ONEONTA – Brieanna Baker’s been through a busy last couple of weeks.
She injured her right shoulder three weekends ago, took a trip to Florida over this past weekend to play softball and probably dealt with some flack from her mother Tuesday night.
Still, junior Baker’s return to the Oneonta High girls soccer team was an unquestioned success Tuesday. She assisted the Yellowjackets’ first two goals in helping OHS advance to its fourth straight Section Four Class B final with a dominating 3-0 win over Susquehanna Valley.
On a cool afternoon at Lloyd Baker Field, Baker’s speed allowed her to turn the corner along the right wing, setting up goals by Mallory Herrick and Abby Picinich in the first 15-plus minutes.
“I was nervous coming back, for sure,” said Baker, who hadn’t played soccer for OHS since injuring her shoulder in a 2-0 loss to Cicero-North Syracuse on Oct. 12. “I’ve been to two practices the past two weeks. I was nervous to see how I was going to do, but I ended up doing well.”
The rest of the second-seeded Yellowjackets also performed well. OHS (15-2-1) held a 21-2 advantage in shots, and hit numerous posts and crossbars en route to a convincing victory over the third-seeded Sabers (13-3).
Next for OHS is a rematch against the lone team in Section Four to put a blemish on the Yellowjackets’ record. Top-seeded Seton Catholic Central (13-2-1) defeated No. 4 Chenango Forks, 6-0, Tuesday to advance to its third straight sectional final.
Oneonta beat the Saints the past two years to win sectional championships, winning, 3-0, in the 2011 final and following that with a 4-0 overtime victory in last year’s final.
But when the team’s met Sept. 24, the Saints played OHS to a 1-all tie at the Wright National Soccer Campus. Friday’s final likely will be played at Norwich. Yellowjackets coach Jerry Mackey said he wasn’t certain if the final would be played at 4:30 or 7 p.m.