Saturday Roundup: C-G girls lay claim to 1st Tri-County Cup title with dominant shutout of B-R, C-R falls to Olean in OT; GV/Belfast girls blank Section II’s Northville at Waterford-Halfmoon Tourney
By Chris Brooks, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
CUBA — Mother Nature was relentless all through the morning on Saturday. The rain, falling in a constant downpour. The thunder and lightning, crackling and booming. At one point, the Consolation game between Olean and host Cuba-Rushford was put on pause for nearly an hour until the weather subsided just enough to begin play.
The precipitation would begin to let up just in time to determine this year’s first-ever champion of the Tri-County Cup between either Canisteo-Greenwood or Bolivar-Richburg.
For much of the opening half, there was no score indicated on the board. But on the field, the Lady Chargers took complete advantage of everything they were presented with. After many cracks into the ice, there finally was a break with five minutes left to play, as Kadyn Piliero knocked in the game-opening goal in the waning minutes of the half.
With it, the momentum completely shifted into Canisteo-Greenwood’s favor permanently, as they went on to score two more quick goals in the second half to further cement their lead against the Lady Wolverines to become the inaugural Tri-County Cup champions with a 3-0 shutout.
The Lady Chargers navigated through the tough playing conditions with ease in the first half, as they controlled the majority of all aspects ranging from midfield play to applying pressure against the opposition. They would keep Bolivar-Richburg (2-2) pinned deep in their own defensive zone for an extended period of time until they were able to finally break the ice with five minutes left in the half on Piliero’s score off a Mya Rexford trap-pass just inside the Lady Wolverines box.
It would give the Lady Chargers a 1-0 lead and a ton of momentum to carry into the last 40 minute period, where they picked up right where they left off, as they advanced forward and scored two more quick goals courtesy of Rexford and Riley Winans to further cushion their lead to three, hanging onto it all the way to the finish line to claim the tournament’s top prize.
In-depth statistics for each team were not made available to report upon publication.
The Lady Wolverines are now off until Tuesday night back home to Dunsmore-Latimer Field, where they host Wellsville in a 5 p.m. first kick.
Prior to the tournament’s Championship game, the rain caused and wreaked havoc on the field between Olean and host Cuba-Rushford. The Lady Huskies however, despite it all, were able to put an early piece of capitalization onto the board to gain a lead they would not relieve for nearly the entire game.
That was until Cuba-Rushford’s most prime opportunity to flip the game on its head came in the final seconds, when a free kick allowed the Lady Rebels to force overtime. Holding all of the momentum going in, the Lady Huskies found a way to erase it all completely with a game-winning score from Molly DeRose just over four minutes into the period to claim third-place honors for the Section VI foes with a 2-1 win.
“I have to give our girls credit for the way they responded to Olean’s early goal. We fought pretty hard the rest of the game and created a ton of chances,” Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight said. “Cloey (Larabee) showed a lot of guys finishing that penalty kick with 25 seconds left. She was unlucky in overtime when she missed getting us the win by mere inches. I’m happy with how we played as a whole against a solid team. We just have to figure out our finishing around the goal.”
Olean wasted no time striking while the iron was hot right away in the first three minutes of the rain-filled war, as they collected the 1-0 lead over the Lady Rebels (1-2) they would hold onto for the foreseeable future with help from Leea Kopp.
Since the goal, the hosts in blue would continue to chip away at the Lady Huskies little by little with multiple opportunities to open up the field, as well as winning the midfield battle. All of the chipping would come full circle right at the very end of it all on an unfortunate handball committed by the Lady Huskies directly in front of their own cage, which would result in a penalty kick with 25 seconds left in regulation.
With the shot, Cloey Larabee elected to take it and without hesitation, she knocked it into the near corner behind the Olean keeper to tie the game at one, forcing extra time along the way.
The Lady Rebels continued to buzz around in the offensive zone, and after a series of excellent passes, the ball landed on Larabee’s doorstep once more about 20 yards from the Olean cage. With the ball in her possession, she then cannoned a kick that nearly sailed straight into the upper right-hand corner to end the game, ringing straight off the crossbar.
But with 4:49 left to play, the Lady Huskies through all of the duress, would find a way to alleviate the pressure after what was a game-saving attempt by Lilly Johnson-Clark in goal, slipped straight through her hands, allowing Molly DeRose to poke home the loose ball right out in front to capture the victory.
Both teams were nearly identical in the shot department, as Cuba-Rushford narrowly outshot Olean by the slimmest of margins, taking the 15-14 decision. In goal, Johnson-Clark made 13 saves.
Cuba-Rushford will now have a few days off from action until Thursday, when they head to Scio to partake in the annual Amy MacMichael Tournament.
GV/Belfast shuts out Section II’s Northville in Waterford-Halfmoon Tourney
WATERFORD — Right after school on Friday, Genesee Valley/Belfast hopped on the bus and drove four hours out to the eastern side of New York State to see some of the most fierce competition take center stage at Waterford-Halfmoon just outside of Albany for two of the most challenging days they will have this season.
Their first opponent on the docket Saturday afternoon was no slouch — Section II’s Northville, a team that has registered nearly 10 goals across their first two games of the season. On top of that, some of the most grueling conditions that took the area by storm at the same time.
But despite the hurdles, Genesee Valley/Belfast cleared them all to start their weekend off with a bang, as Kayla Wedge and Hannah Southwick-Powers both found the back of the net while the defense held Northville at a complete standstill across all 80 minutes to claim a fourth straight victory, their second in the form of a shutout in what was a 2-0 decision.
Wedge was the first to break the ice for Genesee Valley/Belfast (4-0), as she took full advantage of a cross straight in front of the Northville net provided by Southwick-Powers to jump ahead. Later on, Southwick-Powers would then find the back of the net herself from Whitney Young’s assistance, motoring into the offensive zone to let go of a perfect shot that extended their lead to a pair. Both goals were scored in the first 40 minutes of play.
The rest of the battle laid solely on the shoulders of the defense in the second half, which would allow just six Northville shots — all of which were stopped by Kimme Ball in net to record the shutout.
Genesee Valley/Belfast will look to finish their weekend perfectly with a 12:15 p.m. first kick against Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville of Section II.
Craig Lawrence Tourney Championship
Naples 2, Wellsville 0
COHOCTON — With a big 3-0 shutout over the defending Class D2 Champion Blue Devils of Mount Morris in the wagon, the Wellsville Lions were one step closer from returning home from the Craig Lawrence Memorial Tournament at the Cohocton Sports Complex with a perfect weekend in hand.
Standing in their way was another tough task of Section V prominence — the Naples Big Green.
And with it, Naples went on like lightning and struck twice against Wellsville to claim this year’s crown in shutout fashion, as they worked their way past the Lions with a 2-0 win.
Individual and team statistics were not made available to report upon publication.
Wellsville (1-3) will continue their road swing on Monday with a 7 p.m. visit to Fillmore.
Brock Young Tournament: C-R captures title in OT over And/Whi, B-R rolls in Consolation
SCIO — The Brock Young Tournament crown was officially up for grabs on a rainy Saturday night in Scio, and for the second straight game, it would feature the Rebels of Cuba-Rushford fighting for overtime glory.
After a thrilling victory over Bolivar-Richburg to earn their spot in the Championship game, the last obstacle in their way from the title was Andover/Whitesville, who entered the championship game with a full head of steam themselves.
Something had to give.
In the midst of a fast and physical battle across slippery surroundings, Cuba-Rushford and Andover/Whitesville managed to find the back of the net once, setting on a tie to force extra time to decide it all. With minimal time removed from the clock, a prime chance in primetime arose for the Rebels when a penalty inside the Andover/Whitesville box was called.
That would set up Robert Childs, who took care of business once and for all with his free kick to the back of the net, as Cuba-Rushford became this year’s Brock Young Tournament Champions in thrilling fashion, knocking off Andover/Whitesville with a tough, hard-fought 2-1 victory under the lights.
“This was a very hard-fought win for us. AWJT is a very fast and physical team, and they made us earn it tonight,” said Rebels coach Rob Wight. “This was our third game in four days, and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort my guys gave. Braxton Clark and Jake Elliott gave all they could in the midfield and Robert and Tanner (Lewis) created a lot of chances for us up top. Tanner is always giving 110% and it paid off tonight with his goal, and then drawing the penalty in OT.”
With a midfield battle consuming the first 10 minutes of play between both squads, the Rebels (2-2-1) would be the first team to reach the board behind the guidance of Tanner Lewis, who connected with Robert Childs with the ice-breaking finish at the 26:40 mark to claim the lead on Andover/Whitesville.
The lead was frozen intact for much of the second half and down to crunch time, but Andover/Whitesville (1-2) was able to navigate their path to the board with 13:01 left in regulation to tie the game, as Robert Bradley scored off a big helper dished along by Brody Vance.
In overtime, the game reached its conclusion when a crucial moment came to light deep in the Andover/Whitesville zone, when a penalty drawn by the Rebels was called inside the box. Just over two minutes removed off the clock, it would set up a game-winning penalty kick for Childs to take, sending it behind Skyler Orpet to officially clinch this year’s tournament championship.
“It was a great game that the boys played extremely well in,” AWJT coach Cody Borden said. “They’re starting to trend in the right way. That’s a solid Cuba team and our boys hung tough right with a Class C school. I’m extremely proud of our effort tonight, and I’m looking forward to how much more we can do this season.”
When it was all said and done, 34 combined shots were taken between both squads, with Cuba-Rushford holding the 20-14 advantage. In net, Alex Baron made 12 saves for the victory, while Orpet made 12 stops himself for Andover/Whitesville.
Prior to the Championship game, Bolivar-Richburg bounced back from their 1-0 overtime loss to the hands of Cuba-Rushford in a big way against host Friendship/Scio, as they scored a 10-2 victory to claim Consolation game honors. Stats were not made available to report upon publication.
In the coming days, all four participants in the annual tournament will return to action. Here’s a look at each team’s next game up on the schedule:
Cuba-Rushford: vs. Wellsville, next Saturday at 10 a.m.
Andover/Whitesville: vs. Hammondsport, Monday at 6 p.m. in Andover.
Bolivar-Richburg: at Genesee Valley/Belfast, Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Belfast.
Friendship/Scio: at Canisteo-Greenwood, Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 3, Keshequa 1
NUNDA — With a four-set loss to the hands of Houghton Academy now in the rearview mirror, Genesee Valley/Belfast wanted to make sure that their week was going to end on a positive note. 24 hours later at Keshequa, they did just that with a four-set victory of their own. But it was not easy by any means, as they took the 25-20, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22 victory Saturday morning.
“We had some better play and less errors, and it felt good to finally get that first win,” said GV/Belfast coach Darren Bradt. “They scrambled and got on the floor for a lot of plays, and didn’t give up on the longer rallies. Come Monday, it’s going to be time to get back to work if we want to keep getting better.”
Leading Genesee Valley/Belfast’s (1-2) path to success was Kendra Bigelow on the attack, as she posted eight kills to go with five aces. Madison McKenzie followed with six more kills to pair with three aces, while Cassidy Hand was busy up at the front of the net, handing out 14 assists to go with six aces to round off a stellar match of team service at the back line.
Up next, Genesee Valley/Belfast will pay a visit to the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.