Tuesday Roundup: In downpouring rain, Giardini scores double-OT GWG with 25 seconds left to propel Lady Wolverines past Wellsville; GV/Belfast boys avenge tourney title loss to B-R with 2-1 win
By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com
BOLIVAR — Right before kick-off at Dunsmore-Latimer Field, Mother Nature began to wreak havoc.
Over the hills off to the west, a giant wall of rain began to close in quickly on Bolivar. Soon after, a monsoon-esque downpour began to shroud the field with its unholy presence. Because of it, Wellsville and host Bolivar-Richburg would engage in a careful game of chess on the pitch.
One that would nearly span across all 100 minutes of gameplay.
That was until Raegan Giardini called checkmate.
In the game’s final minute, the Bolivar-Richburg junior was at the perfect place at the perfect time, as she dug free from the grasp of the Wellsville defense directly in front of the cage, maneuvering her way through and firing home a shot to the right side to end the game in thrilling and heroic fashion with a 1-0 shutout on Tuesday.
Although the rain came down, the Lady Lions and Lady Wolverines (3-2) engaged in a midfield war for possession for much of the first half, with scoring opportunities coming at a rarity. One of them stemming from the 50-yard line and into the offensive zone with Teegan Sibble leading the rush on a breakaway from the Wellsville defense.
With room to work, Sibble applied a big shot onto the Lady Lions (2-3-1) net, but it would careen just wide of the near post with under five minutes remaining until the break.
Both teams would wind up remaining deadlocked all the way down to the wire in the last 10 minute overtime period, when the Lady Wolverines were able to create an opening just enough in the Wellsville defense for Sommer Beckwith to dish along a pass to Giardini off to her left, as she provided the game-winning score moments later with 25 seconds left to go to avoid the scoreless tie, and score a shutout victory through the harsh conditions.
The goal for the Lady Wolverines was one of just four shots they would apply on the Lady Lions, as the visitors returned the favor with 20 shots of their own. All of them would be saved by a very busy Caitlin Steiner in goal, as she recorded the shutout. On the other end, Lydia Kaye made three saves for Wellsville, who now prepares for a 5 p.m. first kick back home against Canisteo-Greenwood on Thursday.
Bolivar-Richburg is now off until Monday, when they get set to face the same Lady Chargers of Canisteo-Greenwood team in a 5 p.m. first kick of their own over the road.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 2, Bolivar-Richburg 1
BELFAST — To begin the season for the second straight year, Bolivar-Richburg and Genesee Valley/Belfast did battle for tournament glory in Belfast in a game that the Wolverines used to their fullest of advantages to become back-to-back champions.
Nearly two weeks later, the two squads converged once again at the Rich Sullivan Complex to settle the score once again. Only this time, the hosts in black and grey were looking for redemption.
In order to do it, they would have to engage in another tough battle with the Wolverines while combating the less-than-ideal conditions at the same time. The offenses found the back of the net once in the first half to keep the playing ground level going into the break, remaining deadlocked all the way down to the wire.
But when it mattered most, the Ian McKenzie and Evan Turybury connection for Genesee Valley/Belfast was unmatched, as the two attackers intertwined on both of the team’s goals, including the last to break a game-long tie with Bolivar-Richburg with under five minutes remaining, putting them ahead once and for all to assist in delivering a big 2-1 home win on Tuesday.
“We played really well tonight. We hit the post 40 seconds into the game and after that, the chances continued. They settled in and played really good team soccer, as did Bolivar,” said GV/Belfast coach Mark Sullivan. “It was a great game to be a part of, despite the conditions we had. Evan’s goal was a huge confidence builder after he had missed some chances early on. That was great to see.”
The goal-scoring began with the Wolverines striking first after an early stage of midfield battling, as Reiss Gaines picked up possession and a short time later, drove home a long 25-yard shot straight over the head of Kyle McCumiskey in goal and in to break the ice with the game’s first lead.
It would hold in place up until the waning minutes before the half, when Genesee Valley/Belfast (3-1) countered with the first connection between McKenzie and Turybury, with the former grabbing an assist from the latter with four minutes remaining on the clock to tie the game.
The tie would remain all the way until the waning minutes once again, this time for the win, as Turybury was rewarded for his assisting efforts in the first half with a goal of his own off a pass from McKenzie at the 4:17 mark in regulation, allowing Genesee Valley/Belfast to springboard ahead of Bolivar-Richburg (3-2) and into the winner’s circle at the end of the night.
Between both squads, 24 shots were garnered on the attack, with the hosts gaining a narrow 13-11 advantage over the Wolverines.
In goal, McCumiskey would claim the victory with 10 saves. On the other end of the field, David Abdo made 12 saves for the visitors in white and black, who now get set for a 7 p.m. visit to Fillmore on Thursday.
Genesee Valley/Belfast will now look to claim their fourth win in the first five games with a road trip to Canisteo-Greenwood on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Northstar 3, Houghton Academy 1
ROCHESTER — Dating back to last season, the Northstar Christian Knights were the thorn in Houghton Academy’s side across the regular season, having taken both meetings leading into their Sectional bout in the Class D2 Semifinals — a game where the Panthers pushed all of their chips to the center of the table, and cashed in on a trip to the Finals for the first time in nearly two decades.
The hope for the Panthers was to pick up where they left off last Fall. But for the Knights, they had other plans in store for Tuesday’s first reconvening at Grace and Truth Park.
Right from the start, the Knights wasted no time opening the scoring with a quick goal to take the advantage into the break. Upon their entrance back to the field, they would continue the rapid pace against the Panthers with back-to-back goals in the first five minutes to claim a 3-0 lead that they ultimately never looked back on, as they went onwards toward victory with a 3-1 decision.
With 29:29 left to play in the contest, Houghton Academy (1-3-1) would eliminate the possibility of a shutout for Northstar with a breakaway opportunity on the Knights goal. After letting his initial shot go, it would create a hard rebound directly back out front. One that he would regain and then knock home behind the netminder to cut the deficit down to a pair.
The goal was one of eight total shots the Panthers recorded against the hosts in black and red, as Northstar took the 21-8 advantage in that department. In goal, Marco Zanini was busy between the posts, putting a stop to 14 shots.
Houghton Academy will return home and welcome in Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg in a 5 p.m. first kick on Thursday.
Wellsville 3, Hinsdale 0
HINSDALE — The Lady Lions of Wellsville continued their strong start to their 2023 campaign back over the road after a home-opening win against Arkport/Canaseraga the previous night, as they set the tone in the opening set with host Hinsdale and never looked back on their straight-set victory on Tuesday by a 25-15, 25-5, 25-10 count.
Leading the way for the Lady Lions (3-0) was a strong night of service from Lindsay Stuck, who recorded 11 aces to pair with four kills. Averee Palmatier added in eight aces of her own along with three kills. Natalie Adams had four aces and three kills, while Maddy Parks handed out 13 assists at the front of the net.
Individual statistics for the Lady Bobcats were not available to report upon publication.
Before both teams begin preparing for Mid-Season Tournament action at Genesee Valley this weekend, Hinsdale will return to the court on Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. visit to Bolivar-Richburg.
In their next regular season battle, Wellsville will get set to visit the Lady Panthers of Houghton Academy next Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Bolivar-Richburg 3, Fillmore 0
FILLMORE — A brilliant night of service, along with a strong offensive night from Kori Thomas, was to be had by the Lady Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg, as they put the offensive momentum to good use on Tuesday over the road by coming away with a straight-set win over host Fillmore, returning home with a 25-10, 25-11, 25-15 triumph in hand.
Thomas was the lead attacker on the frontlines for the Lady Wolverines (2-1), as she posted a team-leading 11 kills. From the service line, Brena Walp was outstanding, as she provided 17 service points to go alongside eight digs and seven aces. Adding more help for the visitors in black and red was Carmen Crowley, who tallied 11 more service points to pair with 10 digs on defense, while Danika Loucks had nine service points of her own.
Setter Hannah Mascho helped set the offense up for success with her 14 assists, along with seven service points to round off Bolivar-Richburg.
On the other side of the net, the Lady Eagles (0-4) were led by Savannah Hosmer and her four kills, pairing them with one ace from the service line. Ava Sylvester and Annalisa Bialek each recorded two additional kills, while setter Bri Santiago handed out 10 assists to go with two more aces.
Both teams are back on the floor Thursday night in a pair of 7:30 p.m. first serves, as Bolivar-Richburg heads back home to host Hinsdale, while Fillmore looks to rebound with a visit to Genesee Valley/Belfast.
Cuba-Rushford 3, Genesee Valley/Belfast 0
CUBA — The Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford assumed control right from the start, and never vacated the driver’s seat on Tuesday in the Wighthouse, as they rolled to a strong start and would never look back behind them against Genesee Valley/Belfast with a straight-set, 25-14, 25-18, 25-14 victory.
Pacing an electric offensive effort for the Lady Rebels (3-1) was Lauren O’Keefe, who posted seven kills to go with three digs and two aces. Jordyn Radomski had five additional aces to chip in from the back line to couple alongside three kills and two digs, while setter Kendall Tompkins (five aces, four digs, two kills) handed out a team-high 15 assists up front.
Genesee Valley/Belfast (1-3) was led by a five-kill, three-dig evening from Kendra Bigelow. Liliana Porter-Long added in five more digs on defense to go with two kills and one ace, while setter Cassidy Hand had six assists.
Cuba-Rushford hits the road Friday night for a 6 p.m. visit to Houghton Academy, while Genesee Valley/Belfast heads back home to the Jungle to face the Lady Eagles of Fillmore on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Houghton Academy 3, Rochester School for the Deaf 0
ROCHESTER — After both the Rochester School for the Deaf and host Houghton Academy each split a set to begin the night, the Lady Panthers would shake it off in the remaining two sets with ease to remain undefeated with their third straight win in the wagon, garnering the four-set victory by a 25-20, 21-25, 25-19, 25-15 count on Tuesday.
Helping take care of business for the Lady Panthers (3-0) was Bella Stevens, who led the offensive efforts with five kills, pairing them with three aces. Setter Abby Reitnour was stellar from the service line, as she recorded eight aces to couple with five assists and three more kills on the attack.
Houghton Academy is back on the floor Friday night back home, as they now get set to welcome in the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford for a 7 p.m. first serve.