Defeated but unbowed Monroe-Woodbury Girls Varsity Soccer team loses 3-2 in state semifinals to the Baldwinsville Bees
Crusader Liz Myers reacts to the end of the season and her high school soccer career.
CORTLAND — On a cold, windless Nov. 4 Saturday night, the Crusaders took on the Baldwinsville Bees at SUNY Cortland in the NYSPHSAA state semifinal. The two teams had met two years ago in the semifinals with the Bees taking 1-0 decision. The Crusaders had beaten the #1 ranked Arlington High School and the Bees had knocked off the #2 Shenendehowa High School to reach the semifinal game. The Bees stung the Crusaders in the first 3:09 of the game when Hannah Mimas got off a quick shot and scored to put the Bees up 1-0. While the Crusaders were still rubbing where they were stung, the Bees' Graisa Madden put one past the diving Angela Fini and with less than five minutes played in the game the Crusaders were in a 2-0 hole. After the Bees; second goal the Crusaders seemed to wake up and started to play the soccer that had carried them all season long. With 24:30 left in the half Crusader Caroline Helbeck’s header off a corner kick ricocheted off the goalie. In the mad scramble in front, the Bees were able to clear but that play lifted the Crusaders confidence and they started to press the attack. The Crusaders carried their momentum into the second half and just 2:07 into the frame they scored when Kiki Goodwin launched a free kick from 40-yards out that found its way into the corner of the Bees net to cut the lead in half. But just as the Crusaders looked as though they about to take over the game the Bees' Simone Naivel scored 30 seconds later and the Crusaders fond themselves down 3-1. The 2017 Crusaders have no quit in them and they began to push the attack realizing the season was on the line. They hit the crossbar with 26:00 left in the game and finally with 11:43 Kayla MacKenzie got open and drilled a shot into the Bees' goal to make it a 3-2 game. The Crusaders responded to the goal and put the ball into the Bees zone and pressed the Bees. With 3:01 left in the game, Colleen Kinsella’s header off a corner kick would have tied the game but it hit the crossbar and bounced away. The Bees held on for a 3-2 victory and would beat Massapequa on Sunday afternoon to take the state title. The Crusaders loss ends their season. They have made it to the state semifinals twice in the last three years. Although they will again be loosing a very strong core of senior players, they have a very bright future with a very talented and experienced group of underclassmen ready to step up. - William Dimmit