McGraw Girls soccer advances to Sectionals Quarter-Finals

McGraw Girls soccer team having a team meeting after yesterday's win. (Camilo Fredes/Cortland Voice).

Yesterday, the McGraw Girls Varsity soccer team took on Sackets Harbor in the first round of Sectionals, defeating them 1-0 in the rain and advancing to the Sectionals Quarter-Finals.

The Lady Eagles started the game off playing aggressive up in the field. They then quickly got the first and only goal of the game nine minutes into the first half. As senior midfielder, Taylor Conklin crossed the ball from the left flank into the box for fellow senior Ashley Neff to receive the ball and quickly assist sophomore Andrea May for an open goal.

"I think the first goal helps us get the jitters out, especially for the younger players who haven't necessarily been here before. So it gets their confidence going a little bit," said McGraw head coach Rachel Parker.  "We have been talking about how we've been creating a lot of chances and to finish the opportunities that come. We talked about the weather and how that changes the play of the game, so we had to come out strong in the first half and finish it strong in the second."

Right after that, Sackets Harbor began to press the Eagles back, with them desperately attempting to tie the game up. However, McGraw's defense was too much for them to handle.

"We just had to be able to stay composed under pressure," stated coach Parker. "we told them that they were going to come out high pressure because they needed a goal."

Coming into the second half McGraw seemed to be controlling more of the midfield and attempted quick counter attacks after seeing openings in the flanks.

With there being less than five minutes on the clock, Sackets Harbor had a few last minute key plays and shots on goal, but were not able to get one in.

"We just played our hearts out and we play every game like it's our last," said McGraw senior captain Ashley Neff. "The second half we went into that same mindset that we didn't have the game in the bag yet. Just because we were up 1-0 didn't mean that they couldn't come back and get an easy shot in. So we had to still play defense and give it our all out there for the whole game. There will still be a lot of hard teams and we can't go into the mindset that it will be an easy game, because even though we won this game 1-0, it was still a very hard game."

Mcgraw ended the game with a total of 23 shots and 4 corner kicks.

The Eagles will be hosting #5 seeded Belleville Henderson tomorrow, Thursday October 24th for the Sectionals Quarter-Finals. Game will start at 3 p.m.

Here is a photo gallery of yesterday's game: