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November 18, 2013

CHAMPIONS!

OHS girls win first state title in soccer

CORTLAND — Oneonta High's girls were shaken by nothing.

Not the nine seniors who graduated off of last season's team that fell in the state final, not a rash of late-season injuries and not the one-goal deficits they faced the past two nights in Cortland.

They just played and now they're state champions.

"I'm just carrying on (former OHS coach Helen Sandford's) legacy," Yellowjackets coach Jerry Mackey said following his team's 2-1 soccer victory over Section Three's Marcellus in the Class B state final Sunday at Cortland State. "Now right, wrong or indifferent, the article can't be written that it's never happened. It's happened now."

The Yellowjackets (20-2-1) became the fifth team in OHS history to win a New York State Public High School Athletic Association title, joining the squads that earned back-to-back girls basketball titles in 1997 and 1998, the boys soccer title in 1999 and the baseball championship in 2012.

Perhaps the only downer on a night that brought stiff winds and light rain was the manner in which OHS scored the go-ahead goal. It came with about a minute left (the stadium clocks turned off for the final two minutes of each half).

Taryn More sent a short pass to Madison Miller about 30 yards from the goal. Miller turned and took a low, right-footed shot, and she didn't make clean contact. The ball bounced on the artificial turf and Marcellus goalie Emily Buschbascher had it lined up. It should have been a garden-variety save. The ball wasn't moving quickly and Buschbascher was in perfect position.

But like a middle infielder in baseball who anticipates a hop that doesn't come, Buschbascher came up on a ball that stayed down. The ball made slight contact with her hands before trickling over the line.

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