Since the inception of the My Hometown Sports Adirondack Bank 12th Man promotion we have had the honor and pleasure to salute individuals who go out of their way to help support local athletes and sports programs in their areas.
This time we go outside the box just a bit to present the latest Adirondack Bank 12th Man award to the entire Village of Poland! Or as we like to call it “ Soccer Town USA.”
It is truly an honor to be a member of the boys or girls high school soccer team in Poland. We are talking generations of family members who have worn the colors and have been a Tornado themselves.
For some reason the sport of soccer has become deeply woven into the fabric of this small community. Woven into a quilt filled with patches that include the exploits and memories of past teams.
Last weekend as both the boys and girls teams vied for Class D New York State Championships families and friends were forced to sit at dinner tables and have serious discussions about what family members would travel to support the boys and what family members would follow the girls.
Somehow the right choices were made,and both teams were supported in a manner that only Poland fans can fully understand.
The passion and continued fervor for the game can only be described by a member of the Tornado Nation.
Several teams had made deep runs all the way to the New York State Final Four. None of those teams had been lucky enough to capture the “Holy Grail”, a New York State Championship. That all changed on Sunday November 18th as the Poland girls beat Chateaguay to claim the crown!
My Hometown Sports reporter Jeff Pexton was along for the ride. Relive the title clinching games by reading Jeff’s stories.
Most of all thanks to the fans and supporters of Poland Soccer and welcome to the Adirondack Bank 12th Man family.
LADY TORNADOES BRING HOME FIRST EVER NYS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
The Poland Lady Tornadoes earned the school’s first ever Class “D” New York State Championship in girl’s soccer, by defeating the Chateaugay Lady Bulldogs by a score of 3-2 in double overtime, today at SUNY Cortland.
Junior midfielder Tara Siegle’s dramatic (and simply majestic) shot from 31 yards away sailed over the out stretched hands of Chateaugay keeper Makayla Fleury and just under the cross bar for what proved to be the game winner, with 5:03 remaining in the second overtime period.
It was the third time in the game that the Tornadoes took a one goal advantage, but this would be the only time they maintained it, keeping the Bulldogs heavy offensive pressure at bay the rest of the way to bring home the State Championship.
Today’s game was the polar opposite of the Tornadoes 2-1 semi-final win yesterday over Jasper-Troupsburg.
Yesterday, Poland was essentially outplayed by their opponent the entire game, yet were able to ride the shoulders of keeper Courtney Green into today’s final match.
Today, on the other foot, Poland outplayed Chateaugay, the State’s #1 ranked team coming into today, with a record of (21-0).
Today, under brilliant sunshine and mild temperatures, the Tornadoes won almost every 50/50 ball, hunted down loose balls ahead of the Bulldogs and booted virtually everything away from their own goal all afternoon long, yet the two teams remained tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation.
After a scoreless first half, Makayla Blumenstock got Poland on the board first again today, scoring her 37th goal of her freshman season to give the girls in white a 1-0 lead, bringing the entire population of Poland, who was seated in the SUNY Cortland Stadium stands, to their collective feet and into one unanimous roar.
Just 17 seconds later, Chateaugay’s fans , who made the trek south from their quiet little town that sits on the Canadian border, had plenty of reason to celebrate themselves.
Katie Bech took a cross from her Sister Alexis and hit a perfect ball past Poland Keeper Courtney Green to tie this match up at 1-1 with 15:24 to go in regular time.
Tara Siegle’s first goal of the game came with just under six minutes to go in regular time to make it 2-1 in favor of the Section III and Central Region Champions, but that lead would also be short lived.
Chateaugay’s Brianna Cook took another nifty pass from Alexis Bech and bounced a shot under Green to tie the score at 2-2, with under a minute to go in regular time.
As per NYSPHAA playoff rules, girl’s soccer games that are tied at the end of 80 minutes of regulation then go to two 10 minute non-sudden death overtime periods.
If the score is still tied after that, the teams are then to play two 5 minute non-sudden death overtime periods. If that doesn’t break the tie then the teams move on to penalty kicks.
Both teams were completely exhausted after regulation, following grueling 1 goal victories for each team in yesterday’s semi-final matches.
Today’s first overtime period saw both teams play very close to the vest, not wanting to give either team a break to get the go ahead goal.
The long lead kicks and throw in’s intended to get behind the defenders were left behind with regular time.
Neither team was able to put in a goal in the first overtime period, so after a 5 minute intermission, it was on to OT number two.
The first five minutes of the second overtime were played about as tentative as the first ten, but then it was number 16, Tara Siegle for Poland who found herself moving the ball just outside the 30 yard mark in the Chateaugay end.
With none of her teammates open, Siegle calmly booted the ball high and on line with the Lady Bulldogs goal.
Keeper Makayla Fleury ranged high for the shot, but it was just out of her reach,and the ball sailed barely under the cross bar and into the back of the goal to give Poland a 3-2 lead, with 5:03 to play in the second overtime.
Chateaugay applied steady pressure on the Poland goal over the last 5 minutes, but the Tornadoes stingy defense held the line and Poland (literally all of it) erupted on the field and off as they claimed their first ever girl’s soccer State Championship.
Courtney Green had yet another solid day in goal, stopping 6 of the 8 balls she faced for the winners. Makayla Fleury made 10 saves for Chateaugay, which finished its season at (21-1).
Poland’s Mikayla Blumenstock was named the State Final Four’s Most Valuable Player. Poland completed a remarkable season at (21-1).
My Hometown Sports wishes to congratulate the Poland Girls Soccer team, coach Tom Basel, as well as the entire Poland Community which came out in force this weekend, on your State Championship!
Poland 3 Chateaugay 2 2OT
1 2 OT OT Final
Chateaugay 0 2 0 0 2
Poland 0 2 0 1 3