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Warriors To Meet Red Hook For Sectional Soccer Title

VERNON, N.J. – If there was nobody in the stands at Maple Grange Park holding a cardboard cutout of a ‘D’ and a fence, well, there should have been.

The Minisink Valley High School girls soccer team made a critical defensive adjustment at the half, and the No. 6 Warriors upset No. 3 Warwick, 1-0, in a Section 9, Class A semifinal on Friday.

Minisink will play top-seeded and undefeated Red Hook for the championship on Monday at Faller Field in Middletown at 4 p.m. Red Hook was a 1-0 winner over Cornwall in the other semifinal.

Minisink Valley’s Emily Bannon scored the game’s only goal eight minutes into the second half, firing a shot from just inside the 18. It bounced off the keeper, but she followed her own shot and got the rebound for the score.

Keara Johnson was credited with an assist.

Rylee Semco got the shutout with 10 saves.

“It was a hard-fought match between both teams,” Warriors coach James Wiley said.

It was Wiley who made the move of the match, however. Minisink survived the first half despite deep penetration through the middle by Warwick. So at halftime, Wiley switched from a 4-4-2 rotation to 4-5-1/

And with Jackie Post and Julia Ryshkewitch anchoring the center-back position, outside backs Mia Macaluso and Julia Pogozelski guarding the wings, and Kaelyn Flanagan and Lily Rodriguez holding down the middle, the Warriors continued to frustrate the Wildcats.

“We dropped a striker back to defensive midfielder knowing we would sacrifice offense,’ Wiley said. “But we had to shut down the middle because they had been overwhelming us. We wanted to shore up the defensive side of the ball.”

And now Minisink will play for its first sectional title since 2010 against the Raiders. Grace Berardi had the only goal for Red Hook in the win over Cornwall.



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