GROTON — Just a week ago, Groton Central girls met Spencer-Van Etten/Candor for the Interscholastic Athletic Conference Overall Small School soccer championship.
On Saturday came the rematch, as the third-seeded Indians played host to the sixth-seeded Eagles in the Section 4 Class C tournament quarterfinals. The result was the same, with Groton pulling out a second narrow 2-1 home field victory and moving on to the semifinals Wednesday.
Lauren Reeves collected the game-winner early in the second half to give Groton (14-1-1) the victory and trip to face second-seed Elmira Notre Dame (14-2-1) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in a match-up between the two IAC overall champions.
END’s Crusaders advanced with a 5-1 triumph over seventh-seed Unadilla Valley Saturday.
“What a horrible day,” Groton coach Dick Brecht said. “It was 40 degrees, with rain and a strong wind out of the northwest. I thought both teams played hard in the weather.
“We had three goals taken away due to two offsides calls and one charging foul,” he added. “The girls didn´t let that bother them as they continued to battle looking for an insurance goal. They had their chances too, but our defense stood strong.”
While Groton jumped out to a 2-0 first half lead in the IAC match Oct. 15, it was Spencer-Van Etten/ Candor (11-5-1) striking first with the a helping wind Saturday. Searra Allen found the back of the net from 20 yards out with 28 minutes left in the half. Allen converted a nice crossing pass from Ava Bruehwiler for the goal.
Groton tied the game at 1-1 with 14:46 left in the first half. Just like the IAC title game, Maggie Ossit and Sidney Reeves worked their magic in the box. Ossit found an opening and slid the ball to Reeves by the left post who made a strong strike to finish the play.
The game remained tied at the intermission.
Lauren Reeves netted the winner just 1:21 into second half play as Groton earned a corner kick with the wind at the Indians’ back. Sidney Reeves sent the kick into the box and hit her sister in stride. Lauren Reeves completed the set piece with a strong shot into the goal.
“We continued with pressure, but wouldn´t find the back of the net again,” Brecht said.
Groton held a 10-9 advantage in shots and 10-2 edge in corner kicks. Paige Graham and S-VE/Candor goalkeeper Katie Slocum each made eight saves.
The other Wednesday semifinal match will feature top seed Lansing (13-1-1) hosting the winner of today’s quarterfinal match between fifth-seed Trumansburg (11-3) at fourth-seed Unatego (12-1-2), which was postponed from Saturday to today.
IN CLASS D, Marathon girls had their quarterfinal match postponed Saturday. The fifth seeded Olympians (9-6-1) will travel to fourth seed Windham-Ashland-Jewitt (13-4) this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The winner will meet top seed South Kortright (17-0) Wednesday at the Wright National Soccer Campus in Oneonta at 3:30 p.m. South Kortright was a 3-1 winner over ninth seed Franklin (10-7-1) Saturday.
The other Wednesday semifinal at Oneonta will feature sixth seed Cherry Valley Springfield (14-4) and second seed Laurens (15-1-1). CV-S upset third seed Delhi (11-5-1) 1-0 Saturday while Laurens nipped 10 seed Milford (9-7-1) 1-0 Sunday.