November 26, 2021

Four local teams have shots at title

IAC Soccer Championships

The Marathon boys, Groton girls and both Dryden High varsity teams all have a unique chance Saturday at Tompkins Cortland Community College. All four teams have a shot at winning an Interscholastic Athletic Conference Overall Soccer Championship.

Marathon will meet Trumansburg for the third straight year in the IAC Overall Small School Boys’ Championship game to start things off at 12 p.m.

Groton will square off against Odessa-Montour for the IAC Over- all Small School Girls’ Champion- ship at 2 p.m.

Dryden will face Spencer-Van Etten/Candor at 4 p.m. for the IAC Overall Large School Boys’ Championship and the Purple Lions will battle Waverly for the IAC Overall Large School Girls’ Championship in the final game of the day at 6 p.m.

Here’s a little look at each game through the eyes of Marathon coach Chip Stewart, Groton coach Dick Brecht, Dryden boys’ coach Laszlo Engel and Dryden girls’ coach Neal McDowell.

Marathon vs. Trumansburg, 12 p.m.
(IAC Small School Boys’ Overall Championship)

This is the third straight meeting between these two teams and the 10th championship game in 11 years for the Olympians. The 2017 and 2018 meetings between Marathon and Trumansburg have ended in 1-1 ties.

“We have got here this year with very good defense,” Stewart said. “Our defense is led by Andrew Tillotson at the sweeper spot as his leadership back there has been a coach’s dream.”

The Olympians have given up just four goals this season and they have eight shutouts. On offense, Marathon has scored 90 goals in 14 games. Cameron Neilson has netted 30 goals and Diego Castellot has scored 21 goals.

“For us to have a chance we will need to play great defense especially against Connor Baird and maximize our opportunities on the offensive end,” Stewart said. “I think we match up well with the speed factor but they have 12 seniors to our seven, so experience favors them. It should be a great test and one that will prepare us for hopefully another post-season run.”

Groton vs. Odessa-Montour, 2 p.m.
(IAC Small School Girls’ Overall Championship)

Groton had some holes to fill when the season started and the Indians have been getting stronger as the season progressed.

“With the loss of two highly talented starters from last year it took some time to find what worked best trying to fill the holes,” Brecht said. “Lauren Reeves is marked every game, so finding another scorer has been the main challenge. Emma DeMatteo volunteered to come out of goal and play the field. It was a very unselfish thing to do and also a good use of her athleticism. She has played on attack for us. Freshman Elisa Allen made it possible because she was able to step into goal and do a nice job as well.”

Reeves has 24 goals and five assists this season. Brooke Brecht has added eight goals and 13 assists.

When we play connected and move the ball well we are at our best,” Coach Brecht said. “Key players for us include Lilly McCormick, Sophia Bell. and Kate Allen on defense. Brooke Brecht, Abby Corcoran and Natalia Bell will be key for us in the midfield both defending and on attack. Of course Lauren Reeves on attack and her finishing goals for us is important as well.”

Groton beat Odessa-Montour 4-1 early in the season, but that was early September.

“They have good team speed,” Coach Brecht said. “Freshmen Hannah Nolan and Tori Brewster are key players for us to be aware of.”

Dryden vs. Spencer-Van Etten/Candor, 4 p.m.
(IAC Large School Boys’ Overall Championship)

Dryden is another team that has been improving all season long.

“We move the ball well and are defending much better,” Engel said. “We are paying attention to the details now and cleaning up our decision making skills. We have matured as a team and we all really get along very well. “

Engel gave me some key players, but, in reality, every guy on the Purple Lions’ roster has been a key player in 2019.

“Casey Phillips, Braden Russell, Robbie Busby, Siaosi Malepe, Steven Morrow, Nolan Weik, Ethan Hicks, Gage Hinckley, Matt McKewin-Bates, Corey Matesanz, Jackson Crocker and Zack Willson are key players,” Engel said.

Phillips leads the offense with 28 goals and 17 assists. Busby has 15 goals and 12 assists while Weik has really come on in the second half with 11 goals and five assists. As a team, Dryden has scored 80 goals this season. Defensively, Steven Morrow had allowed just 15 goals (1.071 goals- against average) and he has seven shutouts.

Dryden vs. Waverly, 6 p.m. (IAC Large School Girls’
Overall Championship)

Dryden only has one senior this season, Ashleigh Scheidweiler, so it has been an interesting season for first year coach Neal McDowell. Scheidweiler leads the team in scoring with 15 goals.

“Our season has had its fair share of ups and downs, but, all in all, we played very well and have had a consistent run of things,” McDowell said. “Heidi Nydam has been a rock in the back for us all season long. Elizabeth Palumbo and Alex Brotherton have been key in the center midfield. Ashleigh Scheidweiler has played offensive center mid all season long and is our leading scorer with 15 goals on 53 shots, but she is followed closely by Alex Brotherton with 14 goals on 38 shots.”

Hallie Allport has been very good in the net for Dryden. She’s allowed just 11 goals on the season with 51 saves.

“A lot of the younger players have seen a lot of game time this season,” McDowell said. “After going on an eight-game winning streak, we came back down to earth with a few losses but are now looking forward to the IAC championship and sectionals.”

Dryden led Waverly 1-0 in the opening game of the season, but the Wolverines scored two goals in the final 10 minutes for the 2-1 victory. The Purple Lions haven’t forgotten that.

“We’re looking forward to another hard-fought game with them,” McDowell said. “I’m sure they have gotten better throughout the season, as any coach would hope, but I’ve seen our girls grow immensely in their respective individual positions and get stronger as a team collective. I’m very excited to see the game on Saturday, and fans of Dryden soccer should be too; it’s what we’ve been preparing all season for.”