By Greg Klein
The Daily Star
---- — ONEONTA — Top-seeded Oneonta High followed its shots to four goals and a third straight trip to the Section Four Class B girls soccer championship game with a 4-1 semifinal victory over No. 4 Waverly on Saturday at Lloyd F. Baker Field.
Taryn More scored twice for the defending sectional champion Yellowjackets, who broke a brief 1-1 tie with three second-half goals.
"Obviously, that's a good team out there," Waverly coach Brian Myers said of Southern Tier Athletic Conference champion OHS (16-2). "When you’re playing the No. 1 ranked team in the state, you know you’re in for a challenge."
Trailing for much of the first half, Interscholastic Athletic Conference affiliate Waverly (13-2-1) tied the score 2 minutes, 4 seconds after the break on Sabrina Bowman's shot from the corner.
"We came out on a timer," Myers said. "One, two, to another player's feet. I thought we could slip one in from the wing, and we hit it right off."
What happened next won the game for Oneonta, according to OHS coach Jerry Mackey.
Less than three minutes later, Brieanna Baker brought the ball up the right sideline and passed to More, who shot from the top of the 18-yard box. Waverly goalie Allie Frutchey blocked the shot but didn't cover it, and Abby Picinich came in from the left and scored with 4:53 gone in the second half.
"To come right back and score, that was key," Mackey said. "If we let them stay tied for 15-20 minutes, then the pressure is on us. Instead we handled it very well."
A little more than 10 minutes later, the Yellowjackets made it 3-1 when Picinich fed More on a cross. More's shot hit the crossbar and fell down into the goal.
"Taryn is finally 100 percent," Mackey said of More, who missed several games late in the regular season following a collision. "She got cleared before the playoffs, and the doctor said she has 100 percent range of motion in her leg now. She got warmed up in the quarterfinal, and you could see her back at full strength today. She's really coming on."
With a little more than 19 minutes left, Oneonta made it 4-1 on Cami Cleaveland's goal. Picinich split two defenders and played the ball up the middle to Cleaveland, who was on the run.
Frutchey (seven saves) was shaken up on the play, and Waverly replaced her in goal with Reylyn Schwartzhoff (three saves) for the rest of the game.
More scored her first goal 19 minutes into the semifinal, on a rebound of Baker's shot from the wing.
Oneonta controlled the game in the first half, limiting the Wolverines’ touches past midfield. Goalie Emmalee Sloman finished with one save for OHS, which outshot Waverly, 14-7.
Waverly striker Liia Carpenter had an early look at the goal but had trouble with a relentless marking effort by Oneonta’s Madison Miller.
"(Miller) has great size, and she knows how to defend without fouling," Mackey said. "She can start and stop, and she doesn't go for fakes. She's just a great defender. (Carpenter) had the one look early, but then I thought we took her out of it."
Myers also praised the Jackets’ defense.
"Their defense did well, and their sweeper (Shelby Cleaveland) makes it hard, too,” he said. “Anything we sent down the center, she cleared."
Oneonta will play second-seeded Seton Catholic Central (10-3-1) — a 3-1 winner over Dryden of the IAC on Saturday — in the sectional final. The Yellowjackets won at STAC-rival Seton, 1-0, during the regular season.
The date and location of the final will be determined after Hurricane Sandy passes, Mackey said.
"Seton gave us all we could handle at their place," Mackey said. "It will be a good game. They are going to pressure us.”