MANLIUS — If it’s late October, it’s time for the Cincinnatus and Poland girls’ soccer teams to meet in sectionals.
Both teams made sure it will happen again this year by winning Class D sectional semifinals Wednesday night. The second- seeded Red Lions (also ranked second in the state in Class D) blanked No. 6 Remsen 6-0 at Fayetteville-Manlius to improve to 18-0. That’s the same record first-seeded Poland, the state’s top-ranked D team, sports after scoring a 5-2 win over fourth-seeded LaFargeville at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.
Cincy and Poland have met in the sectionals in five of the last six seasons, including the Tornadoes’ 4-1 win in last fall’s Class D championship game for their fifth crown in those six years. This year’s title contest takes place Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on SUNY Cortland’s White Field.
The third-seeded Red Lion boys, ranked 13th among Class D teams in the state, beat No. 2 Fabius- Pompey 3-1 in the Class D semis Wednesday and will also face top-seeded Poland for the crown, that final tentatively set for Tuesday at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, the time to be determined. The Tornadoes, ranked fifth in the state, are 18-0 after a 3-1 semifinal win over No. 5 Belleville-Henderson Tuesday.
Cincinnatus 6, Remsen 0: The Red Lions scored five goals in the first half, three in the space of 3:25, and rolled past the Rams, a state Class D honorable mention squad that closed at 11-6-1. Delaney Rutan led the way with three goals and an assist while Kyla Sustad added two goals and three assists, Ariahna Metzler one goal and Deslinn Rutan and Montana Wolf one assist apiece. Goalie Kara Steacy made one save for her 12th shutout this season (the last three in a row) and the 35th of her high school career. Opponents have scored only six goals on Cincy all season.
Remsen goalie Hailey Jewett made five saves, Cincy with 14 shots to two for the Rams to go with a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Delaney Rutan opened the scoring at 25:50 of the first half, assisted by her cousin Deslinn Rutan, and 1:25 later Metzler converted a pass from Sustad. Delaney Rutan then scored off a Sustad assist two minutes after that, and the rout was on. The same pair connected with 1:44 left in the first half before Sustad scored her two goals, the first assisted by Delaney Rutan 47 seconds before halftime and the second with 9:15 left in the game, Wolf with the assist.
Cincinnatus 3, Fabius-Pompey 1: The Red Lions broke a 1-1 tie with the last two goals of the game to improve to 16-2 and earn their title shot. Caden Stafford scored twice, his brother Cason Stafford had a goal and two assists and Scott Schuyler had one assist. Goalie Jeffrey Rice made six saves, one fewer than Tristan Taylor of the Falcons, who are ranked eighth in the state and finished with a 17-2 record.
Cincinnatus took 15 shots to F-P’s eight while the Falcons led 5-4 in corner kicks.
Caden Stafford scored with 22:33 left in the first half off an assist from Cason Stafford. Kewan Trotman tied it for F-P 3:44 into the second half, converting a pass from Jameson Andrews. Schuyler fed Cason Stafford for the game-winner a minute after the Falcons’ goal and Cason Stafford fed his brother for a breakaway goal with 13 minutes left.
“The Stafford boys took over after Fabius-Pompey scored their goal,” Cincinnatus coach Gordy Brown said. “I was moving players all over to find the right combination. I attribute this win to our bench players; they push the starters so hard in practice that they have to get better. “I’ve seen Poland twice, and the final should be the same as tonight — we possess and they play the ball longer.”