Oneonta High’s boys started fast and finished with a flurry to beat Vestal, 4-3, in a Southern Tier Athletic Conference soccer semifinal Wednesday at Lloyd Baker Field.
Ben Gollin scored the Yellowjackets’ second goal 3 minutes, 51 seconds into play and also scored the winner 13 seconds into the first overtime as the Yellowjackets earned a spot opposite of host Corning at 3 p.m. Friday in the STAC final.
Corning won a penalty-kick shoot against Johnson City in the other semifinal after the teams played to a 4-4 tie through regulation and two overtime periods.
OHS (11-2) will be in search of their first STAC title since 1985, when it beat Vestal in the final, according to the website stacshowcase.com.
“Oh, they got on the field fast,” OHS coach Alex Brannan said of his team’s celebration after Gollin’s winner in OT.
Brannan said Vestal won the toss to start overtime but elected to pick the side of the field it wanted rather than take the ball.
“I said, ‘Let’s get down there and get the first shot and get out of here,’” Brannan said of his message to his team before overtime started. “We got down there, took the first shot and it was over.”
The winning sequence started when Zach Joseph played a long ball that Alex Fox chased down in the left corner. Fox beat a Vestal player to the ball and took it to the end line. He then sent a pass into the box that a cutting Gollin controlled about 7 yards on the left side of the box.
Brannan said Gollin took a spinning shot that had the look of a curveball. It settled into the side netting inside the right post.
Goals by Vestal’s Kyle Gardner (with 16:38 left in the second half), Derek Engleman (12:44) and Michael Hasbrouck (4:07) erased a two-goal lead the Yellowjackets built in the game’s first four minutes.