Saturday Roundup: GV/Belfast earns redemption behind Tallman’s 2 scores, incredible defensive effort in 3-0 shutout of Fri/Scio; Wellsville football hangs tough, but fall to Red Jacket
By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com
BELMONT — Redemption. It was something that swirled within the minds of Genesee Valley/Belfast when Saturday’s rematch with Friendship/Scio rapidly approached at Judy Bliven Field in Belmont.
It was also a game that helped Friendship/Scio find their groove across all aspects in the last five games, winning each of them to overcome an 0-2 start to their season.
The battle would witness a midfield battle for possession begin to sink right from the opening kick. But despite the limited opportunities, the pressure that the Genesee Valley/Belfast defense would mount up against Friendship/Scio would come in large amounts.
Then came the offense. Beginning with Bayleigh Tallman.
After scoring both of the team’s goals in their 2-1 win over Cuba-Rushford back on Thursday, the Genesee Valley/Belfast freshman repeated history again with two more big strikes in the first half to earn a lead that they would never lose, while the defense kept their opposition at a standstill through all 80 minutes, allowing just one shot to reach goal to fully secure a 3-0 home win to end Friendship/Scio’s five-game win streak.
“Morning games and soccer are tough after a long week. I was glad to have notched three goals and to keep a red hot Friendship/Scio team to a one-shot game and zero scores,” said GV/Belfast co-coach Lisa Scott-Schneider. “The defense is firming up and the offense is getting better. We just have to take things one game at a time to keep fine tuning for the postseason.”
Genesee Valley/Belfast (8-2) would break the ice right near the midway mark with the first of Tallman’s two goals, as the offense managed to create an opening after a series of passes to work the ball into the right wing where a high-arcing shot from just outside the box found its way straight into the net.
The hosts kept all momentum on their side with a lead extension towards the tail end of the half, when Hannah Southwick-Powers delivered a cross to the front to Tallman after a long run up the endline, knocking the ball to the top right corner of the Friendship/Scio (5-3) cage to claim a two-goal lead heading into the break.
For much of the second half’s time, the focus was primarily shifted to the defense, where the hosts in black and gray held the visitors to just a single shot on goal the entire game, while Southwick-Powers finished off the rebounding victory with a score of her own off a helper from Sophie Zillgitt.
In all, Genesee Valley/Belfast’s three goals came on 11 total shots, while Kimme Ball made the one save to record the shutout. On the other side of the field, Grace Drumm made eight saves for Friendship/Scio.
Both teams are back on the field Monday night, as Genesee Valley/Belfast hits the road for a 7 p.m. visit to Bolivar-Richburg, while Friendship/Scio heads back home for a 5 p.m. visit from Cuba-Rushford in Friendship. For Scott-Schneider, the hope is that next week will become a momentum builder for her team, as the season crosses the halfway mark.
“We only have six more games of the regular season, and three of them are next week,” Scott-Schneider said. “There will be no rest for the weary and we will find ways to keep plugging. It was nice to be back at full force today, so hopefully we can stay healthy and focus on each game individually to end the season on a roll.”
Cuba-Rushford 3, Wellsville 2
HINSDALE — What was a strong two-goal lead for the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford, became a little too close for comfort down the stretch on Saturday in Hinsdale. After the visiting Lady Lions of Wellsville closed the gap down to one with under 10 minutes left, they would continue to keep their opposition on their feet until the very end.
But with help from Cloey Larabee and her two-goal afternoon for the hosts in blue, including a massive penalty kick to extend their lead back out to a pair in the second half, they were able to keep their game-long advantage intact to ward off Wellsville’s late push to come away victorious with a 3-2 winning edge.
“We got a little complacent in the second half and it almost cost us,” said Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight. “They put a lot of pressure on us late, and I have to give credit to Lilly (Johnson-Clark) and our defense. They did just enough to keep our lead. It was Hinsdale’s Homecoming today, and on a big day like today, it’s always nice to get a win like this.”
The Lady Rebels (4-4) were the first team to chart a course to the scoreboard after surviving a back-and-forth midfield affair with Wellsville through the first 20 minutes, as they were awarded with a lead pass from Lizzie Kocsis up the gut to Brynn Lavery, who split a pair of Lady Lions defenders on the way in to just beat out a diving Lydia Kaye in net with the score.
Cuba-Rushford’s lead would hold until they picked up a big score right before the end of the opening half from Cloey Larabee, who recorded the first of her two scores off a 60-yard dash from one end to the other, roaring in on the Wellsville goal and knocking home her shot to the left side past Kaye for a 2-0 lead.
The next two scores on the board would come on big penalty kick opportunities, beginning with the Lady Lions (3-6-1) and Makenzie Cowburn, as she cut the deficit in half after a handball by the Lady Rebels was committed inside the box at the 28:30 mark. Not long after, the hosts fired back with one of their own responses from Larabee nearly two minutes later to branch their lead back out to a pair.
Even though the two-goal advantage was regained, Wellsville showed no signs of slowing down against Cuba-Rushford, continuing to keep the Lady Rebels on their feet every step of the way until the end when Jaden Dunbar scored on a partial breakaway, as she gained possession from the far sideline and just beat out Lilly Johnson-Clark in net to fire the shot home to the far side with 5:33 remaining on the clock.
But despite the added pressure down the stretch, the Lady Rebels were able to do just enough on the defensive front to hold down the fort, securing a big Homecoming victory to hop back to .500 on the season.
When it was all said and done, Wellsville outshot Cuba-Rushford by a 16-11 count, with Johnson-Clark making 14 saves in net for the win. On the other end, Kaye made eight saves for the Lady Lions.
Both teams will have 5 p.m. first kicks coming up on Monday, as Cuba-Rushford hits the road for a visit to Friendship to take on Friendship/Scio, while Wellsville heads back home to welcome in Bath-Haverling.
Red Jacket 40, Wellsville 18
SHORTSVILLE — The Lions of Wellsville conducted a solid service during their opening drive in their visit to Red Jacket, Saturday afternoon. Despite a big first half from Matt Ritter on the ground and through the air, the hosts in red ended the first quarter with a big momentum burst, as they broke an early tie by scoring the next 22 points in a row to set the tone the remainder of the way to set up what was a 40-18 victory.
The day would be with a very promising opening drive authored by Wellsville (1-3) out of the gate, with the biggest play coming on a 2nd-and-17 from the Red Jacket 45-yardline. With it, Brennen Geffers delivered an absolute strike to Trenton Green on a slant route up the middle of the field for a 30-yard gain to give them a new set of downs. Moments later, the ice was broken from inside the red zone, as Geffers connected with Ritter through the air from 20 yards out to pick up the 6-0 early lead.
Red Jacket in turn would capitalize on an opportunity of their own to tie the game at six after the first quarter, with a 28-yard pass play on 3rd-and-22 helping set up a four-yard scamper from Micah Harshfield — his first of three touchdowns on the ground to complete the drive.
In the second quarter, the Harshfield run would serve as the foundation for Red Jacket’s game-changing 22-point frame with a pair of Aldric Fee touchdown catches from Harshfield, with the latter being capitalized upon after a Wellsville interception at the line of scrimmage to increase their lead to 22-6.
The Lions would work their way back into the scoring column with Ritter’s second touchdown of the game, this time from the ground, as he found a big open through the Red Jacket defense and carved his way towards a 64-yard touchdown to trim the deficit down to 10 with nearly a minute left to play.
With 1:09 remaining, the hosts would need just 49 seconds of that time to regain their 16 point lead of the Lions, as they worked their way back downfield ever so quickly to cap off their half-ending drive with a 27-yard run from Harshfield.
After both teams traded turnovers to begin the third quarter, the momentum would remain with Red Jacket, with a goal-line run from Matt Allen to give them their largest lead of the day of 22 points. Wellsville would grab one final score late in the third quarter however, as Geffers went back through the air one more time to deliver a 33-yard connection to David Clark down the near sidelines.
But Red Jacket finished off the victory with one final scoring drive in the last 12 minutes with Harshfield’s third touchdown run, scoring from 38 yards away.
Individual statistics for the Lions were not made available to report upon publication.
Wellsville will now enter their bye week from action, and begin preparations for their return to the field two weeks from now, as they prepare to hit the road again on October 6 for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Holley.
Wellsville 6 6 6 0 – 18
Red Jacket 6 22 6 6 – 40
WLSV – Matt Ritter 20-yard pass from Brennen Geffers, 2-pts failed (6-0 WLSV)
RJ – Micah Harshfield 4-yard run, 2-pts failed (6-6)
RJ – Aldric Fee 27-yard pass from Micah Harshfield, 2-pts good (14-6 RJ)
RJ – Aldric Fee 30-yard pass from Micah Harshfield, 2-pts good (22-6 RJ)
WLSV – Matt Ritter 64-yard run, 2-pts failed (22-12 RJ)
RJ – Micah Harshfield 27-yard run, 2-pts failed (28-12 RJ)
RJ – Matt Allen 3-yard run, 2-pts failed (34-12 RJ)
WLSV – David Clark 33-yard pass from Brennen Geffers, 2-pts failed (34-18 RJ)
RJ – Micah Harshfield 38-yard run, 2-pts failed (40-18 RJ)
Houghton Academy 5, Friendship/Scio 0
HOUGHTON — Four different Panthers all accounted for at least a goal, including a pair from Javier Velasco, to help set a first half tone that was cemented permanently against Friendship/Scio on their home field on Saturday, as they settled on a 5-0 shutout.
Along with Velasco’s scores, Josh Davidson, Trevor Tona and Ricky Song each recorded one more to round off an offensive unit for Houghton Academy (3-5-1) that posted 23 total shots on goal while the defense held down the fort in return, allowing no shots to reach Marco Zanini in net to record the shutout in full.
On the other end for Friendship/Scio (1-9), Deacon Brown made 11 saves.
Both teams are back on the field Monday, with the Panthers playing host to the Northstar Christian Knights in a 4:30 p.m. contest, while Friendship/Scio heads back home to Scio to welcome in Hammondsport for a 6 p.m. battle.
Houghton Academy 3, Hinsdale 0
HOUGHTON — Led by the offensive prowess of Julia Winkens on the front line, the Lady Panthers of Houghton Academy were able to shake off a straight-set defeat to rival Fillmore and turn it into a straight-set victory of their own Saturday morning back home, as they warded off a tough challenge from visiting Hinsdale, especially in the final set, to score a 25-17, 25-17, 26-24 win.
Winkens led the way for the Lady Panthers (4-2) with a strong afternoon on the attack, as she propelled towards a game-high 14 kills to go with six aces from the service line. Furthering the team’s cause was Bella Stevens, who added in eight kills of her own to pair with three aces, while setter Ellie Brubaker handed out 14 helpers along with three additional aces.
Individual statistics for the Lady Bobcats (1-7) were not made available to report upon publication. Hinsdale is now off until next Saturday, when they prepare for a 2 p.m. visit to Fillmore.
Houghton Academy will go to battle again on Monday by heading over the road for a 6 p.m. first serve at Avoca/Prattsburgh.
Fillmore 4, Addison 1
HOUGHTON — Amongst the matches for the Lady Eagles of Fillmore in their battle with Addison on Saturday, was a first doubles matchup for Molly Mahoney and Spencer Hopkins that pinned them against their opponents, Sadie Strauss and Katherine Ames, who defeated them earlier in the season in singles competition.
But the tables were turned around to close out their season series, as they came back and delivered big wins together as one to help aid the Lady Eagles towards a 4-1 home win at Houghton University over the Lady Knights.
“I’m really proud of the team. We lost 4-1 to Addison at their place a couple of weeks ago,” Lady Eagles coach Randy Crouch said. “Claire (Schilke) avenged her loss from the previous match, and played with much more composure and confidence today to get the big win. Molly and Spencer lost to their opponents in second and third singles last time, but combined to beat the same two opponents here at first doubles. It was fun to see the team bounce back, and get a great win.”
Just three matches were in action on the court through the course of the day, with Fillmore (3-6) claiming two including Mahoney and Hopkins’ 10-6 first doubles win over Strauss and Ames. The last would come from a 10-6 win by Claire Schilke at first singles, as she defeated Alex Boutelle.
The Lady Eagles put a wrap on the match victory with two additional wins via forfeit, credited to Indigo Knapp and Lena Tucker at second and third singles, respectively.
Fillmore is back on their home court Monday night for a 5 p.m. first serve with Avoca/Prattsburgh.
1. Claire Schilke (FIL) def. Alex Boutelle (ADD), 10-6.
2. Indigo Knapp (FIL) by for.
3. Lena Tucker (FIL) by for.
1. Molly Mahoney/Spencer Hopkins (FIL) def. Sadie Strauss/Katherine Ames (ADD), 10-6.
2. Katie McNeill/Jessi Balance (ADD) def. Kira Morley/Kirra Bentley (FIL), 10-2.