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Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014: Big day for F-M, East Aurora runners

   Leading off today: Bryce Millar of Fayetteville-Manlius defended his NYSPHSAA boys Class A cross country championship Saturday in a time of 15:30.3 at SUNY Canton.

   Millar's effort highlighted another big day for F-M, with the boys and girls teams defending their Class A championships. East Aurora posted the Class C version of the team double, going one better by snaring individual first-place finishes in each race on the muddy five-kilometer course.

   Millar, who will sign a letter of intent next week with Indiana University, won the 2013 state title at Queensbury. With Nick Ryan having won in 2011-12, F-M runners have earned four straight individual boys titles in the large-school classification to go with four team crowns since 2009.

   With Kyle Barber (third overall) and Adam Hunt (eighth) next across the line behind Millar among competitors in the team race, F-M cruised to victory by a 24-100 margin over Shenendehowa.

   Though Bertha Budda (17:49.7) of Arlington and 2013 Class B winner Jessica Lawson Corning were the first two finishers in the girls Class A race, F-M's first five runners scored in places two through six, led by freshman Sophia Ryan (18:04.1) in third place overall.

   That gave Fayetteville-Manlius a comfortable 20-85 win over Saratoga.

   East Aurora's team sweep in Class C was a closer affair. The boys fought off Mount Academy (winner of the previous two Class D titles) 45-61, led by junior Kenny Vasbinder's 15:54.6 for individual honors. The girls outdistanced Bronxville 51-54, with Greenwich (83) and Westhill-Bishop Ludden (88) not far off the pace. East Aurora junior Sophia Tasselmyer was the winner in 19:07.8, more than 30 seconds ahead of the field.

   East Aurora previously scored the team double in the 2010 NYSPHSAA meet.

   "It's a huge accomplishment," EA coach Walt McLaughlin told The Buffalo News. "It's absolutely been our goal all season ... and it worked out. It was a tough course with lots of mud and lots of rain."

   Beaver River hit a major milestone by posting 74 points and edging Barker (80) and Norwood-Norfolk (81) for the boys Class D championship. In pulling down their first title since 2008, the Beavers earned their 15th championship in the history of the meet and tied West Genesee lacrosse for the most NYSPHSAA first-place trophies in any boys sport. The girls leader is Rockville Centre South Side girls soccer, which will be chasing its 18th championship next weekend in Cortland.

   "I'm just very proud of our team," junior Brett Neddo told The Daily Times. "We don't have a lead runner, per se, but we have a very strong pack. The Beaver Dam is alive."

   Pittsford Mendon's boys made it two straight Class B championships and Tully successfully defended in the girls Class D race.

   Full results: You can follow the links here for the boys and girls results from the NYSPHSAA cross country meet.

   RCSS advances: Junior Keri Cavallo scored in the first sudden death to lift Rockville Centre South Side to a 2-1 victory vs. Shoreham-Wading River in the NYSPHSAA girls Class A soccer finals.

   Cavallo cashed in Tessa Considine's corner kick into the box, charging in near the far post to redirect the ball with her face.


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  •    Shoreham-Wading River had tied with just under two minutes left in regulation as Emily Sopko popped in a free kick from 35 yards.

       While the Cyclones are regulars at Cortland, Cavallo did not make the trip with her team the past two years. As a freshman and sophomore, she helped South Side reach the final fours only to have to miss the final weekend of the tournament due to obligations in Florida with her regional team.

       "It was devastating," she told Newsday. "I was begging my mom to cancel my flight."

       An end to the futility: For the first time in two decades, a Section 6 boys Class D soccer team has reached the NYSPHSAA tournament semifinals.

       International Prep/Grover Cleveland ended Section 5's 20-year run of winning Class D in the state quarterfinals with a 4-0 rout of Webster Christian at Hamburg High School. Mohamud Abdi and Pa Lu scored two goals apiece to lead the Presidents.

       I-Prep is the first Section 6 team to advance out of the quarterfinals since North Collins in 1994; the Buffalo-area representatives hadn't so much as scored a goal in the state Class D tournament the past four years.

       Riding an 11-game winning streak, the Presidents return to action Saturday in Middletown against Chazy.

       "Not only is it big for our school, but it's also big for the City of Buffalo and it's big for Section 6," I-Prep coach Tony Alessi said. "We're representing a lot of different things out there."

       No perfection remaining: The last hope for an untied and undefeated state champion in boys soccer perished when Shenendehowa edged top-ranked Fayetteville-Manlius 1-0 in the Class AA quarterfinals.    Senior Michael Miner floated a 74th-minute shot into the upper right corner to end the Hornets' 19-game winning streak since the start of the season. It advanced the Plainsmen, six-time state champs, to the semifinals for the 15th time.

       "Honestly, I felt a bit fortunate to get that goal, because for a good 20 minutes they were taking it to us," Shen coach Shenendehowa coach Jonathan Bain told "They're a good team, with a lot of skill."

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