Tara Seigle almost didn’t accompany her Poland soccer teammates to the state final four this weekend.
Seigle is an accomplished downhill skier and she was scheduled to report to Vermont a few days ago for training with her club team.
Seigle, though, chose soccer over skis, and it’s good thing for Poland. The junior midfielder scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime to lead the Tornadoes to a 3-2 victory over Chateaugay in the Class D state championship Sunday at Cortland State.
“I missed two days of camp to be here, and I’m so glad I did,” Seigle said. “It was a big decision.”
Seigle’s choice wasn’t officially validated until 95 minutes into the match, when she placed the game-winning goal into the upper right corner of the goal from 30 yards out.
“That’s a perfect shot,” Poland coach Tom Basel said.
The goal was Seigle’s 22nd of the year, and, like her first one early in the second half, it was set up by freshman forward Mikayla Blumenstock. Blumenstock, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, didn’t see the shot because she was on the ground after releasing the pass to Seigle, who was on the left side of the Bulldogs’ defense.
“All I saw was it go into the net,” Blumenstock said.
Blumenstock opened the scoring early in the second half with her 37th goal of the season. The Tornadoes relished in the lead for all of 30 seconds.
Chateaugay came right back and tied the game on Katie Bech’s goal.
“It was nice transition,” Poland defender Kara Morrison said. “It caught us off-guard.”
Seigle gave Poland a lead for the second time with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second half. Blumenstock did a lot of work on the dribble to keep the ball near the Chateaugay goal. When a loose ball popped out to Seigle, she punched it past Chateaugay goalkeeper Makayla Fleaury.
“It was chaos,” Seigle said. “I thought Mikayla was going to take it at that point. I just one-touched it.”
Chateaugay tied the game for a second time on Brianna Cook’s goal with about 90 seconds to play in regulation that led Basel to question whether Poland might again go home without a title.
“I think you’re not human if you don’t have an occasional doubt,” he said. “But, having said that, we have responded time and time again all season.”