LINKS
2017-11-08 / Sports

SK Boys Advance to State Semifinals

By Rosie Cunningham


Stanley Andersen takes it in the gut as he goes up for a header against a Poland opponent at Herkimer Community College. 
Contributed Photo Stanley Andersen takes it in the gut as he goes up for a header against a Poland opponent at Herkimer Community College. Contributed Photo HERKIMER - And the boys in blue keep on rolling. For the second-straight year, South Kortright will be heading to the state semifinals following a 2-0 regional finals defeat of Poland, the Section III champions.

“The kids played super,” said SK Coach Bob VanValkenburgh of the game which took place at Herkimer Community College. “The passing was great, as well as the teamwork.”

SK and Poland had chances early on and it seemed for Poland, the team simply couldn’t finish.

With four minutes left in the opening half, Andersen took the ball down the left side of the field, towards the top of the box, and found Darling. Darling played it right back to Andersen, and the “Stanley Steamer” found the net in the corner of the goal to take the 1-0 lead.


Derek Burns of SK, goes up for a header as teammate Dawson Darling, looks on during the regional finals 2-0 defeat of Poland. 
Contributed Photo Derek Burns of SK, goes up for a header as teammate Dawson Darling, looks on during the regional finals 2-0 defeat of Poland. Contributed Photo “This win means even more to me than the last,” said Andersen. “And, to score in regionals again is amazing because there weren’t many teams in Section IV that have won this game, and to win it two years in a row and to be part of it was awesome.”

Andersen was instrumental last season in advancing the Rams to the state semifinals. He came through with clutch goals in the Class D finals and the regional finals to boost the team at the end of the 2016 season. SK eventually fell to 2016 champion Alfred Almond, 2-0, in last year’s semifinals.

Following Andersen’s goal, VanValkenburgh dropped the sophomore back to defense to hinder Poland’s offense.

According to the SK coach, defense was key in the win.


Alex Funk goes up for a head ball in the regional finals Saturday. 
Contributed Photo Alex Funk goes up for a head ball in the regional finals Saturday. Contributed Photo “Xander Andrades did a super job marking their top scorer,” said VanValkenburgh.

With time winding down in the game and SK holding on to its 1-0 lead, Poland was pushing forward to try and get the equalizer.

Then, with five minutes remaining, it was Darling who had a beauty of a goal. He sailed a shot from the 18 yard line over Poland goalkeeper Connor Broadbent. The ball hit the cross bar and ricocheted to the back of the net, making the score 2-0.

“Offensively, both our goals were set up with some real nice passing,” added the SK coach. “Dawson Darling and Stanley’s goals were picture perfect.”

The Rams outshot Poland, 13-11, and had a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks. Fox made 11 saves in goal for SK to earn the win.

“The team is very excited to be advancing,” said VanValkenburgh. “They know nothing will be easy.”

South Kortright (19-1) will face Section IX’s Mount Academy in Saturday’s state semifinal game at 11 a.m. at Middletown High School. The winner plays in the championship game at 1 p.m. Sunday against either Chazy or Lafayette.

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