By Rob Potter
MIDDLETOWN November 2, 2001 It was a tale of two halves in Wednesday afternoons Section IX Class C Girls Soccer championship match between Sullivan West and Tuxedo.
In the first half, second-seeded Sullivan West (13-5-1) scored two goals to take a 2-1 lead at halftime of the contest, which was played at Middletown High School.
But in the second half, top-seeded Tuxedo (13-1-3) scored three unanswered goals to post a 4-2 victory and claim the sectional title. This marks the third straight year Tuxedo has won the Section IX Class C crown.
In a close match reminiscient of the two regular season meetings between the teams a 1-0 Sullivan West victory on October 5 and a 3-2 Tuxedo win two weeks ago Tuxedo was able to rally in the second half thanks to some halftime adjustments.
He did what I expected he would do, Sullivan West coach Mike Mahoney said of his counterpart, Tuxedo coach Joe DiMattina. They closed down the midfield in the second half. We were able to move the ball through the midfield in the first half but they made the adjustment in the second half and that was the difference.
The Lady Tornadoes were also able to find a way to get the ball past SW goalie Erin Bose. In the first half, Bose made seven saves to keep the Lady Bulldogs on top.
Tuxedos Flora Sirico scored the tying goal with 21:44 remaining in the contest. From the top of the goal box, Sirico sent a high floating shot into the net to make it 2-2.
A goal by Krystal Paccione with 16:24 remaining gave the Lady Tornadoes the lead for good. She beat Lady Bulldog defender Margaret Norden to the ball about 20 yards in front of the SW goal as Bose ran out to grab the ball. Paccione beat Bose to the ball and moved to the side, leaving an open net and she sent the ball into the nylon.
Kate Maguire added an insurance goal for Tuxedo with 3:54 left.
This was like our game when we played them at our place, DiMattina said. They had a 2-1 lead and we came back in the second half. Today, we had some opportunites to score (more) in the first half, but in the second half we had more opportunities and were able to put it away.
DiMattina concurred with Mahoney that his team was able to control the midfield better in the second half.
Sullivan Wests Rebecca Steele opened the scoring when she beat Tuxedo goalie Shannon Quinn with a high shot to the corner of the net twenty minutes into the match. Tiffany Hauser assisted on the goal.
Tuxedo answered less than two minutes later as Maguire scored on an assist from Sirico.
At the 29:04 mark of the first half, Aileen Semenetz gave the lead back to the Lady Bulldogs. A Tuxedo defender failed to clear the ball and Semenetz was right there to rip a shot past Quinn. It was the 21st goal of the season for Semenetz, who led SW in that category.
For the match, Bose made 13 saves and Quinn had 6 saves.
Tuxedo outshot SW by a 21-7 margin and held a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks.
It was a good match, Mahoney said. Our girls played hard.
He especially noted the good performance by Bose, who was making her first appearance since suffering a concussion in a match two weeks ago.
Bose is one of nine seniors who played in their final match Wednesday. The other eight are Jen Ackermann, Shelisa Duquette, Katherine Lederman, Megan Moran, Danielle Peters, Semenetz, Karen Terry and Christina Winski.