October 22, 2013
Lady Saints surge to reach title game
An early scoring binge by Cortland Christian Academy’s Korissa Kinney took a lot of the drama out of this semifinal soccer playoff game.
Kinney struck for three goals in the opening 12 minutes of Monday afternoon’s Empire State Christian Athletic League playoff contest, and the second-seeded Lady Saints went on to beat Valley Heights 6-1.
After scoring four times before this home field contest concluded, junior Kinney became the school’s all-time scoring leader with 88 goals and 19 assists. That surpassed the previous record held by current Cortland Christian assistant coach Hannah McGowan (75 goals-28 assists), who graduated in 2012 and will soon become Kinney’s sister-in-law.
The victory sends Cortland Christian into the title game with a 12-3-1 overall record, the Lady Saints to face the winner of the other semifinal that sent fourth-seed Finger Lakes out of Seneca Falls to take on the regular season champion Syracuse Eagles. That championship tussle will be played at 10 a.m. this coming Saturday in McGraw.
Third-seeded Valley Heights (10-4-1) had split two previous meetings with the Lady Saints, winning 5-3 in Norwich and losing 4-2 in an earlier visit to Cortland. Valley Heights never recovered from being blitzed early in this rubber match as Cortland Christian goalie Sarina Sweeney came up with a career-high 13 saves in a game where the winner’s held just a slight 25-21 shot edge.
Kinney’s early damage came while shaking free from the opposing sweeper to score with just a minute gone and then mere 3:35 into the game. She made it a hat trick with her third goal 12 minutes in.
Valley Heights got to within 3-1 when Kyra Lowie scored 9:30 before halftime arrived, booting a ball in that was rolling across the front of the Cortland Christian goal mouth on a shot taken by teammate Amanda Davis that had gotten past keeper Sweeney.
Though Valley Heights moved Bethany Conover to shadow Kinney after falling behind 3-0, the Lady Saints scoring leader broke free 8:30 into the second half to convert a Mariah Ploss pass into a 4-1 lead.
Ploss tacked on two final goals for the hosts, scoring an unassisted goal a minute after Kinney’s fourth tally and then converting later in the stanza when Tarra Kinney delivered a crossing pass from the right side into the box.
CORTLAND CHRISTIAN boys are in the playoffs for the first time since 2010, as the third-seeds will travel to North Rose this afternoon to take on the second-seeded Port City Royals at 4 p.m.
The title game will be at noon Saturday in McGraw.
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