The Broncos bested Seton Catholic Sunday to earn a trip to the Class B state semifinals.
My story about their win, accompanied by pictures taken by John Meore, follows with some extra notes. –Nancy
FREEDOM PLAINS The main mission, of course, was to win.
But the game plan included something written in bold — Stop Genna Michitti.
And, except for one shot, Bronxville did just that Sunday, beating Section 4’s Seton Catholic Central 3-1 in the Class B regional finals at Arlington High School.
Bronxville will play at noon Saturday at Cortland High School in the state semifinals against Section 3’s Westhill High School, the state’s top-ranked Class B team.
The Broncos broke on top early. Beth Finley (pictured below, jumping into Caitlin Fryer’s arms after a goal) scored the first of her two goals with less than two minutes gone, taking a pass from Lucy Kohlhoff and making a couple of moves before shooting low to goalie Maddie Williams’ left.
But, rather than be deflated, the Saints came out firing to start the second half. And less than two minutes in, Michitti, Seton’s leading scorer, scored, picking up a pretty Michaela Farrell feed while driving to the net and beating Bronco keeper Charley Warble (four saves).
Bronxville (19-1), though, was able to limit Michitti’s touches from for the rest of the game.
Forward Rachael Peacock and defenders Taylor Sears, Natalie Kister and Mason Warble (photo below, battling Emily Purtell) had particularly big games.
It was Warble’s free kick from the 31-yard line after a Saints’ yellow card that netted Bronxville its third goal with 7:15 to play. The ball floated over a back-pedaling Williams and just under the crossbar.
Warble, who noted coach Don Cupertino told her to put the ball on net, said, “It felt like a nice strike.”
Finley was more enthused.
“It was beautiful. It was perfect,” she said.
And it proved to be the final nail. Bronxville dominated for the most part from that point, Williams (eight saves) being forced to make a great diving stop on a Caitlyn Fryer shot with 4:25 left.
“They have good speed and we didn’t expect the physicality,” Saints coach Kelly Vavalle said.
“Everybody stepped up. That’s a good team,” Cupertino said.
“Oh, my gosh. I still can’t believe it,” Finley said of her goals. Of her team, she added, “We were really trying. We’ve played with heart the whole season.”
Notes: Don’t challenge Natalie Kister to a race. The defenseman ran like a racehorse to catch Kaelynn Michitti on a breakaway with 24:20 left in the first half. She not only caught but took the ball away from the senior, who’ll play in college next year. … Charlotte Schmuck also made a key defensive play. She was the only defender back when Farrell drove toward the net. But Farrell couldn’t get around Schmuck. … A first-half Bronxville goal off a rebound was negated because Kohlhoff made contact with Williams before Williams coughed up the ball. … A lot of times, good goalie plays aren’t officially saves, although, had they not been made, the ball would have ended up in the net. Both goalies had their share of those. Included was a diving cover by Warble and a race-won-to-the-ball by Williams with Kohlhoff flying in. … The Saints were aggressive early but later in the first half Vavalle repeatedly screamed at her forwards to move up the field, instead of sinking back in the defensive end. … It was nearly impossible to count how many times Sears boomed the ball down the field, stopping Saint threats and contributing to the Broncos’ offense. She also had some nice headers on both the defensive and offensive end. “She’s very defensive-minded,” Cupertino said. “She makes a lot happen for us.” … If Bronxville decides to work on one thing thing this week it may be at staying onsides. Multiple chances went by the wayside because of their inability to do so. … Williams flat out robbed Fallon Raviol (top photo, taking a shot) in the second half. … Finley didn’t need many do-overs but she’d probably take one. Bronxville displayed great ball movement at one point with Mason Warble hitting Raviol and Raviol just missing Fryer. Williams had to commit and came out on Fryer as the ball just eeked by. Finley came backdoor but just missed wide-left with a shot that would have made it 3-1 with 24:57 left in the game. … Peacock did a great job moving the ball through and around traffic. … It wasn’t obvious what Seton’s Vanessa Crowley did to draw that key yellow card. The ref only said, “We don’t need this here.” … Finley and Mason Warble acknowledged their team was a “little nervous” at times during the second half. Warble said she thought her late goal “helped calm our nerves a little bit.”