While the score of Sauquoit Valley 4, Mount Markham 0 tells who won last Friday’s Section Three Class C championship, here’s a fact that goes beyond the numbers.
The game’s Golden Gloves award, given to the better goalie of the game, went to Mount Markham senior Hannah Pcola.
Sauquoit Valley has played 19 games so far this season and converted them to 19 wins, looking for No. 20 this weekend in the state regional tournament. Their route to return to SUNY Cortland for the state tournament needs a win to make it to the Final Four.
Should they do so, Mount Markham will have a presence in the game. The Indians are coached by former Mustangs player Courtney Roberts.
Schools 10 miles apart traveling 90 minutes away brought a decent sized fan base, with the student cheering section of the Mustangs by far the loudest at the game. That support never wavered, even as the Indians in red led 3-0 before the first 20 minutes had been played.
The Mustangs, playing in visitor whites, had to step up on defense from the start. An early push - 90 seconds into the game - gave Sauquoit a shot that the Mustangs defense deflected.
From there, for much of the game, Sauquoit controlled the offensive tempo. Pcola, with close to 20 official saves, spent the game jumping, diving and catching the Indians’ shots on goal.
Not all the Sauquoit shots made it to Pcola. The Mustangs defense rarely had a rest but kept turning back the Indians. Katie Huntley, Abbie Ainslie and Emma Kocienda sacrificed shins and body with kicks and blocks to ward off shots on goal.
But eventually Sauquoit broke through, first with 31:49 left in the first half. Alyssa Shepherd banged the ball in on an angle off a diagonal from Alena Weibel.
Three minutes later, Sauquoit added its second goal when Olivia Kalil pushed the ball past Pcola, who had gone low for the stop.
The Mustangs responded with an offensive push, led by Caroline Entwistle and Amber Piersma. Entwistle, who, like Ainslie, chose not to attend the…