Wednesday Roundup: Fillmore’s Russell smashes single-season scoring record to aid 9th straight County D-I title in 5-1 win over GV/Belfast; Fri/Scio, C-R ladies garner shutout victories
By CHRIS BROOKS
FILLMORE — There was more than plenty hanging in the balance for the Lady Eagles of Fillmore, Wednesday night. With two games left, their spot at the top of the County’s Division I standings was partially secured. To ensure it in its entirety, they would have to find the win column one more time out of their last two games before Sectional fever takes full effect.
One of those games being against a Genesee Valley/Belfast defense who gave the Lady Eagles the toughest of fights in their previous matchup at the Rich Sullivan Complex in Belfast back in the middle of September. But now, their final regular season meeting in the middle of October meant more than anything.
Not only could the Lady Eagles perhaps continue their long reign at the top of the County, they could also inch even closer towards clinching Class D’s No. 1 seed for Sectionals while recording a little bit of history along the way.
Across the first half, Fillmore took control and conducted business with a 2-0 lead on Genesee Valley/Belfast going into the break. Despite being pinned up against the wall for much of the time, the visitors in white still remained vigilant entering the second half. As a direct result, their deficit was cut in half, as they continued to creep closer and closer to the Lady Eagles.
The trimmed lead for Fillmore would hold for all of six minutes. Then, a game-sealing avalanche.
The sisters Russells would ringlead the show for the Lady Eagles across the night’s final three goals, all coming in consecutive fashion, including back-to-back goals in 28 seconds that allowed them to push their lead out even further against Genesee Valley/Belfast before Hope Russell finished it off in record-breaking fashion, as Fillmore secured their ninth straight Allegany County Championship with a monster 5-1 win on their home field.
“It was another game like our first match-up. At times, GV/Belfast did a great job winning the midfield and stalling our attack, and then got us on our heels a bit. We had three, four chances early in the game that we didn’t finish, and that always puts a bit more pressure on you,” Lady Eagles coach Jon Beardsley said. “We were able to get one shortly after that, and then with a few ticks left in the half, Amelia (Rose) hit a beautiful kick to help us go up by two. I thought we started the second half in solid fashion, but then our defense broke down to allow them to score. After that, we actually settled down and played some better soccer. Our effort to win balls and possess only improved as the game went on.”
After settling in early with some pressure built up against Genesee Valley/Belfast, the Lady Eagles (15-0) would find their way through the door with the game’s first strike off a ball that was launched downfield by Mattie McCumiskey, ultimately landing on the doorstep of Hope Russell. The ball made landfall just before midfield, and with it, Russell took off on a 60-yard scamper in between three defenders, towards the goal.
She would knock it home for her 50th marker of the season, and a 1-0 Fillmore lead just 10 minutes removed from the clock.
With the lead in hand, the focus was now turned to their defense, where the back line — fronted by Rachel Hatch, kept Genesee Valley/Belfast (12-3) at bay each time they attempted to set up shop on the offensive rush to keep the momentum in their favor. That was used to create even more cushioning at the end of the half, as Amelia Rose absolutely buried a direct kick to the top shelf from the top of the Genesee Valley/Belfast 18 to score a 2-0 halftime advantage.
Entering the last 40 minute session, Genesee Valley/Belfast was put behind the eight-ball. But it was a position that they were able to maneuver around in the opening sequences with the assistance of Bayleigh Tallman, who rocketed home a big-time score from 30 yards out off a pass upfield dished along by Hannah Southwick-Powers to cut their deficit right in half.
Before the visitors in white could provide an energy shift of their own after the marker, the Lady Eagles rebounded and took matters into their own hands with not one, but two ginormous responses in rapid succession from the Russells, as Grace Russell provided the reassembly of their two-goal cushion off a helper from Hope, while the latter scored her second of the game just 28 seconds later to push the advantage to 4-1 at the 25-minute mark.
The night would end in record-shattering fashion for Hope Russell, as she completed another one of many hat tricks she posted this season, totaling 52 on the season — a new Fillmore school record which had been held by the legendary Casandra Mills, who scored 51. Mills was in attendance at the game, and congratulated Russell on the remarkable achievement.
The five goals Fillmore pasted to the back of the net stemmed off 15 total shots they applied against Genesee Valley/Belfast, garnering the 15-5 advantage in all. In between the posts, the win belonged to Preslee Miller, who made four of those saves, while on the other end, Kimme Ball made 10 saves for the visitors.
Both teams will see their regular season reach its conclusion on Friday in a pair of 7 p.m. contests, as Fillmore will look to capture the No. 1 seed all to themselves in Class D for the playoffs on Senior Night in a battle against Bolivar-Richburg, while Genesee Valley/Belfast will look to end another regular season strong with a rebound opportunity at Cuba-Rushford.
Friendship/Scio 3, Bolivar-Richburg 0
FRIENDSHIP — After a week away from action, Bolivar-Richburg and Friendship/Scio marked their return to the pitch for their last battle in head-to-head fashion on Wednesday, as both teams looked to finish their regular season campaigns with an exclamation point in the final stretch towards Sectionals.
But right away, the hosts in black and gold answered the bell in a hurry against the Lady Wolverines, as Cierra Davenport allowed Friendship/Scio to break the ice first, setting up shop for two more crucial goals in the second half to take full advantage of what would be a season-series sweep of Bolivar-Richburg in Friendship with a 3-0 Senior Night shutout.
“It’s nice to get a win for our three Friendship seniors: Nevaeh (Ross), Grace (Drumm) and Ashlyn (Golden). It was one of those games where we had numerous chances, but the end result is what we wanted to have the most,” said Friendship/Scio coach Dillon McFall. “In the midst of it, we could have done a lot better finishing the ball. But give credit where credit is due, B-R’s keeper made some really great stops to keep them within reach of us.”
Davenport opened up the door towards a dominant start for Friendship/Scio (7-8) in the beginning stages of the battle, as she received a ball from her left by Morghyn Ross while under immense pressure from the Lady Wolverines defense. Despite it, she found a way to break free from the stranglehold to rip home a shot to the back of the Bolivar-Richburg net to break the ice with a 1-0 lead.
The lead would remain intact, as the Friendship/Scio defense maintained firm control of the possession across the field to keep the Lady Wolverines (4-10) on their feet with a number of offensive rushes into the zone. As a result, the offense back down the field in turn would garner one final opportunity to keep the momentum in their favor going into the break with 45 seconds left, as Nevaeh Ross took a direct kick at the top of the 18 and nearly provided enough height on the ball to send it over top and into the net.
It would remain a one-goal game for much of the second half ahead between both squads. But with 11:02 to go, at the most opportune time to provide insurance, Morghyn Ross did just that with a big goal off a pass from her older sister Nevaeh to build a 2-0 cushion against the Lady Wolverines going down the homestretch.
If any doubt remained on the table, Friendship/Scio would clear it off and put the game away for good with a Nevaeh Ross penalty kick score with 1:25 left to play, securing a trip back into the win column to send all three Friendship seniors out swinging.
The three goals by the hosts were tallied off 15 total shots, as they took a 15-6 advantage in the shot department over Bolivar-Richburg. All six of those shots were set aside by Grace Drumm, as she recorded the shutout in goal, while Caitlyn Steiner made 12 saves for the Lady Wolverines.
Both teams will close out their regular season slate on Friday, as Friendship/Scio heads over the hill to Scio to host Andover/Whitesville in a 6 p.m. first kick, while Bolivar-Richburg’s road swing continues into Fillmore for a 7 p.m. contest.
Cuba-Rushford 1, Andover/Whitesville 0
ANDOVER — As of late, Cloey Larabee has propelled Cuba-Rushford’s offense in the biggest of ways. More recently, on Monday, when she posted two big goals against the Lady Lions of Wellsville — the latter of the pair ultimately forcing overtime with under five minutes remaining in regulation.
Two days later, the Lady Rebels would find themselves in a similar predicament when they went back over the road for a visit with Andover/Whitesville on Wednesday. Across the first 40 minutes of play, chances were garnered and many shots were taken, but the two foes would remain at a standstill going into the break.
But upon re-entering the field, a battle of the defenses would morph into an early opportunity for Cuba-Rushford. One that Larabee would not waste.
The Lady Rebels junior wasted absolutely no time finding her way to the board to kickstart the team’s engine, putting the pedal to the metal on what would be the game’s lone goal not even five minutes from the opening kick, as she gave them the 1-0 lead from the half’s start all the way down to the very end to secure the win over the road in Andover.
Larabee’s marker found the back of the Andover/Whitesville net at the 37:05 mark, connecting with Aubrey Williams on the eventual game-winner to send Cuba-Rushford (7-8) over the top. The one goal was part of a 12-shot output that the Lady Rebels would apply against the hosts in black, as they claimed the 12-3 advantage.
In goal, Annaleece Melton and Jen Tuttle combined for three saves and the shutout for the Lady Rebels, while Olivia Waters made 11 saves for Andover/Whitesville (3-10).
On Friday, both teams return to the pitch for their final regular season contests, as Cuba-Rushford heads back home to welcome in Genesee Valley/Belfast in a 7 p.m. first kick, while Andover/Whitesville prepares for a 6 p.m. visit to Scio to battle host Friendship/Scio.
Fillmore 3, Genesee Valley/Belfast 0
FILLMORE — The first set of the night was all that the Lady Eagles of Fillmore needed to set the tone for the remainder of the contest on Wednesday in The Rock, as they pushed forward and towards a straight-set sweep of visiting Genesee Valley/Belfast by a 25-5, 25-12, 25-14 count.
The Lady Eagles (8-5) were propelled to victory by a strong night from Savannah Hosmer at the back line, as she scored nine team-leading aces to go with four kills. Jenna Austin and Ava Harrison combined to record five more aces.
Individual statistics for Genesee Valley/Belfast (3-12) were not made available to report upon publication.
Both teams are back on the floor Monday night, with Fillmore paying a 7 p.m. visit down the road to Houghton Academy, while Genesee Valley/Belfast heads back home to host Hinsdale in a 7:30 p.m. first serve.
Cuba-Rushford 3, Houghton Academy 0
CUBA — The Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford accepted a strong challenge presented by visiting Houghton Academy on Wednesday, but the offense came together to provide another phenomenal showing across the board to aid in their County-leading 10th win of the season in the Wighthouse, securing the straight-set, 25-18, 25-16, 25-19 win over the visiting Lady Panthers.
Leading the charge on the frontlines for the Lady Rebels (10-1) was Lauren O’Keefe, as she provided another brilliant offensive stand with 10 kills, pairing them with three aces. Following up was Jessica Ringelberg, who had four aces, two kills and two digs. Jordyn Radomski chipped in with three aces, two kills and a dig of her own to round off the scoring.
Houghton Academy (6-6) was paced by Abby Reitnour on defense, as she posted 11 team-leading digs to go with a kill. Bella Stevens furthered the team’s cause with four kills on offense to go with an ace. The Lady Panthers are back on the road tonight with a 7 p.m. visit to Wellsville.
Cuba-Rushford is back on their home floor Friday night with a 7:30 p.m. contest against the Lady Rebels of Hinsdale.
Bolivar-Richburg 3, Hinsdale 0
HINSDALE — One night removed after Oswayo Valley took home a straight-set sweep, Bolivar-Richburg hit the road and provided a big rebound to find their way back into the win column on Wednesday in Hinsdale, as the Lady Wolverines scored a 25-4, 25-15, 25-13 victory over the host Lady Bobcats.
Kori Thomas paced a strong night of offense for the Lady Wolverines (9-2) on the floor, as she recorded a game-high 12 kills. From the service line, Brena Walp led the charge with her 10 aces. Jayna Thomas chipped in with six aces of her own, while Carmen Crowley had seven more to record alongside five kills.
Individual statistics for the Lady Bobcats (1-12) were not made available to report upon publication. Hinsdale will visit Cuba-Rushford on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Bolivar-Richburg is back on the road Monday night for another colossal showdown with the Lady Lions of Wellsville, beginning at 7:30 p.m.