BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
WAVERLY — Waverly just wasn't going to be denied the chance to clinch its third straight IAC South Large School title on its home turf. The Wolverines found the back of the net early en route to a 6-1 victory over Newark Valley here Monday.
Sadie Van Allen scored unassisted at 36:35 and Melina Ortiz added another unassisted goal on a direct kick at 20:18.
Lea VanAllen scored with an assist from Kennedy Westbrook at 11:24, then the duo switched roles to make it 4-0 at 8:38.
The Cardinals, who came in riding a 5-game win streak, was unable to get a rhythm going against Waverly.
"The energy was a little low today," said NV head coach Chuck Schneider. "Don't know what, maybe a Monday game, but Waverly definitely is a good team. They passed and worked the ball really well together. They had a lot of nice shots. They had a lot of pieces to cover. They did a nice job moving the ball around."
A somewhat unusual schedule, a postponement with SVEC, and Homecoming last week all hampered NV's preparation for the state's 5th-ranked Class B team.
"What's really hard is the way our schedule worked out we didn't have much time to really prepare as we had all those games, four games one week, last week was three games, then here we are without the weekend and it was kind of rough," said Schneider, "and not looking ahead so we didn't lose sight of other games, and coming in here. It was a little tough not being able to do the preparation I would have liked, but it was a really good team and they came out and played really well tonight."
NV would get on the scoreboard before halftime when Makenna Nechwedowich launched a long direct kick over the head of Wolverine goalkeeper Kaitlyn Clark with 2:24 on the clock.
Waverly would tack on two more goals in the second half for good measure as Ortiz picked up her second goal with the assist going to Westbrook, and Gabby Picco tallied on an assist from Tessa Petlock.
The Cardinals dropped to 7-4 with the loss, but their record is not a good indicator of their talent level. The other losses came against previously state-ranked Lansing and Class C No. 9 Unatego.
"The team, coming out. They're playing hard," Schneider said. "We're a good team and we're being competitive, which is the only thing I can ask for is my teams being competitive."
Waverly head coach Tara Hogan said the team has been able to work on possession passing and patience the past couple of games.
"It was good because we had that time to practice that, so we had games where we were allowed to focus solely on passing and solely on dropping it back; I think Cora (defender Cora Smith was utilized most this game than she has most games.
"The idea is working with possession is a huge thing for us the last couple of games and now, having better competition, we were able to take that into account."
Waverly will face Dryden for the IAC Large School championship. The Wolverines won their previous meeting in the season opener, 2-1.
Newark Valley will wrap up the regular season Wednesday at home against Notre Dame.
IN PHOTO 1: NV'S Isabella Shiel. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.
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