CORTLAND — The town of Holland, known for its passion for soccer, has a state title to celebrate.
The Dutchwomen beat Haldane, 2-1, on Sunday to win the New York State Class C title in a game played on the turf at Cortland State.
Sophomores Olivia Schmidt and Alicia Massara scored for Holland, which ended its season 19-1-1.
Well-wishers lined Route 16 as the bus pulled into town, the sound of honking horns filling the air as a large contingent was waiting at the school to greet the team. Those same community members helped build a lighted soccer field in town.
First-year coach George Schmidt, who has 18 years experience with the program, said his team was outplayed in the first half. They were being outshot, 8-2, when Olivia Schmidt took a corner kick from Chelsea Grupp and scored the game’s first goal with 6 minutes left in the half. It was Holland’s only corner kick of the game.
Schmidt ended the season with 48 goals and 22 assists. She has 97 goals in her career.
“They were big, physical and they were winning a lot of the 50-50 balls and we were kind of back on our heels,” George Schmidt said. “It was a little nerve-wracking.”
In order to improve their play in the middle of the field in the second half, Holland went to five midfielders, leaving Schmidt as the only forward. With 18 minutes gone in the second half, Massara took a pass from Schmidt, dribbled past the defense, and blasted a shot over the Haldane keeper’s head into the net.
Once Holland went up 2-0, George Schmidt said play got a little chippy as Haldane’s players and its coach were given a total of six yellow cards. He said Haldane players were being called for running through his players with their elbows high. “Usually when a game gets chippy you can kind of see it on both sides, but it really wasn’t, it was one-sided,” he said.
Haldane scored at the 25-minute mark but that was the only goal the Section I champions mustered against Holland keeper Haley Hymers, who made 16 saves. Haldane upset state No. 1 Lansing of Section IV to reach the final.
Holland won the game despite being outshot, 18-7. “We were very efficient, when we got the opportunity we made it count,” Schmidt said.