Cairo, NY — The Maple Hill girls varsity soccer team scored a goal on the Mustangs home turf for the first time in four years Monday, in a one-nil sectional upset.
While Cairo-Durham entered this one as the No.6 seed in Class C with an 11-3-2 record, the Wildcats came out looking to prove their worth as the No.11 seed with an 8-8 record.
With 15 minutes gone by, Junior Varsity call-up Skyler Householder delivered the eventual game-winning goal, which put the Wildcats up one-nil. “We haven’t scored down here in years. To do it and win a sectional game is huge,” said Maple Hill head coach Shelia Golden.
Cairo would have more and more good looks as the game went on, but they were no match for Maple Hill keeper Arianna Pappas. “She was incredible in there yet again,” said her head coach.
Sheila Golden credits her team’s success to the work of her JV callups and their impact on practice. “It’s good that the two teams are working together. When we have 22 at practice we can do a lot more with 11 on 11 situational things. As a result, we are able to practice less around people and more players (multiple people)”
“Both our girls (the 2 teams) came out with a strong level of intensity,” added Junior Varsity assistant head coach Jackie Martin.
The No.11 seeded lady Wildcats will now travel to take on a tough No.3 seeded Stillwater squad in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The last time these two teams met was in an early season scrimmage which Stillwater controlled every facet of, winning 8-2. As an added bonus to playing at home, the Warriors will go into this one with far more experience playing on a turf field than Maple Hill. The lady Wildcats have only played on such conditions once this year during a two-nil win at Taconic Hills.
As any soccer player will tell you, when playing on turf the ball simply moves faster than it would on plain grass, severely effecting the tempo/speed of the game. Considering most small/less affluent schools are not equipped with such a field, an unfair competitive advantage argument could easily be made. Then again, it’s called home-field advantage for a reason.
Wednesday’s game will start at 7:00 p.m., not at 3:00 p.m. as listed on the Section II bracket