October 20, 2008
Lansing handles Dryden in finals
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Dryden's Sam Engel (11) avoids a collision with Lansing's Cassie Palladino (26) in the first half of Saturday’s IAC title game at TC3. Lansing prevailed, 5-2.
By TOM VARTANIAN
DRYDEN — Dryden High coach Janine Bennett knew what her young girls were up against heading into the Interscholastic Athletic Conference soccer playoff championship match Saturday night at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
Title game foe Lansing was the top-ranked Class B team in the state and had already tamed the Purple Lions twice this season, so her Dryden squad had some much simpler goals heading into this rematch.
In the end, both teams were winners. The Bobcats (18-0) won the title 5-2 while Dryden (13-4-1) accomplished something that no one else had done this season — score twice in the same game against a tough Bobcat squad.
“Our personal goals were to score two goals on Lansing and to score early in the game,” said Bennett. “We met both goals, so we are happy.
“Lansing coming right out and scoring quickly is always intimidating,” Bennett added. “Our kids played scared in the back. I could see that in the way the defense played from the beginning. They were playing not to give up a goal as opposed to playing physical. When you play to not give up goals you are sure to give up goals, especially against an experienced team like Lansing.”
For winning coach LaMarr Peters, it was just one step in a bigger journey for the Bobcats.
“The girls are all about their mission,” said Peters. “You expect to give up goals in a soccer game. We just did not expect to give up one so quickly. We really did not expect to give up two goals, but the girls know they have things to do.
“The IAC title is just one step,” Peters continued. “The girls have bigger goals so we are going to continue to take our games 80 minutes at a time. Every opponent is someone who we look to do our best against.”
Lansing did get on the board quickly. Rachel Palladino got off a soft shot that Julie Prentice (six saves) stopped. The ball stayed in the attacking third as Kathryn Hornibrook tracked the ball down and delivered a beautiful crossing pass that Megan Palladino one-timed into the goal for a 1-0 lead 2:51 into the match.
Dryden countered quickly as Taylor White broke free off the kickoff and drove in on Bobcat goalkeeper M.C. Barrett. Her quick shot was knocked away, but the ball rebounded in front of the goal. Brittany Lange was trailing the play and poked the ball into the open net to knot the score at 1-1 18 seconds later.
That would be it for the Purple Lions until a late penalty kick with 3:15 remaining in the match. Samantha Engel delivered a corner kick into the box where a Lansing player was called for a hand-ball. Engel took the penalty kick and placed the ball in the upper right corner of the goal.
With the game deadlocked at 1-1, Lansing turned up the pressure. With 30:09 left in the first half, Ellyn Grant-Keane got the Bobcats the lead for good. Hornibrook crossed the ball and it bounced off a Dryden defender. Grant-Keane was right there and fired the rebound into the back of the net.
Over the next eight minutes, Prentice twice denied Lansing a third goal. The first time she stopped a point-blank shot by Grant-Keane. The second time, a diving save to her right denied Hornibrook a goal.
The third time was a charm as Grant-Keane delivered a through ball to Rachel Palladino. The senior drove in alone on Prentice and made her commit to one area. Palladino simply dribbled the ball around Prentice and poked the ball into an empty met with 22:03 left in the half for a 3-1 cushion.
Three other Bobcat shots were on goal in the half and Prentice made the saves. Several more shots were either high or wide. Dryden did not get another shot in the first half.
The action slowed in the second half, but Lansing did score two more times. Rachel Palladino scored again after a long run and Grant-Keane struck again for a 5-1 advantage before the late PK by Engel.
In all, Lansing had 21 shots to four by Dryden. Barrett made one save for the Bobcats.
Peters praised the Dryden team for their effort.
“We knew was going to come in and play physical,” said Peters. “They showed great resiliency. They could have gone in the tank when we scored that first goal, but they didn’t. Dryden came right back and got a goal. They put up a good fight.
“If there is one thing I have learned about my girls in the two years I have been here,” Peters added. “Whatever I asked of them, they will do. They execute on the field very well.”
“Lansing has a great scoring cast and great speed with Rachel, Kathryn, Ellyn and Megan,” said Bennett. “Just those four alone are such a talented group to content with. They are tough to match. Our girls did the best that could tonight.
“We will look to refocus and get ready for sectionals,” Bennett added. “Every game could now be your last game. We will work on our game plan for whoever that next opponent is. Every game is a new game with adjustments to be made. We will take it one step at a time. The opportunity is there each time you step on the field.”
Both teams will now head into Section 4 Class B Tournament action this week. Dryden is the sixth-seed and will host 11-seed Whitney Point Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The winner of this game will meet third-seed Oneonta Saturday.
Lansing is the number two seed and earned a first-round bye. The Bobcats will play Saturday against the winner of the 10-seed Chenango Valley at seven-seed Newark Valley match from Wednesday.
IN THE BOYS’ IAC title game, also at TC3, Spencer-Van Etten was a 2-1 winner over Southern Cayuga. Christian Pasco and Tyler Bailey had goals for the winners, Bill Rejman scoring the lone Chiefs goal.
Lansing 5, Dryden 2
Dryden 1 1 — 2
Lansing 3 2 — 5
Goals-Assists: Dryden- Brittany Lange 1-0, Samantha Engel 1-0. Lansing- Rachel Palladino 2-0, Ellyn Grant-Keane 2-0, Megan Palladino 1-0, Kathryn Hornibrook 0-1.
Shots: Lansing 21, Dryden 4
Corner kicks: Lansing 3, Dryden 2
Saves: Julie Prentice (Dry) 6, M.C. Barrett (Lan) 1
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