CHITTENANGO, N.Y. — Poland’s run is over.
The undefeated Tornadoes, ranked No. 1 in the state and a defending Section III champions, found their season ending earlier than expected Friday with a 2-0 loss to Immaculate Heart of Watertown the Class D final at Chittenango High School.
The second-seeded Cavaliers (15-3-1) advance to the state tournament after winning a bit of a revenge match against the Tornadoes (18-1-0). Poland defeated Immaculate Heart in the 3-2 in overtime in the Class D-1 final in 2012 on the way to winning the overall Class D title and advancing to the state semifinals.
“Oh, this feels great,” Immaculate Heart coach Mary Guyette said. “That one (loss from 2012) was in the back of our mind. We knew if we got back here we’d probably be facing Poland.
Immaculate Heart won its first sectional boys’ soccer title since 1988 when the Cavaliers captured the Class C banner.
Poland, with a roster of 13 seniors and visions of another state tournament appearance, could not match its on-field accomplishments from 2012.
“They outplayed us, I guess,” said goalkeeper Mitch Jones, one of the seniors. “They had their chances and they finished.”
Jones had nine saves and was Poland’s most valuable player for the tournament.
Immaculate Heart goalie Jarrod Smith had seven saves and was named tournament MVP.
The Cavaliers, who will meet the Section IV champion next week in a state regional match at a Section III site to be determined, scored a goal in each half to put the pressure on the Tornadoes.
Justin Frechette finished off a loose ball with 8:41 left in the first half. J.P. McClusky’s goal off a Cavaliers corner kick taken by Chris Rowland with 12:07 to play in the second half put the game out of reach.
Poland, though down just 1-0 after the first half, started the second half with a heightened sense of urgency and seemingly pressed to find the tying goal. The Tornadoes at times had better run of possession during the match, but could not finish off their chances.
Immaculate Heart had a 12-10 edge in shots.
“I think maybe we were too concerned about getting a goal,” Poland coach Greg Haver said. “We needed one goal, and I think we were trying too hard to push to get one.”