Poland Keeper Courtney Green makes a big save early on.

Jeff Pexton-MHTS-PGI Photo

The Poland girls soccer team gave notice to the rest of the New York State Class “D” girls soccer teams today; there is a Tornado Watch in effect and you’d better seek shelter!

Mikayla Blumenstock scored her 33rd, 34th and 35th goals of the season to lead the Section III Class “D” Champion Poland Tornadoes to a 4-1 victory over Section IV champion Franklin Academy and claim the Central Region Championship.

Not a bad day for Blumenstock, the second leading scorer in Section III this season. Did I mention she’s just a freshman?

Excuse me…Mikayla Blumenstock (13) watches her second goal of the game roll in, as Franklin keeper Haley Downinn finds harm’s way.

Poland entered today’s match with a record of (19-1) and ranked 6th in the most recent NewYork State poll.

Franklin Academy came in at (16-2-1) and ranked number 7.

It was the Lady Purple Devils of Franklin who jumped out early in this one, much to the surprise of the big Poland cheering section.

Just 3:47 into the opening half, Franklin’s Jessica Downinn booted a loose ball past Poland keeper Courtney Green to give the Devils their due and a 1-0 lead early on.

Franklin head coach Gerald Laing rallied his players on the field after the opening goal, saying “you see girls, we can play with this team, they are beatable”.

Coach Laing was right on target, for about the next five minutes.

That’s when Poland’s Paige Sullivan notched her twelfth goal of the season, sailing a shot past Franklin’s very aggressive keeper, Haley Downinn to tie things up at 1-1, with 31:12 to go in the first half.

After that, it was just all Tornadoes.

Blumenstock took over personally as well, scoring the next three goals of the match.

The freshman phenom’s first tally came just 12:44 after Sullivan’s goal and gave Poland a 2-1 lead, which the kids clad in white would take to the intermission.

The second half saw the Tornadoes pepper the Franklin end, yielding two more goals by Blumenstock.

Credit Franklin keeper Jessica Downinn for keeping this game marginally close for as long she did, given the offensive storm front being generated by Poland.

Franklin’s Marissa Cawley (10) seeks out a loose ball as Poland’s Mikayla Blumenstock (13) and Brittany Green (12) have other plans.

The Tornadoes will advance to play Section VI Champion Ellicottville next Saturday at Homer High School in the NYSPHAA Class “D” Final Four.

The State Tourney semifinal visit will be the first for the school since 1988.

Poland improves to (20-1) on the season, while Franklin finishes a great 2012 campaign at (16-3-1).

Jessica Downinn finished with thirteen saves for Franklin and Courtney Green blocked four of five shots she faced for Poland.



Poland 4 Franklin Academy 1

Box Score

               1      2     Total

Franklin    1      0       1

Poland      2     2        4

Poland’s Katie Shelhamer (17) hits a header late in the game as Franklin’s Mariah McNeilly (4) looks on.