CORTLAND (WBNG) – The Chenango Fork’s girls soccer team finished its magical season Sunday defeating Holland Patent, 2-0 to win the state championship for the second time in three seasons.
“It is so amazing because we have been together every single day since the beginning,” said Chenango Forks junior Emma Bough. “Actually, since the beginning of July for some of us who did boot camp and everything and knowing that all the sprints we did and everything was worth it feels great and to do it with people that you love and everything.”
The girls began preparation for 2018, the moment last season ended. it began with a mid-summer boot camp, months before the season started. That is where the idea came up to make shirts with the date 11/11/18 on it, the day the state semifinals would be held at Cortland high school.
“I’ve said this before, I ran a boot camp for these girls earlier through June and July and the shirts had 11/11/18 on the back,” said Chenango Forks head coach Christopher Walsh.
“It is good to know we took a chance by putting that on our shirts and we lived up to it,” said Bough.
The girls dominated the regular season finishing a perfect 9-0-0, the highlight being an 18-0 stomping over Windsor Central back in the beginning of September.
Behind leading goal scorer, Emma Bough, the Blue Devils rolled in the Section IV playoffs ready to make some noise. It started with a victory over Union Springs that led to a Section IV title victory over Waverly that looked much closer on the scoreboard than it did on the soccer field.
Now, the real fun began. Chenango Forks, determined to not make the same mistakes it did in the state playoffs the previous season when the Blue Devils lost to Albertus Magnus in the regional finals.
“A lot of regret I carried on my shoulder for eight months after losing in the regional final,” said Walsh.
This time around, the girls took care of business in the regional title defeating Bronxville, 2-1.
The Blue Devils found themselves in a winter wonderland for the state semifinals in Cortland, Walsh calling the conditions “abysmal,” In the end, it was just another obstacle that could not withstand the power of the Chenango Forks girl’s soccer team. Bough had two goals in the first ten minutes, and the her 8th grade sister, Aubrey, put the finishing touches to seal of fate of Wheatley high school.
It was official, the Blue Devils had made it to 11/11/18.
“Our goal as a team was to get to 11/11/18 and we have reached our goal and now we have nothing to lose,” said Walsh.
In the first half of Sunday’s state title match, the Holland Patent goalie fumbled a loose ball and Fork’s junior, Lauren Ashman, was there to make them pay. She buried the shot to get Forks on the board.
“Emma got the ball and I saw a through ball run and I made the run while she played the ball and I didn’t get there in time but I kept going and the keeper had a bad touch and I was there to finish it,” said Chenango Forks junior, Lauren Ashman.
“What a great shot and then I told them at halftime we can’t back down we have to go 100% even more than we did in the first half,” said Walsh.
It the second half, it was Emma Bough wrapping the bow on a Blue Devil’s state title.
“I was thinking that I could not miss because we were only up by one and we needed another one to secure it,” said Bough.
“We felt a little more comfortable but it still wasn’t over until it was over,” said Bough.
Ten minutes later the final buzzer sounded and the Chenango Forks girl’s soccer team was back on top.
“Most section four teams do not make it through to states, so I just think we worked really hard and we knew we could do it,” said Ashman
“I am really excited, really emotional, I have a lot of seniors that I have had on this team for I don’t know nine years or so I have coached these kids and this is there last go at it so it was very special,” said Walsh.
For New York state, another soccer season in the books. For Chenango Forks, memories that will last a lifetime.