The schools are the same, but their roles are reversed.
For the second straight year, Oneonta High (17-2) and Bronxville (18-2-1) will meet in a Class B state girls soccer quarterfinal.
But things have changed for both teams.
Last season, the Section Four champion Yellowjackets played the role of upstarts, winning their first sectional title since 2004 and doing so with nine underclassmen in the starting lineup. Conversely, the Broncos entered last year’s game as the defending state champions with eight seniors starting.
“Last year was our first time there and we kind of felt, ‘Do we belong here? Do we not?’” Oneonta High junior midfielder Mariah Ruff said. “This year, if we can get off to a fast start, they’ll feel like they don’t belong here. But if we come out flat, they’ll gain confidence, so the first few minutes are important.”
When the teams meet at 5:30 p.m. today at Greene with a spot in the Class B state semifinals at stake, the Yellowjackets will be the more experienced squad.
Few thought OHS would give Bronxville much trouble in last season’s game. But on a windy day in Yorktown, the Broncos advanced with a hard-fought, 1-0 victory.
“They’re certainly very talented,” OHS coach Jerry Mackey said after watching Bronxville beat Albertus Magnus, 2-1, to win the Section One title Friday before beating Section Nine’s Spackenkill, 4-2, the next day in a Class B state first-round game. “They have very explosive kids on offense and a great goalie with great size.
“Last year’s team was so physically dominant,” he continued. “Last year, we hung around hoping to get one, but realistically, they looked like a college team. This year, their key players are sophomores and juniors, whereas last year they were seniors. So from a physical standpoint, that puts teams back in the game.”