Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo
HEIDI MANELL, LEFT, of Tri-Valley watches as Graziella Gelsomino clears a ball in her defensive zone in Wednesdays Class C final.
By Frank Rizzo
MIDDLETOWN November 3, 2000 The vaunted Tuxedo defense played up to its billing, and the Tornadoes used a late goal to win their second successive Section IX Class C girls soccer title over Tri-Valley at Middletown High School on Wednesday afternoon.
For the Lady Bears, it marked the second straight title game loss to Tuxedo. T-V also lost twice to the Tornadoes in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V regular season.
Tuxedo thoroughly dominated the opening half, especially in its ability to keep the Bears within their half of the field.
Tri-Valley did not get into the Tuxedo goal area until 18 minutes had elapsed, and Tornado keeper Shannon Quinn did not have a legitimate touch on the ball until the 9:51 mark.
From the opening whistle, the Tuxedo attack put T-V on the defensive, forcing several heroics from defenders Kelsi Lockhart and Ellie Dymond, as well as keeper Megan Sheeley.
At the break, however, the Tornadoes had nothing to show for their 17-1 shot advantage.
The Bear backfield made Tuxedo work harder for its shots in the second half, with Katrina Christensen, at the 29-minute mark, getting the first valid shot at Sheeley.
And the Bears attack was finally able to broach what had been a Tornado iron wall.
At 26:00, a T-V rush resulted in a vulnerable moment for the Tuxedo defense, and the ball was miskicked over the endline for the first and only Bear corner kick of the afternoon.
Christensen finally made good after her previous dangerous forays came up short. She won a ball deep in Bear territory, breezed past one defender, and placed a pass across the goalmouth that was knocked in by Meghan McNamee.
Once we scored, I kind of relaxed, said Tuxedo coach Joey DiMattina.
He went on to praise T-V as a tough team. They came out with a lot of heart and aggressiveness, which is something we lacked.
Bear coach Mary Feusner thought this was by far the best of three games her charges had played against Tuxedo this season. The Tornadoes finished 1000 to outdistance runner-up Tri-Valley (631) in Division V.
Tuxedo blanked Tri-Valley 3-0 on September 25 and won 4-2 on October 23. Those two goals were the most given up by the Tuxedo defense in a game this season.
The Tornadoes (171) have posted 13 shutouts and have given up only seven goals this season.
Tri-Valley (1261) was playing without two key members: sweeper Jamie Kenney and midfielder Danielle Poley, out with injuries.
I thought Ellie [Dymond] filled in remarkably well for Jamie, Feusner said. Against all odds, with players hurt, I thought we played our hearts out today. Megan had a fine game in goal.
If one thing disappointed Feusner about the title game besides the loss, of course it was the lack of serious attacks [we mounted]. We needed to pass better.
Tuxedo ended the game with a 29-2 shot on goal advantage and a 5-1 edge in corner kicks. Sheeley finished with 25 saves