In a soccer-heavy county, it comes as no surprise that local schools are well represented in October for the Section IV Boys Soccer Championships. For another year, one local team captured the Section IV crown and advanced beyond the sectional round of play. Take a look back at what each of the local boys’ soccer teams did throughout the 2018 Section IV Boys Soccer Tournament.
Lansing Bobcats:After an undefeated run in league play that culminated in an IAC Large School Championship, the Bobcats earned the top seed in the Class C bracket. Along with the top seed, Lansing secured the opening round bye that would allow for rest and extra preparation for the quarterfinal round. After an offensive showing in a quarterfinal matchup with Unadilla Valley, a topping of Newark Valley secured the Bobcats an opportunity for a familiar situation, a Section IV championship game. In a rematch of the low scoring affair from earlier in the season, the Bobcats would top Trumansburg 1-0 in the title game. With the win, Lansing would capture the Section IV crown for the third time in as many years.
Trumansburg Blue Raiders:Despite the shortcoming in the championship game in Class C, the Blue Raiders flexed their muscles throughout the season earning a first-round bye as the third-seeded team in the sectional playoff. Riding the momentum of their IAC Small School Co-Championship, Trumansburg looked for a deep run in the Section IV tournament. After a hard-fought, 4-1 victory of a tough Delaware Academy team, the Blue Raiders met the two-seeded Greene Trojans in the semifinal game. In what was expected to be a closely contested contest, the Trojans and Blue Raiders needed extra time before Trumansburg stunned Greene with a set-piece goal to secure a spot in the title game. Despite a strong effort from start to finish, the Blue Raiders could not find the scoreline to keep their season alive in the loss to Lansing.
Groton Indians: In a season that was a back and forth battle, the Groton Indians found themselves with a qualifying spot in the sectional tournament. After downing the Moravia Blue Devils 6-2 in the regular season finale, the tenth-seeded Indians were set for a road matchup with the Chiefs of Southern Cayuga who held the seventh seed in the sectional tournament. With the season on the line for both squads, the Chiefs would use their talented youth to jump out to a lead that the Indians could not recover from. The victorious Southern Cayuga squad would go on to fall to Greene in the Class C quarterfinal.
Dryden Purple Lions:A strong season for the Purple Lions positioned the team as the two-seed in the Section IV tournament with a seeding record of 12-2-1. Along with the two-seed, Dryden earned a bye through the opening round of play and would meet Spencer-Van Etten/Candor in the quarterfinal round. After advancing to the semifinal behind a 3-2 advantage, the Purple Lions met three-seeded Chenango Valley. After a hard-fought game to determine a finalist, Dryden would come up on the wrong side of a 3-2 scoreline to a Warriors team that would fall to Oneonta in the final.
Ithaca Little Red:In a Class AA bracket in Section IV that begins play in the semifinal round, the Little Red of Ithaca High School knew that a spot in the title game would take just one win. Standing in the way of the 7-3-3, second-seeded Little Red was an 8-5-1, third-seeded Corning-Painted Post Hawks squad that looked to pull off the upset on the road. After a number of game-tying chances by the Hawks were turned aside, the Little Red advanced to the Section IV championship game with a 1-0 win. In the title game, the Little Red met the fourth-seeded Horseheads Blue Raiders for the third time of the year. After a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation, Horseheads would advance to the state playoffs for the first time in 19 years with a 4-3 advantage in penalty kicks.
From the representation of the county and the strong performances on the field throughout the season and the Section IV tournament, the competitiveness of Tompkins County boys soccer is on par with the best in the state.
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