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Valley Sports Report
WAVERLY - Hannah Johnson ripped a long shot into the upper-90 with 3 minutes remaining in the game to cap a crazy second half and give Oneonta a 3-2 win over Waverly here Tuesday night at Memorial Stadium in the semifinals of the Section IV, Class B playoffs.

"The girls played with heart," said Waverly coach Tara Hogan. "They fought and wanted it. I couldn't be more proud of this team."

Oneonta's first two goals of the game were an own-goal by the Lady Wolverines, and a defensive miscue that left the net wide open for the Yellowjackets.

"It's incredibly disappointing," said Hogan. "Both goals were flukes, especially the first one. We haven't done anything like that all season."

Oneonta's first goal came with 16 minutes remaining in the first half on a corner kick. The kick went long, but was headed back in front of the net near the post, where it went off a Waverly player and into the net.

With 25 minutes remaining in the game, Waverly senior Melina Ortiz rifled a direct kick from 50 yards out that glanced off the hands of a leaping Oneonta keeper and into the net to tie the score at 1-1.

With 9 1/2 minutes remaining in the game, freshman Kennedy Westbrook beat a pair of defenders along the end line, and drove a shot into the net to give the Lady Wolverines a 2-1 lead. Eighth-grader Lea VanAllen was credited with an assist.

Just 30 seconds later, Anika Buzzy collected a loose ball at the top of the 18, with Waverly keeper Kaitlyn Clark on the ground at her feet, and fired a shot into an empty net to tie the game at 2-2.

"There was some miscommunications, but I'm not sure what else happened," said Hogan. "Cora (Smith) was shielding and Kait (Clark) came out for the ball and couldn't get a handle on it. I don't know if there was any contact.

"It was surprising," she added. "At this point in the season, you don't usually see those types of mishaps."

Johnson's go-ahead goal was a 30-yard blast into the upper-90.

"The last goal was a great goal," said Hogan. "Bella (Romano) and Cora (Smith) were where they were suppose to be, and Kait didn't have a chance. Give credit where credit is due."

Waverly had a 21-10 advantage in shots-on-goal, while Oneonta had a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.

"We had other opportunities," said Hogan. "We had more possession throughout the game, and more combination of plays."

The Lady Wolverines wrap up the 2019 campaign with a 14-3 record.

"Coming into the season, we knew we had lost 10 girls - seven to graduation and three not coming back out - and that we'd be playing with a couple newbies and a couple youngsters from the modified team ... we had to face a lot of changes," said Hogan.

"We were plagued with injuries, mores than any other year I've been here," she noted. "I am very proud of my team and what they have accomplished this season.

"I am incredibly impressed. These girls never gave up and never shut down," added Hogan. "For the girls to fight the way they did ... this season turned out much better than I expected. It was another great season."


IN PHOTO 1: Waverly's Melina Ortiz. ... PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.

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