October 31, 2006


Olympians tougher on turf

Reach Class C final thumping Walton


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Marathon’s Hannah Griep scored three goals in leading the top-seeded Olympians to a 4-0 win over Walton in Monday’s Section 4 Class C semifinal.

Staff Writer

When you think of things that go together, you probably think of things like bacon and eggs, bread and butter or milk and cookies. Those may all make good combinations, but those might even pale in comparison to Marathon Central field hockey and a turf surface.
Playing one day earlier due to Halloween festivities at Appleby Elementary School, Marathon moved today’s Section 4 Class C semifinal match against visiting Walton under the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex lights Monday night. The top-seeded Olympians then rolled to a 4-0 victory over the fourth-seeded Warriors behind the three-goal effort from junior Hannah Griep.
With the win, Marathon (19-1 overall) returns to the Class C championship game Friday night against the winner of the third-seed Tioga (14-3) at second-seed Oxford (16-2-1) game that will be played this_afternoon. The Class C title tilt will be the third game of the day at SUNY Oneonta and is slated for an_8 p.m. start.
“The last two years, the fourth seed has given us a little trouble,” said Marathon coach Karen Funk. “We know nothing is a sure thing, but the turf really helped us tonight. We responded well.
“We passed the ball well and really moved up and down the field,” she added. “The passing really was the difference. Walton is more of a hit-and-run team. We moved the ball by passing and controlling the ball. That helped us win the game.”
Marathon got on the board quickly because of team speed.  Marta Malmberg collected a loose ball in the defensive end and quickly headed up field. After crossing the midfield stripe, Malmberg sent a great pass to the hustling Griep, who_was headed towards the circle from the right side. With just goalkeeper Brooke Spencer between herself_and the open cage, Griep fired a great low shot that went between_the keeper and right post for a_1-0 lead.
“Marta really had an awesome game,” said Griep. “She is always there to help us. She is a very strong player and it was her effort that helped me get the ball. It was very important to score that first goal._We really gain a lot of confidence once we score. That’s what we_did tonight.”
Four minutes later, Spencer (seven saves) stopped a shot by Tessa Knapp from point-blank range. Knapp also got too much air under a flip-shot and sent the ball over the crossbar. Spencer also got some help when Meghan Dean fired a hard shot from a penalty-corner insert pass off the right post and out of play.
The first half would come to a close with the Olympians holding that one-goal advantage.
Marathon would continue to apply pressure and that determination would pay off. Stephanie Fiske did a nice job of controlling the ball just inside the circle. Fiske drew Spencer towards her before delivering a pass to Griep behind the goalkeeper. Griep pushed the ball into the empty cage for a 2-0 lead with 24:38 left in the match. That goal opened the floodgates.
With 18:25 left, Malmberg tracked the ball downed near the end line. She gained control and delivered a nice centering pass that Knapp redirected into the goal. It was the 10th goal of the season for the sophomore forward and the second assist of the night for Malmberg.
“We have worked at not hitting the ball into the goalie’s feet,” said Funk. “If the goalie is there on the corner, don’t try to put the ball through her. Try to get the ball back to the stroke-line and then cross it to the opposite corner. We did that very well tonight.”
Griep completed the hat-trick with 4:21 remaining as her individual effort allowed her to beat Brittney Shelton, who replaced Spencer in goal with 12 minutes left in the contest. This was the second straight game that Griep has scored three goals and it gave the junior 19 goals this season.
“We have worked so hard together this year,” said Griep. “If we stick to what we did tonight and keep working together as a team, we can do well and continue to play games. We really have a strong defense and some very fast players to help move the ball around.”
Marathon goalkeeper Roni Allen made three saves, only one was really dangerous, to record her 11th shutout of the 2006 season.
“We have not had a lot of teams get the ball in the circle these past few games,” said Funk. “I thought we reacted well and responded to the pressure by getting the ball away from Roni. Sammy Parker and Whitney Stephens really helped get the ball out of our defensive with some nice passes. Marta, Meghan Dean and Hannah helped with some good runs, as did Kelley Braman, Stephanie Fiske and Lacey Pitman. The girls are comfortable with each other and that worked well in helping our transition game. It really was another good team effort.”
Walton closed out its season at_12-5-1.




Panther women have four All-Stars

DRYDEN — Tompkins Cortland Community College women’s soccer placed four players on the Mid-State Athletic Conference All-Conference team for 2006.
Heather Kowalczyk, Cincinnatus graduate Karisa Eaton, Homer alumnus Ashley Finton and Briana Turi were among the 20 players voted to the all-conference team by the coaches from the seven MSAC soccer programs. TC3 had the second most all-MSAC players, behind only conference champion Broome CC.
Kowalczyk, last year’s MSAC Player of the Year, was a repeat selection to the all-conference team. She topped TC3 with a dozen assists and was second in points with 28. In conference action she tied for the team lead in points (12), goals (four), and assists (four). A liberal arts and sciences-general studies major, she is TC3’s career leader in all scoring categories.
Eaton was TC3’s second leading vote getter after finishing the year with seven points on three goals and an assist, despite spending much of the season in the defensive end. A co-captain, she is a liberal arts and sciences-general studies major.
Finton, the third repeat all-conference selection for TC3, led the Panthers in scoring. She is second on the career points and goals-scored lists and is third on the career assists list. A liberal arts and sciences-general studies major, she finished 2006 with 31 points on 12 goals and seven assists.
Turi, a freshman liberal arts and sciences-general studies major, was one of the top defenders in the region. A powerful sweeper, she helped the Panthers to a 17-1 scoring advantage in the four conference games in which she played.