Leading off today:
If I had to guess, I'd say New York is about to have a new round of discussions regarding the crowning of co-champions in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association soccer tournaments.
Three of Sunday's 10 finals ended in ties after 80 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime. Under NYSPHSAA rules, ties in state finals are not settled by penalty kicks, which are used in the earlier rounds to determine which teams advance in the playoffs.
On Sunday in Middletown, the boys Class D final between Chazy and Mount Academy ended in a 1-1 tie. In girls contests in the Cortland area, there were 2-2 ties between Pearl River and Spencerport in Class A and Aquinas and Westhill in B.
(My column on PressConnects.com last week was overly optimistic in speculating that only one or two finals might end in ties.)
What I saw Sunday in game coverage and on social media strongly suggests that few of the players on the six co-champions were pleased to go home with half a title.
Spencerport star Leah Wengender appeared to be the exception rather than the rule after her team extended its unbeaten streak to 45 games.
"Even though we tied I think it's great. We're co-champions," Wengender said. "(Pearl River) deserved it. We deserved it. We deserved to smile."
Never surrender: Of the three games ending in ties, Pearl River vs. defending state champion Spencerport offered the most drama. Spencerport had trailed just once all season (that coming in Saturday's semifinals vs. North Shore) but found itself trailing the Pirates twice with time running down.
Pearl River junior Tara Guilfoyle scored with 6:41 left in regulation, but the Rangers' Wengender equalized two minutes later. Guilfoyle put the Lady Pirates ahead again midway through the second mandatory full overtime, but Wengender answered again just 21 seconds later with her 35th and final goal of the season.
Neither team budged in the subsequent 10 minutes of sudden death.
"Now there's no end," Pearl River senior midfielder Cate Feerick said. "Being a champion is a great way to end it, but I just feel -- with Spencerport -- it's unfinished business."
Wheatland-Chili repeats: Travina Meeks was the reason why the majority of girls finals ended with a sole champion. Her goal 27 seconds into sudden death was the difference as the Wheatland-Chili beat Poland 3-2 to complete defense of its Class D championship.
Hannah Callaghan scored midway through the first of two mandatory 10-minute overtimes to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead, but Poland rebounded to tie the game in the second overtime period. Poland eighth-grader Alexis Bates, who scored her first career goal in Saturday's semifinals, tied the game again two minutes into the second OT.
"We thought we had to just hold on and we're pretty stout defensively but we had a miscue in the back," Wheatland-Chili coach Gary Ward said. "Normally kids are deflated by something like that but these kids have been persevering all year. The first time (Poland) touched the ball was when they took it out of their own net. Most teams would fold."