CORTLAND — Second-half goals by Mariah Ruff and Madison Miller lifted Oneonta High’s girls soccer team to a 2-1 Class B state semifinal victory over Hornell on Saturday at Cortland High.
The Yellowjackets went on to win the state championship Sunday at Cortland State with a 2-1 victory over Marcellus.
Hornell speedster Jocelyn Acor scored 55 seconds before halftime to give her team a 1-0 lead.
Acor’s 35th goal of the season came on a rebound after a hard shot from the right side of the box by Emily Wolf deflected off the hands of Maddie Grau.
Ruff tied it 3:10 into the second half, heading in a corner kick from Taryn More. Ruff timed her run into the middle of the box perfectly and headed the ball inside the right post from 5 yards.
“You can talk about the Acor girl, but until you see (her speed), it really doesn’t do it justice,” OHS coach Jerry Mackey said. “You can think you know Mariah Ruff, but until you see the athleticism, the throwing, the height she gets on corners when she’s running through the box, you can’t replicate it.”
Miller’s winner came with 6:22 left in regulation.
Again, a cross by More set it up. The play started with a corner kick by More from the right side. The low kick barely made it into the box, but Brieanna Baker kept it alive and sent a pass back to More in the right corner. This time, More sent a high crossing pass toward the far post. Miller headed it back toward the right post and into the goal.
“We usually run onto the ball to head in (a corner kick), but I think it was misplayed,” Miller said. “I wanted to make sure I was onsides, so I ran back. It was a great ball by Taryn. She literally did all the work on that one. I was just in the right place at the right time.”
As for helping get the Yellowjackets back into the state final after sustaining a right ankle injury during a 2-0 loss to Cicero-North Syracuse in mid-October that forced her to miss four games, Miller said: “I can’t even explain it. It was really hard being out. My teammates really helped me push through it. It was great to get back and make a difference.”
More finished her season with team highs of 19 goals and 28 assists, with many of those helpers coming on re-starts.
“We’ve been lucky,” More said. “Everybody knows I have a good corner and Mar has a good throw-in. We’ve been practicing getting someone to the far post. We have two tall girls in Madison and Mar. They can get their heads on anything.”
Hornell, which made its first appearance in the state semifinals, finished 16-5-1.
Oneonta 2, Hornell 1
CLASS B STATE SEMIFINAL
Saturday at Cortland High
Number preceding team indicates section
Hornell 1 0 - 1
Oneonta0 2 - 2
5-Hornell (16-5-1): Jocelyn Acor 1-0, Emily Wolf 0-1.
4-Oneonta (19-2-1): Mariah Ruff 1-0, Madison Miller 1-0, Taryn More 0-2.
Shots-corner kicks: H 5-1; O 8-7.
Goalies: Chantre Millner (H) 4; Maddie Grau (O) 3.
Rob Centorani can be reached at email@example.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 209.