Dolgeville girls drop season finale to Poland

Dolgeville’s Rylee Lamphere (4) and Poland’s Ava Malin (18) chase down a ball during Tuesday’s Center State Conference girls soccer contest. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

DOLGEVILLE — A season unlike any other came to an end for the Dolgeville girls soccer team Tuesday.

The Blue Devils dropped a 7-0 decision on their home field to defending state and Section III Class D champion Poland.

“It was a tough finish to the season,” said Dolgeville co-coach Mark Lewandowski, who shared coaching duties with Kat Bilinski. “Overall, we played hard this season and we played together.”

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, simply getting on the field at all this season was a win.

Even in mid-September, playing any games remained in doubt, so Dolgeville made the most of its shortened 12-game schedule. The season began at home Oct. 2 against Frankfort-Schuyler. Due to the uncertainly surrounding the season, the Blue Devils honored their seniors before the opener.

“We were very fortunate to get on the field at all this season,” Lewandowski said. “We’re proud of the team. We had a good season and we’re glad we got through the whole season. We made it through without any COVID-related issues. Maybe that will help other Dolgeville teams get the opportunity to play their seasons.”

In Tuesday’s finale, the Blue Devils fell behind 3-0 in the first half and gave up four more goals in the second half.

It was the second straight game that Dolgeville allowed its opponent to score seven goals after it lost 7-1 at Holland Patent on Monday.

Like Poland, Holland Patent reached the Section III finals last year, losing 2-1 to Central Valley Academy in the Class B title game.

“We played two tough teams to finish the season,” Lewandowski said.

Logan Cookinham led Poland with three goals, while Alexis Bates scored twice Tuesday. Lily Martin and Maddison Haver also scored for the Tornadoes, while Lilly McColley, Ava Malin and Martin each had an assist.

Cookinham opened the scoring with 31:44 left in the first half, while Bates made it 2-0 with 29:39 remaining.

Cookinham capped the first-half scoring with 20:19 left to make it 3-0 in for of the Tornadoes, who posted a 3-1 win over Dolgeville at home on Oct. 13.

After the break, Poland pushed its advantage to 4-0 just 4:01 into the new half when Cookinham completed her hat trick on an assist from McColley.

Bates made it 5-0 with 25:39 remaining in the game, sending a hard shot into the top right corner.

Poland, which outshot Dolgeville by a 20-6 margin, pushed its lead to 6-0 with 23:00 to play when Martin scored on an assist from Malin.

The game’s final goal came with 16:29 to play when Haver scored for the Tornadoes to make it 7-0.

Jessica Batson made three first-half saves for Poland, while Chloe Roark made two second-half stops as the pair shared the shutout in goal.

Maighen Ehrle made 10 saves for Dolgeville before being replaced in the second half by Dakota Jeffers who made four stops.

“It is what it is,” Lewandowski said. “We played two very good teams to end the season back-to-back. We’re going to use that as a measuring stick to get better and to improve on things that we need to work on.”

Dolgeville finished its season with a 5-6-1 overall record.

It was the final game for seniors Kyla Jaquay, Annaliese Davies, Isabella Nichols, Nadia Lyon and Ehrle.

“We’re going to miss our seniors,” Lewandowski said. “I’m glad that they were able to have a season though.”

Poland (11-0) is scheduled to host Holland Patent on Thursday at 6 p.m. as it looks to cap an unbeaten season.

The Tornadoes won the first meeting between the teams 3-1 at Holland Patent on Oct. 26. It is the only loss of the season for the Golden Knights, who are scheduled to travel to Vernon-Verona-Sherrill today for a 7 p.m. contest.

By Paul Wager