Ruff’s powerful arms proved decisive in the first overtime. She set up for a throw-in about 10 yards from the end line on the right side. She sent a line drive that probably never rose more than 12 feet from the ground. Hitchcock was stationed about 7 yards out on the near post, and headed the ball inside the right post.
“Taylor had a great header,” said Ruff, who also set up Nicole Harmer’s second-half goal with a throw from the left side. “It was all Taylor. It had nothing to do with me. I just kind of threw it in the box. Wherever it went, it went. Taylor got a head on it and it went in.”
Mackey rightly disagreed with Ruff’s assessment of her throw to Hitchcock.
“It’s not like you’re waiting for a flyball,” Mackey said of Ruff, who’ll play Division I basketball for St. Bonaventure next winter. “She’s not just chucking it to show how far she can chuck it, she’s throwing it to a spot usually. That’s an unusual skill set and it’s a tremendous weapon.”
Vestal (10-4), which has lost in the STAC playoffs to the Yellowjackets three straight years — including 1-0 and 2-0 losses in the last two STAC finals — couldn’t muster much offensively over the final 13-plus minutes of overtime.
At the outset Wednesday, it looked as if the Golden Bears might run over the Jackets.
Vestal (10-4) controlled the first 15-20 minutes.
The Golden Bears scored 9:51 into play. It started with a corner kick from the right side. The Yellowjackets had multiple opportunities to clear it but couldn’t get it out. The ball eventually made its way to Victoria Antonakos on the left side of the box. Antonakos drove a low shot from 15 yards inside the near post to make it 1-0.