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Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017: Marion soph passes Wambach on career goals list

   Leading off today: The feat only moved her to a tie for fifth on the all-time Section 5 list for girls soccer goals, but Chloe DeLyser's four goals Friday were noteworthy nevertheless.

   DeLyser's third goal during Marion's 4-1 win over Gananda moved her past the career total of Abby Wambach, the former Our Lady of Mercy star who went on to become the most accomplished scorer in the history on international soccer.

   DeLyser finished off her night by converting a penalty kick to stand at 144 goals in 3½ varsity seasons. The sophomore striker has 31 goals and 18 assists in Marion's 10-0 start to the season after opting not to join a USSF academy program that would have precluded her from playing for her school.

   "I chose to not do (that) because I could beat records like this and also do it with my team," DeLyser, who scored 49 goals as a freshman, told the Democrat and Chronicle.

   More girls soccer: Jenn Bonifazio sounds like a sportswriter's dream interview subject. I mean, you gotta love the quote potential of a kid who can refer to herself as standing "5-foot-12."

   The defender converted Lauren Hackett's corner kick into the winning goal with 12:20 to play as St. Anthony's edged Holy Trinity 2-1.

   The Friars, ranked fourth in the state in Class AA, improved to 5-0.

   "I try whenever I go in (on corner kicks) to have the mindset, 'This is going to be mine. This is going to be finished,'" Bonifazio told Newsday. "People are definitely scared when I go in because I am very tall and people fear that for a corner kick."

   Said Hackett: "Well Jenn's the biggest person on our team, I'm always looking for her. I mean, she sticks out like a sore thumb."

   Too much? I knew even before clicking on the headline -- "Phoenix football coach Paul Sealy blasts Jordan-Elbridge's Tim Hawkins for late-game pass: 'That's awful' -- that the story was going to be a magnet for reader responses. And I was right. There were more than 150 comments attached to the story by 1 p.m. Saturday.

   Sealy was furious that J-E, already leading 62-0 in the fourth quarter, called a pass play en route to a 75-0 rout.

   "You're up 62-0. We just stuffed you on two or three plays. And you threw the ball," Sealy said. "That's awful. You can go back every game (I've coached), 43 years. I bet you I've coached almost 600 games, between JV, varsity. I have never, ever, nor would I ever (pass in that situation)."


   Sealy made the comment to a reporter immediately after the game, which had a 56-0 halftime score, when emotions were still raw. A few minutes later, J-E coach Tim Hawkins said he was just giving his reserves a chance to pass and that he couldn't tell them to take a knee for 10 minutes."

   My take? There's plenty of middle ground between taking a knee and throwing the ball against a badly beaten and badly overmatched opponent -- one that has now been outscored 196-0 this fall. For starters, the backup quarterback can get some throws in during the second quarter when the lead is still in the 30s or low 40s.

   Secondly, your reserves are reserves because they're not polished enough to be starters yet. They could have alternated dives and sweeps and gotten better at both. football site

   I've always subscribed to the theory that any coach is entitled to play his starters one series deep into the third quarter regardless of the score and that the whole playbook is fair game for that handful of snaps. My reasoning is that players should always come out of the halftime break focused and warmed up on the assumption that they could be called upon to play at any moment. Making that the mindset should be a priority for coaches.

   I'll also make two other points:

   (1) I can appreciate how upset Sealy was and I don't buy the childish reader comments that he should focus his energy on making his team better. Phoenix's cumulative record from 2008-16 was 9-62, so rebuilding that program is an uphill battle at best for a first-year coach, even one with his vast background on the sidelines at the high school, college and semi-pro levels.

   That being said, it would probably have been better for Sealy to have just walked away without saying anything Friday or offering a terse "no comment," two words that have a unique ability to convey a message without technically expressing a thought. Believe me: Half the coaches and ADs in Section 3 would have heard about the fourth-quarter pass by Sunday night regardless.

   (2) I can think of one instance in particular from early in my career as a reporter in which I regretted putting emotional words uttered after a game into print. My mistake then was not giving an administrator from the school in question a chance to verify the accuracy (or, in this case, the inaccuracy) of the accusation.

   In this instance, the reporter made the right move by giving the J-E coach a chance to explain his reason for calling the pass play.

   Deep down, though, I do wonder if reporting the issue at all was necessary. The play had no bearing on the game and the Phoenix coach's words were spoken in anger in the immediate aftermath of a lopsided loss. It's a matter that might have been better left for an enterprise story on lopsided scores a few weeks down the road.

   More soccer notes: Kirsten Villemaire recorded her 100th career goal in Beekmantown's 7-0 win over Saranac Lake on Wednesday. Villemaire finished with four goals. ... Red Hook remained undefeated Thursday in boys soccer with a 2-1 win over Mount Academy, ranked 11th in Class D.

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