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Oneonta’s high-powered offense has scored goals in bunches this season, including a 4-1 win over Spackenkill in the NYS Class B regional semifinals.
They’ve just never run into a defense the caliber of Bronxville’s.
The defending state champion Broncos shut down Section 4’s Oneonta en route to a 1-0 victory in the NYS Class B regional finals on Saturday at Yorktown High School.
After a 4-1 loss to Scarsdale in its opening game, Bronxville has only allowed two goals since. Senior goalkeeper Grace Devlin has 16 shutouts this season and the Broncos recorded their 12th straight playoff win without giving up a goal.
“Our back four and Grace has been phenomenal,” Bronxville coach Don Cupertino said. “Their play today was really evident of that. Against Scarsdale, we were just kind of off and had a rough start. But we settled down and got things going for the rest of the year.”
Senior center back Shannon Crawford headed in Bronxville’s lone tally with just 50 seconds left in the first half. Jessica Tarangioli had the assist as she placed a beautiful pass on a free kick.
“I was just in the right place,” Crawford said. “[Jessica] really did all the work. It was a great ball to the goal and I just headed it in.”
The goal gave Bronxville (17-1-2) plenty of momentum heading into the second half.
“It was right outside the box on a kind of awkward angle,” said Tarangioli, a senior midfielder. “I just kind of chipped it and Shannon just nailed it in the back of the net. We were in their half pressuring them the entire first half. It was necessary to put a goal in before half.”
With a lockdown defense led by Devlin and Crawford, one goal was all the Broncos needed. Devlin finished with five saves.
“Our defense usually does a pretty good job of communicating and opening up the field,” Crawford said. “We were able to stop them and Grace Devlin, of course, did a great job in goal. She’s phenomenal.”
Bronxville had nine corners in the first half. Taylor Reynolds and Ashley Gietl both had opportunities on headers in the early going.
Outside of a late push, Oneonta’s chances were limited throughout the game. Bronxville knew that Oneonta likes to take advantage of counter attacks, but they were ready to stop anything that came their way. The Broncos marked Karsen Schultz, a Marist-bound senior, late in the game.
Cupertino has not been too surprised by the success of the Broncos, even after losing three starters to graduation.
“I’ve coached some of these girls since they were 10,” the coach said. “Taking them up to [states] again is something that they really deserve. They’ve worked so hard to get where they are.”
Bronxville moves on to the NYS Class B state semifinals where they will face Section 2’s Schalmont on Saturday, November 19 at SUNY Cortland at 5 p.m.
“It feels amazing,” Tarangioli said of heading back to the state final four. “This whole season was about defending that [state] title and hoping to get back to where we were last year. Hopefully we’ll get it again this year.”
Follow Rob DiAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD