October 16, 2008
Lansing will take on Dryden girls for title
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Marathon’s Paige McCarthy (22) matches up with Lansing’s Ellyn Grant-Keane in the first half of Wednesday’s IAC semifinal game at TC3. Grant-Keane had a goal and an assist in Lansing’s 2-0 victory.
DRYDEN — Marathon Central coach Trish Hayes had a plan for her girls heading into the Olympians’ Interscholastic Athletic Conference soccer semifinal playoff match at Tompkins Cortland Community College Wednesday.
That plan was solid for most of the first half, except for a brief 94-second span that allowed Lansing to score twice. That would be all the top-ranked Class B team in the state would need for a 2-0 triumph over the 11th-ranked team in Class C.
The unbeaten Bobcats (17-0) will meet Division I rival Dryden (13-3-1) — a 5-1 winner over Tioga in the other semifinal game played in Lansing yesterday — in the IAC title game Saturday night back at TC3.
The final match will begin at 6 p.m., where Lansing will be looking to defeat Dryden for the third time this season.
“I was extremely pleased with the girls,” said Marathon’s Hayes of her Division III regular season champions. “We focused more on defense, playing more compact than normal. Keeping the number one team in the state to just two goals was superb. No one has done that all season. The girls executed to a “T” what I asked them to do.”
Division I regular season champion Lansing got some good early looks at the goal, but the Olympian back line of sweeper Paige McCarthy, right back Kathryn Wickham, left back Emily Icenogle and stopperback Erin Rundle were up to the task.
“Our back line did an excellent job of communicating constructively,” said Hayes. “Brittany Krebs is also an outstanding keeper. It is nice that she is finally getting the recognition that she deserves. Brittany steps up every day at practice and she has upped her level of play in games this season.
“I thought we come out the game tonight with more confidence that we could play with a very good team,” Hayes added.
The constant pressure finally forced Marathon to crack and Rachel Palladino put Lansing in front with 13:28 left in the half. Ellyn Grant-Keane made a nice centering pass from the left flank and Palladino fired the shot home from 16 yards out.
With 10:56 left in the half, the Bobcats struck again. Kathryn Hornibrook slid a pass through the defense to Grant-Keane, who wheeled and easily beat Krebs (nine saves) from the top of the goalie box.
“We were playing in the air too much in the first half,” said Lansing coach LaMarr Peters. “We have an excellent passing team. In the back part of the half, we started linking our passes together that was where the two goals came from.”
As much as Palladino is known, it has been the play of a healthy Grant-Keane that really sparks the Bobcats. Grant-Keane missed most of the 2007 season with a back injury that also limited her play in the 2006 season.
“Having Ellyn back is very important,” said Peters. “She is a very good player and a very aggressive 1-on-1 player. She puts a lot of pressure on the defense. She is quick and confident, plus she has the best (field) vision on this team.”
Statistically, Lansing out-shot Marathon 15-1 and enjoyed an 8-1 cushion in corner kicks. The one shot the Olympians got missed the goal to the right.
“I don’t care who we play,” said Peters of the third encounter with Dryden Saturday night. “We don’t run from anyone. We are looking at going on a nice winning streak when it counts, right here in the post-season.”
Marathon will now prepare for Section 4 Class C Tournament that begins next week.
Dryden 5, Tioga 1: Clara Gallagher had two goals and one assist with Claire Roberson added two goals as Dryden (13-3-1) advanced to the IAC Tournament championship match.
Roberson netted both of her goals in the first 40 minutes while Gallagher and Samantha Engel netted on goal each. The Purple Lions led 4-0 in the first 30 minutes.
Kara McDuffee scored the only goal for Tioga later in the first half.
Gallagher recorded her second goal during second half play to make the final count 5-1 and send the Purple Lions into the title match with Lansing. The Purple Lions are ranked 11th in the Class B poll.
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