NORWICH — Cassidy Newman’s corner kick with about three minutes left gave Unatego its best chance to score Friday night at Norwich High.
The junior’s high serve from the right corner cleared most of the bodies battling for position inside the 18-yard box while teammate Tanner Reed charged in from the left for an uncontested header.
Sophomore Reed didn’t bother to watch the aftermath, snapping her head in the opposite direction and briskly walking back toward midfield with a disgusted look on her face as the ball sailed high and wide left of her target.
Not that it really mattered at that point, but plays such as that gave Spartans coach Sue Herodes something to smile about following a 5-0 loss to top-seeded Lansing in the Section Four Class C girls soccer championship game.
“We are extremely young,” said Herodes, whose third-seeded and defending champion Spartans (15-3-1) spent most of Friday night trying to slow down the undefeated champions of the Interscholastic Athletic Conference on Norwich’s artificial turf. “I only have three seniors and their performance today gave me hope. I didn’t sub and those kids just went 80 minutes and stayed with a team that’s extremely good.”
Megan Faulkner can take most of the credit for keeping Lansing out of the Spartans’ net for nearly 35 minutes. The sophomore goalie often put herself in the perfect position and sacrificed her body to stop a pair of close-range shots in the early going. She made nine saves in the first half, but all of them came before Lansing struck 5:01 ahead of the break.
Lansing penetrated the middle of the box with a throughball to double-guarded Shea McCartney, who sent the ball back out to Elena Parkins. One of four Lansing seniors, Parkins shook a defender with a quick two-step to her right and hooked in a shot to the far post to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.