The southern tip of Cayuga Lake features an area rich in soccer affinity, skill and tradition, and this region will be well-represented when the state high school playoffs start this week.
Three teams from Tompkins County — the Ithaca High boys, Lansing boys and Lansing girls — all captured Section 4 titles over the weekend and are preparing for state regional play. All are aiming for the weekend of Nov. 16-17 and the state final four — for the boys at Middletown High’s Faller Field, and for the girls at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
ITHACA BOYS: Coach Gilbert Antoine’s Little Red, off a 5-0 shutout of Elmira in Saturday’s Section 4 Class AA final in Oneonta, will be back at the Wright National Soccer Campus on Wednesday for a 1:15 p.m. “out-bracket” clash with defending state champion Arlington. The Admirals (18-0-2) are ranked No. 1 in Class AA and come off a 1-0 overtime defeat of 14th-seeded Horace Greeley in Saturday’s Section 1 final.
It was the second consecutive Section 1 crown and 14th overall, for Arlington, which played the title game without its two top defenders, Pat Mogan and Kevin Hoff. The Admirals still had enough to oust Greeley and won the game in the 81st minute with a goal from reserve back Will Ackerman, who was playing in place of Mogan.
Ithaca (12-3) rides its second six-game win streak of the season into Wednesday’s contest. Amir Omar scored a hat trick and goalkeeper Geoffrey Twardokus made four saves to earn the shutout against the Express.
The Little Red won the state title in 1978, the first year a champion was crowned.
LANSING BOYS: The Bobcats (18-1) get a state regionals rematch with Fabius-Pompey at 2:15 p.m. Saturday at Liverpool High’s LHS Stadium. Lansing ousted F-P last year 3-0 en route to the championship round.
Lansing was ranked No. 1 in the state for four weeks but fell to No. 7 after a 2-1 overtime loss to Trumansburg on Oct. 9. Coach Adam Heck’s squad got its revenge, eliminating Trumansburg last Wednesday in the sectional semifinal, 2-0, before capturing their third consecutive sectional crown Saturday with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against sixth-seeded Marathon.
Heck took Lansing to the state final four the previous two seasons, both runs ending with 1-0 losses to eventual state champion Port Jefferson. The loss came in the state semis in 2011, and in the state title game a year ago.
LANSING GIRLS: Coach Eric Stickel’s Bobcats (18-0), ranked No. 1 in the state since early October, will face Section 3 champion Beaver River (10-6-3) at 2 p.m. Saturday in Norwich, for a berth in the state semis at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 16 in Cortland.
The Bobcats punched their ticket to states with a 5-0 defeat of defending champion Unatego last Friday in the Section 4 Class C final, also at Norwich.
Beaver River, which has not allowed a goal in its past three games, upset state-ranked Little Falls 1-0 in the Section 3 final Saturday at SUNY Cortland. Freshman Kaylee Olmstead scored the winner in the 65th minute, her attempted left-footed cross from the right side of the penalty box instead bouncing past the Little Falls keeper and inside the far post.