Oct. 29—Four local soccer teams will be in action on Saturday at the Wright National Soccer Complex in Oneonta looking to win their respective Section IV Championships.
There are storylines aplenty: two of the games will feature teams meeting for the third time this season, while two local teams will hope to repeat as sectional champions.
Here is a look at the three games that will feature local schools looking to keep their seasons alive:
(1) Morris/Edmeston vs.
Class D girls, 10:30 a.m.
Few teams in the area came into the 2022 season with higher expectations than the Lady Dragons (16-2). Schenevus brought back most of the key players from last year's dominant sectional championship squad including reigning Daily Star Player of the Year Angie Competiello.
But in some ways, Schenevus enters Saturday's game as the underdog. Morris/Edmeston has handed the Dragons their only two losses of the season: a 4-3 thriller on Sept. 20 and a 4-1 defeat in the TVL title game on Oct. 15.
In its first year as a combined squad, Morris/Edmeston has proven to be the class of the local Class D girls teams, rolling to an 18-1 record with the only loss coming to Cazenovia way back on Sept. 9.
Both teams come at opponents in waves: Morris/Edmeston relies on a core group that includes Arissa and Avery Bolton, Hannah Wist, Amira Ross, Carissa Ricahrds, Molly Rifanburg, and Maiya King. Keeper Abby White has also been outstanding, most recently posting a 10-save shutout in M/E's semifinal win over Charlotte Valley.
Schenevus, meanwhile, is led by the one-two punch of Angie and Lily Competiello but also features the likes of Taylor Knapp, Sam Osborne, and Sam Barrett who are capable of finding the back of the net.
(1) Owego Free Academy vs.
(2) Oneonta, Class B boys, 11 a.m.
If Saturday's tilt between these two squads is anything like the first two meetings, fans will be in for a treat.
Two of the Yellowjackets' (12-3) three losses this year have come at the hands of last year's Class B champions, both of them coming by a single goal (2-1 on Sept. 21 and 4-3 on Sept. 30).
Outside of those games, few teams have been able to give Oneonta much of a challenge this year. The Yellowjackets are capable of scoring goals in bunches, none more so than Finlay Oliver.
The senior striker has recorded 10 hat tricks this season and his 42 goals currently place him just four behind Mike Austin's school record of 46 set during Oneonta's state title-winning season of 1999.
But the Jackets are far from a one-man show. Matthew Rubin and Dakoda Buzzy are threats in the offensive zone who ensure opponents can't focus solely on Oliver. Oneonta has also been stout on the back line thanks to the play of fullbacks Garrett Seeley, Peyton Mackey, and Owen Shultz.
Oneonta is seeking its first Section IV title since 2019.
No local team playing on Saturday will be more battle-tested than the South Kortright boys.
The Rams (16-0-1) bring back many of the same names who were instrumental in last year's soccer and basketball teams who both made it to their respective state final fours.
Players like Josh Anderson, Connor Quarino, Darren Dengler, and Adam Champlin bring extensive big-game experience to the table, while Jack Byrne, Declan McCracken, Trent Cole, Adin Haynes, and Troy Dianich have all stepped up in increased roles.
The Rams will face a tough Southern Cayuga squad that comes in with a 15-1-1 record and is ranked number five in the state by the New York State Sportswriters Association.