For now we’ll call it a rubber match, but who’s to say the girls from Oneonta High and Bronxville won’t make this an annual encounter?
With the way the Yellowjackets (16-2-1) and Broncos (15-3-1) have dominated their sections recently, these soccer powers might be seeing a lot of each other in the years to come.
Two years ago, Bronxville sent OHS home with a 1-0 state quarterfinal victory at Yorktown High. Last year, the Yellowjackets ended the Broncos’ season with a 4-3 shootout victory after they played to a 1-all tie through regulation and four overtimes in a quarterfinal at Greene.
At 4:30 today at Vestal High, three-time reigning Section Four champion Oneonta and four-time defending Section One Bronxville will square off in a Class B state first-round game.
The winner will play Section Nine champion Spackenkill (17-1-1) on Saturday at Faller Field in Middletown in a state quarterfinal.
“I don’t know that it’s ever happened before,” Bronxville coach Don Cupertino said of teams meeting three straight years in the state playoffs.
The teams are similar in other respects.
Both were seeded second in their sectional tournaments.
Neither side has lost to a Class B squad this season – all of Bronxville’s losses came against Section One Class A schools and Oneonta’s setbacks came against Section Three Class AA powers Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool.
“I think during the season we’ve gotten better and we’ve played Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool so we’ve been challenged and seen better teams,” Oneonta’s Abby Picinich said after the Yellowjackets’ 2-0 Section Four Class B title-game victory over Seton Catholic Central on Friday at Norwich.
Both teams also get offensive production from a number of sources.
Cupertino said his Broncos rely on four to five players to carry the offensive load. Included in that mix is freshman Mason Warble, who scored both of her team’s goals in a 2-1 win over fifth-seeded Albertus Magnus in the Section One final Saturday.