If someone made a highlight reel of 2013’s top area sports moments, the accompanying soundtrack likely would feature Helen Reddy’s 1972 hit I am Woman.
That’s not to say area boys didn’t have their moments.
But from Oneonta High’s girls soccer team winning its first state title, to the OHS girls basketball team nearly earning its third state championship, to Ray Preston becoming the state’s all-time winningest girls basketball coach, to Franklin senior Jordan Beers scoring her 2,000th varsity point, to Cooperstown’s Lucy Ford winning a state high jump title, area girls had a memorable 2013.
Perhaps it’s fitting, with all of it coming as Title IX celebrated its 40th anniversary. The law that passed in 1973 mandated that schools provide equal opportunities for female athletes.
Local girls teams and individuals seized their chances over the past 12 months.
Also turning 40 this past fall was the OHS girls soccer program.
It capped a 20-2-1 season in dramatic fashion, beating Marcellus, 2-1, in the state final on a goal by Madison Miller with about a minute left at Cortland State. The Daily Star selected the Yellowjackets’ title run as its top story.
The following is a rundown of the top 10 local sports stories as selected by The Daily Star’s sports department:
1, OHS girls soccer
The loudest roar of 2013 came from a Yellowjackets squad that was equal parts veterans and newcomers.
The loss of six starters to graduation, including a pair of all-state picks, along with injuries that sidelined or slowed starters Miller, Brieanna Baker and Taylor Hitchcock at various points of the season, didn’t deter OHS.
Nor did 1-0 halftime deficits to Hornell and Marcellus in the state semifinals and final, respectively.
On a wet and windy Nov. 17 evening at Cortland State, OHS received second-half goals from Mariah Ruff and Miller to earn that elusive first state title in girls soccer. The Yellowjackets reached the state final four times previously but lost each time, including a 1-0 double-overtime setback to Marcellus in 2003.