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Friday, Oct. 30, 2015: Schalmont, Voorheesville set up girls soccer rematch

   Leading off today: Schalmont, the state's top-ranked girls Class B soccer team, will get its rematch with Voorheesville -- this time with the stakes slightly higher.

   Sisters Davia and Julia Rossi combined for the goal to lift the Sabres (19-0) to a 1-0 win over Schuylerville on Thursday. The goal by Davia Rossi, her 17th of the season, same with 3:47 remaining in the first half of the Section 2 semifinal.

   Next up is Voorheesville (18-1), which ousted the Sabres in the 2014 semifinals when they were also ranked No. 1 by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Voorheesville used two goals from sophomore striker Rebecca Clair to beat Catholic Central 2-0 in the other semi.

   Schalmont scored a 5-3 win in overtime over Voorheesville on Sept. 16.

   "(That win vs. Voorheesville) was the most thrilling game of the season," Julia Rossi told The Times Union. "We are all going to be insanely pumped to get in there and take back what was ours last year."

   Speaking of rematches: After losing to Bronxville in two championship games and a semifinal in the previous three years, Albertus Magnus cleared its big Section 1 Class B hurdle with a 1-0 win the semifinals.

   "I think that as strong of a team we were coming in, Bronxville always had that little edge over us," Albertus Magnus senior Carly Clinton told The Journal News. "This time, we had that edge over them."

   Albertus Magnus got the decisive goal from Danielle LaRochelle in the 50th minute to eliminate the defending NYSPHSAA champions.

   Albertus Magnus will take on undefeated Irvington in the final Saturday.

   Boys soccer: Baldwinsville avenged two regular-season losses to Liverpool and stunned the Warriors, ranked sixth in the state, 2-1 in overtime in the Section 3 semifinals.

   With the prospect of penalty kicks looming, Mike Brussel broke open and scored with five minutes to go in the second overtime to advance the Bees. They'll play Cicero-North Syracuse in a bid for their seventh trophy in nine years.

   C-NS knocked off No. 9 Syracuse Nottingham 1-0 in the other semifinal.

   Speaking of soccer: U.S. Soccer announced this month that its controversial academy system will expand next fall to include the under-12 age group. The Journal News noted this week. The program's requirement that players not participate in school sports, it all but assures that many of the nation's best seventh-graders beginning in 2016 might never represent their junior high let alone play for the varsity.

   "We are very excited to expand and introduce the Academy structure and philosophy to the U-12 age group when players are in their peak learning years," U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Tab Ramos told "That age represents a critical stage in a player's growth, and this move represents another important step in our expanded efforts to improve elite player development."

   The academy system made its debut with the U-15s and U-18s in 2012. The U-13s and U-14s were added the following year. According to U.S. Soccer, there are 88 clubs across the country with U-13/14 academy teams and 79 with teams at the older age levels.

   "It certainly affects high soccer when a number of the top players in the area cannot represent their high school teams," Tappan Zee coach Jon Jacobs, who also coaches academy players, told the paper. "At Tappan Zee, we had one of our top young players opt to participate in the academy program ... this fall. On one hand, I would have loved to have had this player play this year in my program, but on the other, I do understand the opportunities that lie ahead when you play in the academy."

   Good sports: A bus carrying members of the Victor marching band was involved in an accident Saturday en route to Central Square for a field band competition. A Jeep struck the bus head-on and six students were injured and taken to the hospital. All but one have been cleared to compete at the New York State Field Band Conference championships on Sunday, Band Director Eric Everhart told

   Everhart said the band has received an outpouring of support from other schools. Liverpool marching band members signed an over-sized card and hand-delivered it.


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  •    "I couldn't put it in the mail and I really thought we should go there," Assistant Band Director Sky Harris said.

       Harris and a few band members picked up some cookies and drove to Victor, surprising Everhart.

       "I never thought that we would get such a huge outpouring of support," he said. "It means so much."

       White Plains great dies: Dennis Morgan, who starred at running back for White Plains and played in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, died Sunday. He was 63.

       New Jersey State Police said Morgan suffered a heart attack at MetLife Stadium while watching the Cowboys play the New York Giants.

       Morgan played for the undefeated 1969 White Plains team before heading to college at Bradley University and then Western Illinois. The Cowboys drafted him in the 10th round in 1974.

       His lone touchdown was a 98-yard punt return in his rookie season to set a team record that still stands.

       "I caught it on the 2-yard-line," Morgan told The Journal News in 2012. "I ran straight and veered to the right. And outran them. The whole team shook my hand. Even Tom Landry hugged me, and he's not that type. But for that occasion, he hugged me. Tom Landry wasn't a hugger. But for this occasion, he hugged me."

       After his brief NFL career, Morgan served in the U.S. Army, earning an honorable discharge.

       Softball inductees: The New York State High School Softball Hall of Fame has announced its 2016 class of honorees. They will be enshrined next June 18 at the Mudville Softball Complex in Herkimer.

       The selections are:

    • Laura Sweeney-Johnson (John Jay East Fishkill)
    • Linda Soto-Vasquez (North Rockland)
    • Abby Arceneaux (Mechanicville)
    • Amanda Morin (South Glens Falls)
    • Jessica Phillips (Cicero-North Syracuse)
    • Emily Ling Cotcamp (Chenango Valley)
    • Barb Marean (Maine-Endwell)
    • Rachael Wiggins (Susquehanna Valley)
    • Veronica Maher (Warsaw)
    • Kim Kaul (West Seneca West)
    • Katie Miranto (North Tonawanda)
    • Tracey Tyler Wells (MacArthur)
    • Samantha DeMartine (Marlboro)
    • Deanna Dovak (Connetquot)
    • Karin Muller Crowley (Staten Island Curtis)
       Football oddity: When was the last time you saw two Division I-bound long-snappers on the field in the same game? It happened last weekend when Aquinas beat Fairport in the Section 5 Class AA quarterfinals.

       Conrad Brake of Aquinas committed to Pittsburgh in August. This week, Fairport's Seth Cottengim tweeted that he has committed to the University of Wyoming.

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