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Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017: Memorable return to field for Sandy Creek/Pulaski

   Leading off today: The worst story of the week turned into the best story of the weekend.

   Back on the field after suffering a 23-0 drubbing in a boys soccer game, Sandy Creek/Pulaski lost to Belleville-Henderson 5-1 to fall to 0-7 for the season. But what happened in the final minutes was one of those episodes that can to remind us about priorities in life.

   As reported by Nolan Weidner of Syracuse.com, Sandy Creek/Pulaski coach Steve Olson inserted special-needs student Justin Charsky into the lineup with the score 4-0. With cooperation from Belleville-Henderson coach Shaun Maloney and some defenders who took a casual approach to the art of defending, Charsky scored for the Comets.

   "It's about a life lesson," Maloney said. "It's about teaching that for us to have a clean sheet (shutout) really meant nothing. For him (Charsky) to score a goal at the varsity level probably meant the world to him."

   The Panthers otherwise controlled the match against Sandy Creek/Pulaski, a combined program quite possibly headed toward a second straight winless season. Olson said his players were resilient following the lopsided loss to Lyme.

   "We're just going to keep coming and playing soccer," he said. "We're all going to get up tomorrow morning and just be moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and students. They're teen-agers. They are just kids. It doesn't define them."

   More soccer: Mamaroneck defeated New Rochelle twice in the regular season a year ago, only to be ousted by the Huguenots in the Section 1 Class A quarterfinals on penalty kicks. New Ro went on to a NYSPHSAA championship, leaving the Tigers to wonder about what could have been.

   On Saturday, 10th-ranked Mamaroneck defeated No. 1 New Rochelle 1-0 as Max Vicinelli made seven saves for the shutout and Cole DiCicco knocked hone the goal in the 72nd minute.

   "For the seniors from last year and everyone on the team, we'll always think, 'If we had beaten them, what would have happened?'" Vicinelli told The Journal News. "We beat them twice in the regular season and they beat us in PKs, so we'll always think about that season and what could have been. But it made us hungry for this game and this season, and we used it to our advantage."

    • In girls soccer, Webster Schroeder (6-0-1), rated 14th in the state in Class AA, earned a 1-1 tie against Spencerport, top-ranked in Class A.

   Milestone: Sharon Sarsen notched her 600th victory as Lakeland rolled past Nyack 9-0 in field hockey. She's won 11 NYSPHSAA championships -- including the last eight in a row -- at the Section 1 school.

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   Emily Kness had a hat trick, and Jessica Ascencao and Caroline Cahill scored twice and had two assists in the win.

   Cross country: It's odd to see the Fayetteville-Manlius girls win an invitational against top-notch competition by 41 points and still have folks wonder if the dynasty is in danger. Nevertheless, the question seems to be out there following the Wayne Eagles Invitational on the same course that will be used for the NYSPHSAA championships in November.

  
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   F-M, the 11-time defending large-school champion at states and nearly as consistent at Nike Cross Nationals, placed three runners in the top eight and scored 44 points in a Division I field that drew many of the state's better teams. Liverpool (85), Niskayuna (118) and Monroe-Woodbury (120) rounded out the top four.

   Liverpool's performance gives rise to the thought that F-M might be facing its sternest text in the Section 3 meet in at least several years.

   Individually, Abigail Spiers (18:06) of Niskayuna, Sophie Ryan (18:26) of F-M and Jenna Schulz (18:40) of Liverpool ran the three fastest girls times of the day.

   F-M won the boys Division I title with 65 points to fend off Niskayuna (85) and Corning (114), Saratoga's Shea Weilbaker won in 15:57, followed by Tyler Senall (16:12) of Penfield and Ben Otis (16:14) of F-M.

   Queensbury pulled off a sweep in Division II. The boys edged Pearl River 128-134 without the benefit of a top-10 runner, with Somers twins Greg Fusco and Matt Fusco beating the field in 16:14 and 16:19, respectively.

   The Queensbury girls (106) felt heat from Mohonasen (132) and Pittsford Mendon (135) on their way to first place. Camden eighth-grader Elizabeth Lucason took individual honors in 19:29.

   Maple Grove's boys and girls finished first in the Division IV races.

   The boys got a first-place run out of Michael Peppy (16.56.50) and edged Maple Hill 71-76. The girls (50) beat Delhi (65) and Tully (82), with Brooke Rauber of Tully the first finisher in 18:50.48.

   East Aurora won the Division III girls trophy comfortably, topping South Lewis 37-87 on the strength of eighth-grader Megan McLaughlin's first-place finish in 19:06.06.

   Watkins Glen's boys kept it from being four clean sweeps of team honors on the day by beating East Aurora 71-83. Ryan Guerci of Nanuet placed first in 16:10.91.


  
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