POLAND, NY (WKTV) - The top-seeded Poland boys soccer team got off to a familiar start in the Section III, Class D playoffs on Friday afternoon, beating No. 9 Belleville-Henderson in its opening game 1-0 for the second straight year.
Meeting in the quarterfinals this year after playing in the first round last year, Belleville-Henderson was once again a big underdog but once again came to play, matching the Tornados' intensity and physicality despite being dominated in ball possession. Poland finally broke through with 28:33 remaining in the second half when Gordon Miller put up a corner kick that Rich Hazard headed in, and that was all the scoring that would be needed.
Tornados goalie Justin Weakley got the shutout with four saves, while Lane Broadhurst made 14 for the Panthers. Poland out-shot Belleville-Henderson 22-5.
Poland, still unbeaten at 17-0-2 and ranked No. 3 in the state in Class D, advances to play the winner of No. 4 Lyme-No. 5 Madison in the semifinals at a neutral site and time to be determined.