With the unpredictable weather, the long travel to game locations, and the unpredictability of opponents for the next game, the 2018 Section IV Girls Soccer tournament was filled with outstanding efforts by local, Tompkins County schools. The girls’ bracket saw one talented team rally behind a dominant goalscoring effort to capture a Section IV title and a trip to the state playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades.
Ithaca Little Red:In a tightly knit bracket that holds four squads, the Ithaca Little Red captured the top seed in the Section IV Class AA bracket after posting a strong 9-3-1 record throughout the regular season. Earning the top seed locked the Little Red in a matchup with a talented Horseheads squad that looked to pull an upset in the final home game of the season for the Little Red and its seniors. After falling behind in the opening minutes of the game, the Little Red would retaliate in a big way, netting eight goals and advancing to the final with an 8-2 victory. On a Friday night in Waverly, Ithaca met the two-seeded Elmira Express in a back and forth contest for the title. A late set-piece opportunity lifted the Little Red to the Section IV title and its first state playoff appearance in 18 seasons.
Dryden Purple Lions:The Dryden girl’s team found itself with an opening round bye in the sectional playoff. The Purple Lions, who sat with the three-seed in the bracket, topped the sixth-seeded Owego Apalachin in the Class B quarterfinal of the tournament. With the win, Dryden had the opportunity for a rematch with the two-seeded Wolverines of Waverly who topped the Purple Lions 1-0 in the IAC Large School Championship. The rematch would not go as expected for Dryden as the Wolverines advanced to another sectional championship game with a 5-0 win. The Wolverines would go on to fall to top-seeded Chenango Forks in the final.
Groton Indians: In what will be remembered as one of the best seasons in recent memory for Groton, the Indians posted an undefeated record during the 2018 campaign and secured the top seed in the Section IV tournament in Class C. After an opening round bye to accompany the top-seed, the Indians took advantage of the eighth-seeded Bulldogs of Delaware Academy, 4-1. In the semifinal, the Indians met the Cardinals of Newark Valley and advanced to the championship game with a narrow 1-0 victory. In the title matchup, the Indians would take on two-seeded Unatego and would play to a 1-1 draw late into the game. The tie was broken by a 36-yard free kick goal that would send Unatego on to the state playoffs.
Trumansburg Blue Raiders:After a strong regular season that saw only three losses, one from top-seeded Groton and two from Class B Dryden, the Blue Raiders earned the third-seed in the sectional playoff. After a bye in the opening round, Trumansburg took advantage of a fatigued Seton Catholic squad that advanced to matchup after penalty kicks just days before. Following the 2-0 victory, the semifinal pitted the Blue Raiders with Unatego. Trumansburg was overpowered by the Spartan attack and would fall to the eventual champions 3-0.
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