By Ted Waddell
MILTON November 2, 2007 On Wednesday afternoon, the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats showed up at the Hudson Valley Sports Dome to play the Chapel Field Lady Lions for the Section IX Class D girls’ soccer title with some extra special fans.
A troupe of Livingston Manor students bared their chests in the bleachers, spelling out “MANOR!” Those spirited fans were Shane Lewis, who had the letter M painted on his chest, Brandon Rubic (A), Justin Maggio (N), Claude Davis (O), Josh Gorr (R), and, not to be outdone by his comrades, Taylor Simpson as the exclamation mark (!)
Those six young men had plenty to cheer about as the Lady Wildcats defeated Chapel Field, 5-2.
With the win, Manor earned a berth in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) tournament. The Lady Wildcats will host the Section XI champion on Tuesday at the Hudson Valley Sports Dome.
Livingston Manor (11-8) scored three unanswered goals in the first half to take a 3-0 lead. Christine Babich scored off an assist from Marissa Diescher, Melissa Lair put the ball in the net off a direct kick and Valentina Babich also scored off a direct kick.
At 37:17, Brianna Sofia put Chapel Field (8-9-1) on the scoreboard, reducing the Manor advantage to 3-1 at halftime.
In the second half, Diescher was back on the attack. She scored to put the Lady Wildcats up 4-1.
But at 14:11, Justine Vanderheide scored for the Lady Lions to make it a two-goal game.
Diescher closed out the scoring with her second goal of the game at 11:01.
Following the final whistle, the Lady Wildcats headed out across the field to be recognized as Section IX Class D champions, and Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) co-division champions, an honor that they shared with Chapel Field.
Manor enjoyed an 8-5 advantage in shots on goal and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
Chapel Field goalkeeper Michelle Larson made five saves, while Lady Wildcat goalie Angela Trotti had two saves.
“I don’t think we did a good job of marking, we had two girls who were marking and they didn’t stay on their marks,” Chapel Field Coach Mike Sofia said.
Chapel Field closed out the 2007 season with a couple of notable achievements. Larson, a freshman, had 162 saves on the year, Carolyn Raimondi had 10 goals and four assists and Brianna Sofia, a sophomore, had 20 goals and six assists.
“It was a high intensity game,” Livingston Manor Coach Shirlee Davis said.
Davis said that in order to shake off a few cases of the jitters caused by playing in the huge inflatable sports dome for the first time, she had her players focus on playing with intensity during the first and last 10 minutes of each half.
“The seniors went all out, this is it for them,” Davis added. “They want to see how far they can go.”