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October 5, 2007

OHS girls drop M-E

ONEONTA _ Oneonta High is one win away from clinching its first girls soccer division title since 2003.

Not bad, considering the Yellowjackets are two years removed from their only losing season in program history.

With perhaps its best athlete on the bench with an injury and facing a one-goal deficit at the National Soccer Hall of Fame, OHS got two second-half goals from Monica Jones for a 3-2 Southern Tier Athletic Conference victory over perennial power Maine-Endwell.

The Central Division-leading Jackets improved to 10-0-1 in conference play with three STAC games remaining. Second-place M-E dropped to 9-3.

"This is a huge win, especially without Lauren because she kind of holds us together," Jones said of senior Lauren Payne, who injured her right foot after a collision with M-E's Caroline Grosso and Nicole Osovsky in the penalty area with 19 seconds left in the first half. "But we did it and we'll do it again. It was an amazing win. We're all freaking out."

Jones' go-ahead goal with 9:49 remaining barely crossed the goal line, creating a little controversy.

After controlling a chipped pass from the midfield near the top of the penalty box, Jones turned and drove a high, hard shot toward the left-corner of the goal. Spartans goalie Colleen Kutney leaped, but the ball powered through her hands. Kutney then turned toward the goal and caught the deflection over her shoulder but appeared to be over the line. After a moment's hesitation, a referee ruled Kutney was over the line when she caught it.

"She's as honest as the day is long and she was adamant it wasn't in," M-E coach Chris Holleran said of his goalie.

Jones saw it differently.

"I could tell," she said. "I was jumping up and down. I definitely could tell (it was over the line)."

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