SAUQUOIT, N.Y. — The Poland Tornadoes are heading back to Section III’s Class D title match after beating Owen D. Young 4-1 in an all-Center State Conference semifinal Tuesday at Sauquoit Valley.
The undefeated Tornadoes (18-0-0) travel to Chittenango Friday to meet Immaculate Heart of Watertown in the 5:30 p.m. final. Immaculate Heart beat Copenhagen 3-0 in the other semifinal Tuesday at Lowville Academy.
Poland, the defending sectional champion, took a 2-0 lead before halftime and led 3-0 before allowing a goal midway through the second half.
“We’ve been starting slow,” coach Greg Haver said. “We usually play well on turf and I wanted us to start well tonight.”
It took the Tornadoes 23 1/2 minutes to find the back of the net but the play of Owen D. Young goalkeeper Andrey Drozdov played a key role in keeping the match scoreless in the early going. Drozdov made 11 saves for the Wildcats (13-3-1) and grabbed a deep throw-in by Mark Hennings in the 11th minute. The ball got away from Drozdov when he was bumped by Ross Agen and teammate Marty Collins was able to clear the ball as it approached the left post.
Agen, who had two assists, set up the first goal of the night with a pass off the right wing for Cameron Tabor. Tabor trapped the ball 15 yards out, spun with a defender on his back and chipped his shot over Drozdov’s right shoulder and inside the far post.
A flurry of activity in front of the Owen D. Young goal produced another score eight minutes later. Dustin DuBrule made a run art the goal from the left corner and Drozdov stopped his shot from point blank range. The Tornadoes ended up with a throw-in that Collins headed out of bounds, setting up another throw-in by Hennings that DuBrule was able to play into the net for the 2-0 lead.
Hennings added a goal 11 minutes into the second half. Agen played the ball ahead for Hennings who flicked a shot over Drozdov when the goalie came out to cut down his angle.
Ryan Crouse scored for Owen D. Young with 18 minutes left to play. Poland goalkeeper Mitch Jones was reaching for the ball and had it knocked away by a Wildcat. Crouse then banged the ball into the net.
Jones made five saves.
The Tornadoes added a Mike Sypolt goal off a rebound in the final two minutes. Branden Garrett assisted.
The loss ended a 7-0-1 streak for Owen D. Young which had not been beaten since Sept. 29 when the Wildcats were shut out by Cherry Valley-Springfield, a Class D finalist in Section IV. Owen D. Young’s other loss was against Class C semifinalist
Hamilton/Morrisville-Eaton, a team the Wildcats later tied at home.
Page 2 of 2 - “They’re dangerous,” Haver said of the Wildcats. “Looking at their record, we ad to make sure we didn’t sleep on them and paid attention to their better players.