Whether you head to Wright National Soccer Campus for the Class D boys or girls soccer section finals Saturday, Nov. 2, you will see Marathon taking on Cherry Valley Springfield.
The Olympians and Patriots will compete for the section title in both brackets Saturday, with the girls final set to begin at 11 a.m. and the boys final at 12 p.m.
“Both programs are very strong,” CV-S girls coach Denis DeRider said. “They’re both established programs, so I’m not too surprised. I think it’s a good matchup on both sides.”
DeRider’s second-seeded team clinched its first appearance in the section final since 2016 with a 1-0 overtime win against six seed Edmeston on Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the section semifinals. The Tri-Valley League contributed three of the four Class D girls semifinalists.
“I think we played a really great game. Edmeston played really well and we had a great second half,” DeRider said. “The TVL was really competitive this year as it has been, but we also played a really tough nonleague schedule to prepare us.”
CV-S is the only TVL team remaining, however, as Marathon downed a weakened top seed in Schenevus, 4-1. The Olympians (10-5-1) have eliminated the Patriots (16-1-1) in each of the last two section tournaments, including a 2-1 overtime decision in 2018.
“They’re always tough. The ranking doesn’t mean too much,” DeRider said of the fifth-seeded Olympians. “They’re well coached and have competitive girls.”
On the boys side, CV-S coach Terri Adams said she is sticking with what earned her team a share of the TVL title and a spot in the section final.
“We come to practice everyday and we work to build our skills,” Adams said. “We haven’t changed our routine and we still focus on that stuff day in and day out. I don’t plan to change that.”
The Patriots’ (17-2-1) first appearance in the final since winning it in 2015 will be made difficult by a matchup against the top seed and defending champion in Marathon. But like DeRider, Adams also credited her regular-season schedule for preparing her team’s postseason run.
“The intense play in the Tri-Valley to every stage of sectional play is a building block to this and I think they realize that they have to come to play,” Adams said. “Going from playing in the league to the section final is a good building block.”
Both sides will be coming off one-goal semifinals. Marathon stifled Margaretville in its semifinal, Wednesday, Oct. 30, but finished with just a one-goal deficit and a 1-0 win. CV-S conceded an equalizer to South Kortright in the last minute of regulation before promptly winning, 2-1, in the first period of overtime.
Still, Adams said she does not expect any lingering issues from that contest.
“I think their mindset is really positive,” she said. “They are working hard together and as long as they stay focused, I think they will be okay.”