aces, coupling them with five assists at the front and two more kills.
Up next, Genesee Valley/Belfast will welcome in the Houghton Academy Lady Panthers for a 6 p.m. first serve back inside the Jungle on Thursday.
Photo gallery by Chris Brooks: