CORTLAND, N.Y. — Kaitlin Huyler scored twice for Jasper-Troupsburg, and the state-ranked No. 2 Wildcats defeated No. 1 Poland 4-2 in New York’s Class D title match Sunday at SUNY-Cortland.
The Section V Wildcats (22-1-0), who lost 2-1 to the Tornadoes in a semifinal last year, scored two goals in the opening 1 minute, 43 seconds of the match with one coming from Huyler just one minute in.
“We lost a couple of marks; we made a couple of mistakes including myself,” Poland defender Katie Shelhamer said. “Most of the team was scared, because we’re not used to being disorganized.”
Playing with the wind, Jasper-Troupsburg struck again 43 seconds later when Hannah Miles capitalized on a defensive miscue and finished a giveaway by the Tornadoes’ defense.
Poland (19-3-0), which won the school’s first state soccer championship a year ago, got a goal back with 17:49 left in the first half. Leading-scorer Mikayla Blumenstock fed a perfect pass to Tara Seigle, who finished off her 19th goal of the season on the Tornadoes’ first shot of the game.
Seigle was Poland’s most outstanding player of the tournament. Huyler was the tournament’s MVP.
Jasper-Troupsburg’s Jessica Rowe scored the Wildcats’ third goal late in the first half. The goal — on a direct kick from about 23 yards out — turned out to be the key in securing the Wildcats’ first state title.
The junior meticulously set up the shot to the left of the Poland goal with about 8:39 left in the first half. Rowe lofted a shot over the jumping Poland wall, over the head of goalkeeper Courtney Green and into the left side of the Tornadoes’ net.
“It was huge,” Jasper-Troupsburg coach Beki Button said. “Jessica practices that a lot for us, and for her to go in and do that, was just amazing for us.”
Paige Sullivan made it a one-goal game early in the second half. The senior, who scored three in the 4-0 semifinal win over Eldred Saturday, finished a Saige Hampston corner kick with 29:15 left to cut Jasper-Troupsburg’s lead to 3-2.
Wind was a factor for both teams throughout the game. Poland pressured the Wildcats for significant minutes in the second half when the Tornadoes had the wind at their back. Sullivan’s goal was a boost to Poland’s comeback hopes but the Tornadoes couldn’t get the equalizer before Huyler scored her second goal with 11:19 left.
“The wind just affects your touch on the ball and took us out of our possession game,” Poland coach Tom Basel said. “In the second half, we knew the wind was going to be a factor and it was. We did get a few opportunities but we were not able to generate enough opportunities.”