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SECTION IV GIRLS SOCCER: ONEONTA RALLIES LATE TO EDGE WAVERLY, 3-2, IN CLASS B SEMIFINALS (24 PHOTOS) (2019-10-29)

By TIM BIRNEY
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.”

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

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