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Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014: Section 1 advances four in girls soccer

   Leading off today: If Section 1's dry spell in girls soccer continues Sunday, it won't be for a lack of opportunities.

   Section 1, winless in the NYSPHSAA finals since 2010, scored four wins in the semifinals Saturday in Cortland -- three by teams having suffered one-goal losses in state finals the past three seasons.

   North Rockland will get a rematch of its 2-1 loss to Massapequa in the 2013 Class AA final, Somers can avenge a 1-0 loss to Rockville Centre South Side in the 2011 'A' title game and Class C Haldane advanced to its second straight Class C final and will play Lansing after last fall's 2-1 loss to Haldane for the crown. The fourth finalist is Class B Bronxville, which meets Port Jefferson.

   The Class D final pairs Arkport and Poland.

   Though Haldane had to go overtime to beat Avon 2-0, Somers may have had the most harrowing day among the Section 1 entrants with a 2-1 win over Jamesville-DeWitt in a matchup of two of the NYSPHSAA's four remaining unbeaten teams entering the weekend.

   Hannon Eberts cashed in a Jenna Menta cross with 8:29 to play to pull the No. 2 Tuskers into a tie, and sophomore Melina Cousiz made a penalty kick with 5:47 left to earn the 2-1 victory over top-ranked J-D.

   "We kept pounding and pounding, and eventually, the time just came and we put some goals in," Menta told The Journal News.

   With the win, the Tuskers (21-0) advanced to Sunday's final vs. Rockville Centre South Side at SUNY Cortland in what will be a David vs. Goliath confrontation: Somers is pursuing its first New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship in the sport, while the 17 trophies won by South Side is a state association record for any team in a single sport.

   More girls soccer: Port Jefferson's improbable Class B success story continued with a 3-2 win in penalty kicks after playing Aquinas to a 2-2 tie through overtime at Homer High School.

   Junior Noelle Zimmermann, the "oldest" starter on the team though she didn't crack the lineup until a late-season injury to Brianna Scarda, stopped two shots in the tiebreaker after making eight stops in regulation and overtime.

   "My teammates were counting on me," Zimmermann told Newsday, "and I didn't want to let them down."

   Boys summary: One year after Nassau County teams won three outright titles and shared a fourth, Suffolk County's entries in the three largest classes all advanced to championship games in Middletown.

   In Class AA, Commack will meet Fairport. In Class A, East Hampton faces Greece Athena. And in 'B,' it will be Mattituck vs. Beekmantown.

  

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  •    Commack advanced via a 1-0 win in overtime against a Shenendehowa team that had logged more than 400 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal. Junior midfielder Anthony Izzo, subbed back into the game moments earlier, scored in sudden death.

       The decisive play began with a throw-in by Josh Eisler. Scott Cebollero got the ball near the net and flicked it to Izzo on the goal line.

       "I can't believe it, man. This is amazing," Izzo told Newsday. "Everything about the play was perfect."

       Wild ending: Rhinebeck, which came to town looking for its first title, advanced to the Class C championship game with a 2-1 OT win vs. Lansing after an outlandish final two minutes of regulation.

       Lansing's Ben Kutler scored with 1:48 left, but Rhinebeck equalized after Lansing was assessed a yellow card for delay of game with :11.3 left for intentionally kicking the ball out of bounds. Laurence Graziano headed in the goal off a free kick from Andy Rosenzweig, in his first game back following a concussion.

       Rhinebeck's Ryan Euell stormed down the \left wing and scored the winner seven minutes into OT.

       "I can't believe we won that game. I thought for sure we were done," Graziano told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "Somehow, we scored and it's amazing."


      
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