It’s been a long and difficult road to just make it to the playoffs for the Wayland-Cohocton Golden Eagles. They have battled numerous lineup changes after being dealt several key injuries throughout the course of the season.
But Way-Co never stopped battling, and they never stopped winning either. The Lady Eagles finished the regular season with a final record of 14-2-0, good enough for the No. 1 seed in the Class B2 sectionals.
Wayland-Cohocton may have had several injuries, but the one constant has been Jessie Hammers. The speedy senior has amassed 51 points in 16 games, finishing the regular season with a team-high 23 goals, and five assists.
While Hammers is undoubtedly important to this teams success, coach Terry Brown is hoping that everyone around Hammers will step up in sectionals, because he already knows what Hammers is capable of.
“I don’t know if it’s what I expect to see out of Jessie, so much as it is what will we see from the supporting cast. I know what Jessie is capable of, and I know teams are going to key on her defensively. Every game for the rest of her career here the other team is going to zero in on her,” said Brown. “It’s going to be up to the other girls to step up and pick up slack or make teams pay for double-teaming Jessie. If the other girls can prove that around her, it will make things much easier for Jessie.”
Furthermore, Way-Co will look to take advantage of the bye they receive with the No. 1 seed by utilizing the extra days to prepare themselves for the opponent, as well as recover from a long season.
“This is great to have a bye into the second round, because we really are banged up. I wouldn’t say it’s an achilles heal, but it’s about the closest thing to it, and that is our depth. When you go through a full season of soccer games without having the depth, it can hurt you at times. Right now we are just trying to get as healthy as possible and we welcome the extra days to prepare,” said Brown.
Wayland-Cohocton will play the winner of No. 9 Wellsville and No. 8 Attica on Friday night at 6 p.m. in the Cohocton Sports Complex.
“We’ve played Wellsville twice, so there is a possibility we will play them again. I know nothing about Attica, but that stuff really doesn’t bother me at this point. I’m sure they will be very competitive, but I don’t see (not knowing the opponent) as an advantage or disadvantage one way or the other at this point in the season,” said Brown.
For the rest of Class B2, Dansville has earned the No. 3 seed with a 5-9-2 record. The Mustangs start their sectional play against No. 6 Holley, who finished with a 3-9-4 record. If the Mustangs advance, they will see the winner of No. 2 Mynderse and No. 7 North Rose-Wolcott.
In class B1, No. 1 Greece Odyssey is the team to beat. No. 2 Hornell hopes that they can survive and advance in order to prove that with a 14-2-0 record, they should have been the top seed over G-O’s 11-3-2 tally.
The Red Raiders have both speed and depth on the offensive side of the ball. Four Red Raiders have reached the double digit goal tally this season. Annie Willsey has led the way with 15 goals, and she also picked up 10 assists on the season as well. Abigail Austin has 12 goals and nine assists, while Jocelyn Brittingham and Kristen Talbot each have 11 goals and seven assists.
But in order for the Red Raiders to meet Greece Odyssey, they must first prove themselves against No. 7 Bath-Haverling, before taking on the winner of No. 3 Pal-Mac and No. 6 Penn Yan. Should the Red Raiders survive, they will be awarded their chance at a Section V Class B2 Championship.
Class D1 is as deep as it’s ever been, including boasting the two previous state championship soccer teams, Arkport and Jasper-Troupsburg. Arkport/Canaseraga earned a No. 4 seed, while J-T sits at No. 11. No. 6 Alfred-Almond also hopes to make an impact.
No. 4 Arkport heads to Warsaw Wednesday to battle No. 13 Lyndonville. If the Lady Jays are triumphant, they will face the winner of No. 5 York and No. 12 Batavia Notre Dame.
No. 6 Alfred-Almond and No. 11 Jasper-Troupsburg will square off with each other on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Almond. The winner will survive and advance to tango with the No. 3 seed, Harley-Allendale-Columbia.
Undefeated Fillmore (16-0-0) is the team to beat.
In Class C1, No. 12 Canisteo-Greenwood takes their talents to Geneseo tonight. They look to upset the No. 5 seed Blue Devils on their own turf at 6 p.m.
Canisteo-Greenwood enters sectional play with an 8-7-1 record. After losing a few key players early in the season in a car accident, the Lady Redskins needed other players to step up, and they did. Maisy Booth finished the season with 15 points from 6 goals and three assists. Haile Schwartz finished with nine goals and two assists.
Finally in Class C2, No. 6 Keshequa hosts No. 11 Perry tonight at Kiwanis Park in Nunda. The winner will take on the winner of No. 3 South Seneca- No. 14 Lyons. No. 8 Campbell-Savona plays No. 9 Red Jacket tonight at 6 p.m., and the winner will get the treat of facing off with No. 1 seed Kendall, who is 16-0-0.
All seeds and game times can be found on the official Section V website.