There’s no substitute for it and Hornell senior Jocelyn Acor has plenty of it.
Acor’s “it factor” is speed. Her 100-meter time of around 12 seconds and the 26-second clocking in the 200 prove that she’s fast.
But Acor and her Red Raiders teammates are not going to a track meet at 5 p.m. Saturday at Cortland High. They’ll be playing in a Class B state semifinal in girls soccer. Their opponent is Oneonta High, a team steeped in tradition and one that is playing in a state semifinal for the second straight year.
When the teams take to the artificial turf Saturday, the Yellowjackets are sure to keep a close eye — more accurately, many eyes — on Acor, who leads the Red Raiders this season with 34 goals and 13 assists.
“They have a dynamic forward in the Acor girl,” Mackey said of the player who wears No. 16 on the Red Raiders’ roster. “It’s key that we keep our shape defensively, that we know where she is, that we’re marking her and that we’re marking with more than one.”
The winner of Saturday’s game will play for the state championship at 4 p.m. Sunday at Cortland State against Section Three’s Marcellus (19-1-1) or Section 11’s Center Moriches (13-5). Marcellus and Center Moriches will play the other Class B state semifinal at 5 p.m. Saturday at Cortland State.
OHS senior Mariah Ruff said the Yellowjackets can’t head to Cortland this weekend thinking about a state championship.
“Meg (Burns) and I told the girls we need to focus on the first game and not worry about the state championship,” Ruff said Wednesday after signing a national letter of intent to play Division I basketball at St. Bonaventure next season on a full scholarship. “We’re focused on winning one game.”