Leading off today:
Seventh-ranked Elmira Notre Dame scored a goal in each half to defeat No. 1 Sauquoit Valley 2-0 in a NYSPHSAA Class C girls soccer quarterfinal Saturday at Vestal.
Senior Emma Booth scored in the first five minutes of the game and sophomore Camille VanderMeer headed in a shot off of a free kick midway through the second half to advance Notre Dame (17-1) to its first final four appearance in Cortland since 2003, when the team won its only championship.
Notre Dame has allowed just four goals all season. To better defend the strong Sauquoit forwards, Notre Dame moved midfielder Mia Herlan to the defense.
"Our defense has been solid all year, just rock solid, coach Steve Weber told the Star-Gazette. "We went in with our game plan of what we had to do and they came ready to play today."
Herlan and regular defenders, Sara Watts, Mackenzie Mahajan and Victoria Shutrum clogged up the box and repeatedly cleared balls away from Sauquoit's forwards.
"They have three really tough girls up top and we normally play with three defenders but they weren't going to be able to match up with them, so we had to switch to a fourth. Mia did an incredible job in the back today."
Notre Dame also qualified its boys team for the state semifinals.
Aidan Sharma recorded two second-half goals for the Crusaders after Michael Woglom, Connor Bayne and Alec Cutler connected in the opening 40 minutes, and Notre Dame eliminated Thousand Islands 5-0 in the Class C quarterfinals at Chittenango.
Top-ranked Notre Dame is 19-0 and has outscored its opponents by a 171-4 margin, setting a presumed NYSPHSAA record for goals this fall. The Crusaders head to Middletown next weekend in pursuit of their first state title.
"It's amazing just to get this far," Woglom said. "I don't want to stop and I'm really proud of how far we've gotten already. It's great."
Last season, Notre Dame was denied a chance to play in the state tournament following a 2-0 win over Lansing in the sectional final after it was learned a transfer student had been ineligible all season.
Massapequa advances: Massapequa remained alive in its pursuit of a third straight state Class AA girls soccer championship by downing West Islip 3-0 in the quarterfinals.