November 26, 2021

Purple Lions claim both boys’ and girls’ crowns

DRYDEN — It was a historic day at Tompkins Cortland Community College for Dryden High varsity soccer Saturday at the Interscholastic Athletic Conference Overall Large School Championships.

For the first time since 2003, both the Purple Lion boys and girls are IAC Overall Champions at the same time. For the Dryden boys, it was their first title since 2007 after a 4-0 win over Spencer-Van Etten/Candor. For the Dryden girls, it was their first title since the 2015 season after a 1-0 double overtime victory over Waverly in the final game of the four-game set.

Dryden girls 1, Waverly 0, 2 OT:

For 80 minutes of regulation time, Dryden (11-4) and Waverly (13-2) battled with neither team being able to find an opening inside the frame.

The Wolverines took two shots in the first half and Dryden had one. Purple Lion goalkeeper Hallie Allport and Waverly netminder Kaitlyn Clark each made one save.

The second half saw Waverly take three more shots and Allport was up to each challenge while Dryden could not get a shot.

In the first overtime, the Purple Lion almost took a 1-0 lead with 1:20 left in the 10-minute extra session. Alex Brotherton broke free and took a shot from point-blank range into the stomach of Clark who smothered the ball. That shot came after Waverly scoring attempts, one saved by Allport and the other off the mark.

In the second 10-minute overtime, Brotherton was trying to breakaway when she was hauled down in the box with 4:47 remaining and a penalty kick was awarded to Dryden. The only senior on the Purple Lions’ roster, Ashleigh Scheidweiler took the penalty kick and found a hole. The shot found the back of the net to break the scoreless tie. Dryden was able to hold on the rest of the way and claimed its first IAC title in four years.

“The girls have always been super-supportive of me being the only senior,” Scheidweiler said. “This is a feeling that you can never expect to feel in your lifetime. When it happens you just go with it. It took us almost 100 minutes to score. The boys and girls haven’t won a title together since 2003 and it’s always been a goal of ours to beat Waverly since I have been on the varsity team. It’s hard to explain the feelings we all have right now.”

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Dryden’s Ashleigh Scheidweiler (5) keeps her eyes on the ball while moving upfield during the IAC Girls’ Large School Championship game at TC3 Saturday. Scheidweiler scored the only goal of the game on a penalty kick in the second overtime period to give the Purple Lions a 1-0 victory.

“It’s been one heck of a ride,” Dryden first-year coach Neal McDowell said. “We’ve had some ups and downs, but winning this title means a lot to me since I haven’t beaten Waverly. Ashleigh Scheidweiler has been our center-midfield rock all season long. She keeps the girls focused in practice. she been the soul, the heartbeat, of this team. I couldn’t be happier for her to get that PK.

“I don’t know about the history of Dryden soccer yet except from what I have heard from Laszlo (the boys’ coach),” he added. “He’s been coaching for 25-plus years, give or take a year, and he just told me it as the first time since 2003 that both teams won together. To me, that’s just unbelievable. I am so proud of these girls to have taken it this far and worked so hard.”

Does she feel old being the only senior on a team of young, talented players from eighth grade through 11th grade?

“I don’t honestly know,” Scheidweiler laughed. “They push me to be the best version of myself and we all work together like a family. It’s not like I remember Ally Deeley is a ninth-grader or Emma (Lobdell) is an eighth-grader. Our skill sets speak for themselves. It doesn’t matter who you are, it just matters what happens on the pitch.”

Waverly held an 8-3 edge in shots while Dryden did have a 4-3 edge in corner kicks. Allport made five saves for the Purple Lions. Clark had two saves for the Wolverines.
Dryden now looks ahead to Section 4 Class B Tournament play. The fifth seeded Purple Lions head to fourth seed Chenango Valley (10-5) Friday for a 3:30 p.m. quarter final round match-up.

“We are looking forward to going as far as we can,” McDowell said. “We have a shot at going all the way and these girls feel it too. We have some momentum and confidence has been built.”

Dryden boys 4, Spencer-Van Etten/Candor 0:

Dryden (14-2) and S-VE/Candor (11-4) took turns trying to pressure one another into some early mistakes, but the eagles only got one good look at the goal and Steven Morrow (six saves) survive the biggest threat with 23:50 left in the first half on a diving save after Lance Jensen’s hard shot towards the left post.

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Dryden’s Nolan Weik (2) wards off SVEC defender Hunter King (17) during Saturday’s IAC Boys’ Large School Championship game at TC3. Weik scored the first Purple Lions goal to help the team post a 4-0 win.

The Purple Lions began controlling play better and took charge with three goals in the final 11:40 of the first half. One of the hottest scorers in the second half of the season got the first Dryden goal.

Nolan Weik delivered a solid strike from Corey Matesanz to give the Purple Lions a 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later, Robbie Busby fired a shot has caromed off the crossbar and Casey Phillips deposited it into the goal. Busby got a goal of his own with 4:30 left in the half for the 3-0 Dryden lead.

With 27 minutes left in the game, the Purple Lions got their final goal when Felipe Bichalho put a shot inside the right post off a pass from Zack Willson.

“We’ve been working towards this all season,” Weik said. “This is the first title in many years, so it means a lot to all us. It really is big for us. I’ve gotten better in the second half of the season because I have gotten more comfortable with my teammates. This is my first year on varsity and the first time playing some of these guys. It’s been a lot easier since I have gotten into the swing of things.”

Dryden finished the game with 13 shots and five corner kicks. S-VE/Candor had seven shots and four corner kicks. Morrow finished the game with six saves for the Purple Lions. Brayden Ferris made three saves for S-VE/Candor.

“We had to make a few adjustments at the start of the game,” Dryden coach Laszlo Engel said. “Once we settled down and started moving the ball better, we started playing better.

“That first goal by Nolan was the biggest goal in the game,” Engel said. “Once you give up a goal, you sag a little bit and we got some momentum to go for that second goal. We still had to come out and play in the second half despite a three-goal lead. We did that and it made a difference.”

Dryden will begin Section 4 Class B Tournament play Saturday. Ironically, the quarter – final round opponent for the 3:30 p.m. contest is Spencer-Van Etten/Candor.

“Both teams will make some adjustments and I’m sure this will be another good game,” Engel said.