It’s been a long time since Newfield boys soccer has seen any success. The team was winless in 2018 and had not reached the Section IV tournament since 2013. This year, the Trojans racked up five wins and will now compete in the postseason, giving all the players on the team a brand-new experience.
A 2-1 victory over Odessa-Montour on Oct. 8 clinched the playoff spot for the Trojans. For the seniors, it’s the greatest way to close out their high school careers. Coach Jacob Kozlowski explained how important it was for the 12th-graders.
“I’m very happy for those guys,” Kozlowski said. “This was kind of the goal, to make sectionals, when the year started, and we thought it was a pretty realistic goal. Just seeing the smiles on those kids’ faces when we clinched at Odessa, it was pretty special.”
For senior Teagan Moynihan, it meant even more. Moynihan missed out on the 2018 season after tearing his ACL in 2017. Now his tumultuous journey ends with postseason soccer.
“It means a lot,” Moynihan said. “Coming off an injury last year and not being able to play, just getting back with this team and having a winning season for once and making it to sectionals means a lot.”
With success comes community interest, regardless of how difficult past seasons have been. The recognition is special for the players, and Newfield’s football team is even considering taking the long journey to Bainbridge-Guilford for Newfield’s first-round game to support their classmates.
Senior Alex Schwoeble has certainly taken notice of the amplified community support this season.
“It’s been awesome,” Schwoeble said. “I’ve had a lot of teachers come up and congratulate me. We’ve had a lot of people show up compared to the past few years. Everyone’s just been really great and supportive.”
Winning, community support and an injury-free season lead to a great attitude for the team heading into the postseason.
“They’re having fun,” Kozlowski said. “The vibe is good; it’s very positive. These guys are very excited and can’t wait for the game. We wish it was today.”
While bonus soccer is great fun, senior Ian Adams expressed that the goal is to come together as a team on the field rather than playing as individuals, a sentiment Moynihan echoed. If they’re able to do that and continue to play hard, Schwoeble sees this team making a deep run in his final season.
After this article was written, Newfield defeated Bainbridge-Guilford 3-1 in their first playoff victory in school history.
Section IV Preview
If Newfield defeats Bainbridge-Guilford, Newfield will have a tough date with Lansing waiting for them. The Bobcats are the top-seed in the Class C bracket despite not having as dominant of a season as anticipated after two consecutive state championships.
Lansing went 11-2-2 on the year, with all four games in which they did not win taking place against teams outside of their bracket. The two losses are against Class B Dryden, and the draws are to Class D powerhouse Marathon and last year’s Class B state champion Westhill.
A late-season loss to Dryden was tough to swallow for the Bobcats, but they successfully rebounded and then some with a 16-1 victory over Union Springs to close out the regular season.
Lansing’s rivals across the lake, the Trumansburg Blue Raiders, are on the other side of the bracket as the second seed. The Blue Raiders already have their second-round matchup set, and it’s a rematch with Southern Cayuga on Oct. 26 after both teams landed a first-round bye.
The two teams played back on Sept. 5 in what was Trumansburg’s season-opener. It was a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory for the Blue Raiders after the school’s all-time points and goals leader, Conor Baird, sent a chip shot into the back of the net.
Senior goaltender Richard Prosser has been brilliant this season, racking up nine shutout victories. He’ll need to be on his game for Trumansburg to rebound from a tough 2-0 loss to Marathon in the IAC Small School Championship on Oct. 19.
The Dryden Purple Lions also received a first-round bye. Dryden owns the fourth seed in the Class B tournament and will have a rematch with Spencer-Van Etten/Candor on Oct. 26.
The first match came just this past Saturday for the IAC Large School Championship, with Dryden winning 4-0. It was a great team display for Dryden, as four different players tallied goals.
The squad is led by junior Casey Phillips, who heads into sectionals with a ridiculous 29 goals on the season. The Lions have shown that the team is very complete, riding a streak of three-straight shutouts into the playoffs, secured by a strong defensive core and an IAC All-Star goalie in Steven Morrow.
Newfield is now in the bracket alongside these powerful Tompkins County teams. It’s been a long time coming for the Trojans.
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