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Photo by Cheryl CloughEdmeston's Taylor Ross (6) clears the ball away from Davenport's Jackie Gilley during last Saturday's Section Four Class D final at the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Three days before a Class D state girls soccer quarterfinal, Lyme coach Mary Guyette asked for the proper spelling of her team's opponent.

Coach, it's E-D-M-E-S-T-O-N.

Guyette said the confusion came from seeing it spelled "Edmenston" by some media outlets.

Suffice to say, neither side knows much about the other. They'll play at 2 p.m. Saturday at Union-Endicott's Ty Cobb Stadium, where a berth in the state semifinals the following weekend at Cortland State is at stake.

Neither side knows much about the state playoffs, either. Lyme's last appearance in a state playoff game came in 1984. Edmeston's never been in one.

How about allowing goals? Not really. These teams have been stingier than a couch potato with a remote as Lyme's given up five this season and Edmeston's permitted six.

"We hope one's enough," said Edmeston coach Melanie Mumbulo, whose 19-2-1 team earned its first Section Four Class D title with a 2-0 victory over Davenport last Saturday. "You know, when you get to this stage, you're going to face tough competition. You're going to face teams that don't allow a lot of goals and that's why we're here."

To stop a 20-1 Lyme squad that's coming off a 1-0 victory over McGraw in Saturday's Section Three final, the Panthers will need to pay close attention to the senior tandem of Terra Towne and Nikkia Raso. Towne, a striker, leads the Indians with 26 goals and 23 assists. Raso, a center midfielder, has 18 goals and nine assists.

"They feed off each other nicely," Guyette said of Towne and Raso, among eight senior starters on the Indians. "They look for each other all the time."

Those responsible for stopping Lyme's high-scoring duo include freshmen Taylor Ross and Samantha Martin, and junior Stefanie Cornnell.

"Well, that depends," Mumbulo said when asked about the play of her defenders. "Some games they haven't had to do much and some games they're the reason we're in them. They're pretty solid back there, so we're going to keep going with them."

So solid has Edmeston's defense been that if you take away a penalty kick by Milford's Chandler Prouty in the Panthers' 5-1 semifinal victory Oct. 30, the Panthers haven't allowed goal since tying Schenevus, 1-1, on Sept. 26. That would be 11 consecutive shutouts, minus the Prouty pk.

"At this time of the year, you see a lot of 1-0 scores," said Guyette, whose team has 17 shutouts this season, one more than the Panthers. "There aren't a lot of high-scoring games going on right now."

The Indians' defense is led by sweeper Hilary Rust and stopper Olivia Steno, seniors who play in front of freshman goalie Alex Weston.

"My defenders right now are playing so well," Guyette said.

They'll likely be tested by a speedy Edmeston squad led by sophomore Kori Hamm, who leads the team with 26 goals and 17 assists. Senior Amanda Dockstader has contributed 21 goals and six assists, and junior Emily Slentz has 14 goals and 14 assists.

These girls have scored in bunches this season, including a four-goal outburst against Milford in a span of 9 minutes, 51 seconds of second half that turned a 1-all tie into a 5-1 laugher in the sectional semifinal.

"We'll be prepared," said Mumbulo, whose team lost to McGraw, 1-0, in The Daily Star Hall of Fame Cup on Sept. 15 despite finishing with a 16-6 advantage in shots. "If luck has it, we'll be moving on. If not, we'll be moving on to basketball season. The kids looked good (Wednesday) in practice. They'll be ready to go."

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Rob Centorani can be reached at rcentorani@thedailystar.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 209.

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