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Local Sports

September 20, 2007

Oneonta, Forks battle to 1-all tie

ONEONTA _ They came into Wednesday with the lone unbeaten records in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference and left the same way.

Oneonta High and Chenango Forks played to a 1-1 Southern Tier Athletic Conference girls soccer tie on a hot, humid day at the National Soccer Hall of Fame Campus.

East Division leader Forks (7-0-1) took advantage of a rare miscue by fill-in sweeper Lauren Payne to score late in the first half. Central Division-leading OHS (9-0-1) responded early in the second half, thanks to a nifty piece of footwork by Cha Cha Naito that set up Hannah Lawson's goal.

"I think so," Yellowjackets coach Jerry Mackey said when asked if the result was fair. "It's two really good teams and I don't think it would be a surprise if we matched up later in the year in the (STAC) playoffs."

Added Forks coach Shane Cook: "It was two quality teams and a great game to watch. This is without a doubt the strongest team we've played to date."

The Blue Devils came out strong, controlling play for the first 15 minutes, but OHS turned things around midway through the first half.

OHS had a golden chance to score first, with Nora Walker and Jess McCue taking shots with about 28 1/2 minutes left in the half. Forks goalie Ashley Knox made a one-handed deflection save on Walker's 20-yard shot from the right wing and McCue shot just wide on the rebound.

Then with about a minute left in the half, OHS' Monica Jones set up for a corner kick. Forks cleared and the ball came out to Payne about 10 yards on the Yellowjackets' side of midfield.

Payne, who thwarted numerous scoring chances while filling in for the injured Lindsey Doxtader (left ankle sprain), had time but hesistated. Forks' Allie Krolyzk closed quickly on Payne, whose attempt to clear the ball forward deflected off Krolyzk and back toward the Yellowjackets' goal.

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