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Soccer regional up next for Kendall girls

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 2 November 2018 at 7:14 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Kendal players and coaches, shown here after Tuesday’s state qualifier victory, will next take on North Collins in the Far West Regional on Saturday.

Entering state level competition for the first time in 15 years, Section V Class D champion Kendall will take on Section VI champion North Collins in the girls soccer Far West Regionals at Webster Thomas High School at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Kendall, which earned a state berth for the first time since 2003 by blanking Hinsdale 2-0 Tuesday in the Section V Class D qualifier at Fillmore. North Collins downed Franklinville 3-0 to claim the Section VI Class D title.

“We are so excited that we won our State Qualifier Match. This is the 1st time in 15 years that Kendall has reached this point.” said Coach Pam Barchet   “This team is so young and driven. It is such a joy to be working with this group of athletes.   We started the season 1-3, and we decided that was not how the rest of our season was going to go.  The team knew that they would have their work cut out for them (especially being so young), but their positive energy and work ethic has really propelled them to surpass all of our expectations for the season!”

Interestingly, Barchet was a starting defender as a junior on Kendall’s 2003 team which defeated Allegany-Limestone from Section VI 3-1 in the Far West Regional but then lost 3-2 to Elmira Notre Dame from sEction IV in the state semifinals.

“The 2003 team was a more experienced group, comprised of mostly juniors and seniors.   Although this year’s team is younger, they make up for their limited experience in their passion for the game and their unwillingness to give up.” said Barchet  “As an athlete in 2003, I don’t think I really acknowledged the accomplishment of making it to the State tournament; we were just a bunch of girls doing what we loved.  Now, as a coach, I really want the girls to see how much they have achieved and how far they can go.  They are still young athletes, doing what they love, but I want them to be proud of all they have accomplished because it really is quite an achievement!”

Junior Hailee Mitchell has led the Kendall attack with 26 goals as freshman Grace Levett has 11, sophomore Brianna Wakefield and freshman Alezya Brown 9 each and sophomore Lizzy Woodams 6.

“In looking forward to our next match (Far West Regional Match). We definitely need to continue to push the pace in our possession game,” said Barchet  “We play our best soccer when we are possessing the ball and connecting short passes and work up the field together.  Our game yesterday was a really good showing of our possession game.   A key for our success on Saturday will be scoring early (as we have done in the past 2 games) and finishing on our scoring opportunities.  We had many chances in the first 20 minutes in the Class D play-down match, but we had a hard time finishing.”

Junior goalie Katherine Pearson, who had 14 saves in the shutout win over Hinsdale and center defender junior Lizzy Sutphen anchor the defense for Kendall which has allowed only two goals in four playoff games.

“Defensively, I’m very happy with the way my team has continued to minimize the attacking presences of our opponents.” said Barchet.  “Central Defender Lizzie Sutphen and Goalie Katie Pearson do an excellent job of organizing the team and making sure that everyone is marked in the defensive end of the field.   As long as the defense stays organized and communicate with one another, they will have the best chance of shutting down the other team’s attack.”

North Collins, which is 6-10-1, has been led in scoring by senior Emily Winter with 10 goals as senior Destiny Neamon has 7 and junior Rebecca Holmes 5.

The victor will advance to the state semifinals on November 10 at Homer, N.Y. near Cortland.