JEFFERSONVILLE –– In these days of digital photography, where images instantly appear in viewfinders immediately after they are captured, fewer and fewer people remember the days of film …
JEFFERSONVILLE –– In these days of digital photography, where images instantly appear in viewfinders immediately after they are captured, fewer and fewer people remember the days of film photography. That is especially those who have had the experience of working in a darkroom and watching the image slowly come alive while the paper was immersed in the photo chemicals. That process evinced first a faded glimpse that would become more and more defined as the chemicals did their work.
Watching the emerging Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs over many years, it is apparent that we are once again seeing what was, in recent years, somewhat indistinct, become clearer and clearer. This team, as Coach Anthony Durkin, now in his last season, is quick to point out, is playing together, working together, supporting one another and beginning to move as a unit, not a group of disparate players. It’s a long way from kickball to crisp, efficient team soccer and if SW’s championship sweep in the Downsville Tournament over Morris and Downsville, coupled with a 6-1 dominating win over a competent Tri-Valley rival and a subsequent 2-0 victory over Middletown proves anything, it shows that this team is inarguably moving in the right direction. With deft passing, knowing where one’s teammates are at all times and reacting quickly to make the shift from offense to defense and back again, what is on display are harbingers of just such efficiency.
After beating Morris 3-1 and Downsville 1-0 to claim the first tournament title since 2016, the year they defeated Webutuck for their first-ever Section IX title, this 6-1 league win over Tri-Valley was the opening salvo on a quest to recapture that glory. T-V had already lost to Seward 5-0. The Spartans also made short work of Eldred, so it will come as no surprise that Seward will be a major obstacle that Sullivan West will have to overcome if their aspirations are to be realized. Chester too, will be in the picture as they have now moved into the same Division.
The dynamics of the SW/T-V fray weren’t long in becoming apparent. Picking up where she left off in the Downsville tournament wherein, she scored all of her team’s goals, senior Grace Boyd broke through, taking a feed from junior Felicity Bauernfeind to make it 1-0 just 1:45 into the game. With 23:31 gone by, Violla Shami scored the first of her eventual trio of goals. Junior Anna Bernas provided the assist. Scoring the hat trick in soccer is always cause for celebration. The score remained 2-0 at the half. Sullivan West mostly kept the ball in Tri-Valley’s defensive third. In the net for the Lady Westies, Riley Ernst did not have much to contend with. She needed only four saves on the day as compared with a much busier Alex Allison who recorded 12 for Tri-Valley. With not even nine minutes gone by in the second half, Boyd struck again with an assist from senior Taylor Brustman to make it 3-0. Four minutes late Shami found the open net again marshaling an assist from sophomore Abby Parucki.
Shami completed the hat trick half way through the period. The final goal came with 15:42 remaining, and it was tallied by sophomore Sophie Flynn. Shami had provided the assist. Sullivan West had 18 shots on goal to Tri-Valley’s five. Each team had four corner kicks. Tri-Valley’s lone goal was scored by Kendall McGregor. Tri-Valley fell to 0-2, (0-2 OCIAA). Sullivan West improved to 4-0 (1-0 OCIAA). The Lady Bulldogs will clash with the powerhouse Seward tonight for a crucial league matchup.