POTSDAM - Season-opening NAC league wins carried host Potsdam Central and Madrid-Waddington into the championship game of the annual John Jeffers Memorial Tournament on Thursday.
The two teams will square off in the final on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the turf field while the consolation game between St. Lawrence Central and Colton-Pierrepont is set to be staged at the natural grass surface that once served as the varsity field also starting at 9 a.m. Potsdam advanced by pulling away to a 5-0 Central Division win over SLC while M-W logged a 2-0 East Division decision over the Lady Colts.
Potsdam 5, SLC 0: In the second game of the evening, the Lady Sandstoners built a 2-0 before the end of the 14th minute and never looked back for the win.
Freshman Hannah Drechsel opened the scoring 9:10 into the game with an unassisted breakaway goal. Junior Kalie Grant made it 2-0 by converting on a penalty kick at 13:54 after an SLC defender was called for an obvious handball inside the 18. Drechsel pushed the lead to three goals late in the first half assisted by Grant before senior Kaileigh Kingsley, off an assist from classmate Courtney DiTullio, and junior Savarah Aidun sealed the win with second half goals.
Senior Bre Sapp handled the two shots she faced backstopping the shutout while junior Haleigh Agans made 15 saves working the SLC crease.
“We played alright for our first game once we got going,” noted coach Joe Stark as the Lady Sandstoners look to maintain their longstanding grip on the tournament crown. “St. Lawrence really scrapped and played hard but I think we were able to wear them down a little with our ball movement.”
M-W 2, C-P 0: The opening game of the tournament featured a coaching matchup of former Madrid-Waddington standouts that saw M-W coach Justin Richards came away with the win over fellow alum Craig Bogart.
“Overall, I thought we played pretty well as a team. We moved the ball well. But it’s early and we still have a lot of work to do,” said Richards. “We’re very young this year.”
After a scoreless first half, the Yellowjackets broke through for the eventual game-winner 25 minutes into the second when Hannah Marcellus turned a lead pass up the right wing from Mary Young into a breakaway goal.
The Lady Colts turned up the offensive pressure after falling behind. Their last opportunity began with a corner kick from the right that was intercepted just inside the top of the penalty area by Danielle Hough and quickly cleared up the field to Marcellus, who raced down the right wing across midfield before centering the ball to Kaleigh Field. who went on to score a breakaway goal with just 6:14 left in regulation.
Ariana Ramsey stopped five shots in posting the shutout while Kelsi Gilbert recorded seven saves in the losing cause.