A record 53 teams, including five state champions from last fall, will see action at the third annual New York State High School Girls Soccer Hall of Fame Tournament from Sept. 5-8.
The four-day soccer showcase put on by the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports will coincide with the Sept. 7 Hall of Fame induction ceremony at first-time tournament host site Niskayuna High School.
Herkimer served as the home base for the tournament the past two years.
"We are fortunate to have the teams we have, and a host school that has been nothing but fantastic," NYSSCOGS President Perry Novak said. "Every bit of their [Niskayuna] administration has been great to work with. It's a joy to deal with them as well as the other satellite schools."
Niskayuna High School, Niskayuna Town Park, Shenendehowa High School, Stillwater High School and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School will serve as the game sites following the lone Sept. 5 contest that will send Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville to Central Valley Academy in Ilion.
Niskayuna will host New Hartford in the only game slated for Sept. 6. The remaining games will take place Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.
Maine-Endwell and Chenango Forks will both play one game, and all of the other teams will play two games in what Novak described as the largest high school soccer tournament in the United States.
"I think, perhaps, moving it to Section II helped us increase our numbers," Novak said. "It's an hour closer to Long Island [than Herkimer]."
The tournament field included 22 teams in 2017 and increased to 37 in 2018.
"We were aiming for 44 teams this year," Novak said. "It's becoming more popular."
Stillwater, which finished second in the state in 2017 before claiming the Class C crown in 2018, is among the reigning New York State Public High School Athletic Association champions in the tournament field. The others are Monroe-Woodbury (Class AA), Valley Stream South (Class A) and Chenango Forks (Class B).
Tournament participant St. Anthony's from Long Island will come in as the defending Catholic High School Athletic Association champion. St. Anthony's will meet Shenendehowa on Sept. 8.
"Probably half the field was in their section final [last season]. It's a who's who in girls' soccer," Novak said. "We're thrilled with the teams involved."
Other Section II teams participating will be 2018 state Class AA runner-up Bethlehem, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Cambridge, Canajoharie, Greenwich, Guilderland, Hoosick Falls, Hoosic Valley, Johnstown, Mayfield, Mechanicville, Northville, Schoharie, Shaker, South Glens Falls, Tamarac and Troy.
This year's New York State High School Girls Soccer Hall of Fame induction class will include 16 individuals. The group will include 1999 Niskayuna graduate Kristin Scharphorn, who was a member of three state championship teams and earned All-American status for her goalkeeeping. The Sept. 7 induction ceremony will begin at 3:15 p.m.
A cookout for the inductees and the tournament teams will take place Sept. 7 from 1-7 p.m. at Niskayuna High School. A skills contest for the players will be part of the festivities.
Thursday, September 5
At Central Valley Academy: OESJ vs. Central Valley Academy, 6 p.m.
Friday, September 6
At Niskayuna HS: Niskayuna vs. New Hartford, 5:15 p.m.
Saturday, September 7
At Niskayuna HS (Field 1): Monroe-Woodbury vs. Massapequa, 12:45 p.m.; Guilderland vs. North Babylon, 5:30 p.m.
At Niskayuna HS (Field 2): Troy vs. Holland Patent, 10:45 a.m.; Fayetteville-Manlius vs. St. Joseph Hill, 12:45 p.m.; Ithaca vs. Islip, 5:30 p.m.
At Shenendehowa HS: Shenendehowa vs. Valley Stream South, 10:30 a.m.; Shaker vs. Kellenberg, 12:30 p.m.
At Niskayuna Town Park ( Field 1): Eastport South Manor vs. South Glens Falls, 11 a.m.; Wallkill vs. McArthur, 1 p.m.; Rochester Mercy vs. St. Anthony's-LI, 5:30 p.m.
At Niskayuna Town Park (Field 2): Mechanicville vs. Maine-Endwell, 10:45 a.m.; Greenwich vs. Allegany-Limestone, 12:45 p.m.; Johnstown vs. Bay Shore, 5:30 p.m.
At Niskayuna Town Park (Field 3): Mayfield vs. Hoosick Falls, 10:15 a.m.; Schoharie vs. Poland, 12:15 p.m.; Canajoharie vs. Cooperstown, 5:30 p.m.
At Niskayuna Town Park (Field 4): Cambridge vs. Little Falls, 10:30 a.m.; Hoosic Valley vs. Watertown IHC, 12:30 p.m.; Northville vs. Parishville-Hopkinton, 5:30 p.m.
At Niskayuna Town Park (Field 5): Island Trees vs. Tamarac, 12:30 p.m.
At Stillwater HS: Stillwater vs. Buffalo Nardin, 10 a.m.; Clinton vs. Nichols, noon.
At Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake HS: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake vs. Chenango Forks, 10:30 a.m.; Bethlehem vs. Hauppauge, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 8
At Niskayuna HS (Field 1): Shaker vs. North Babylon, 9:15 a.m.; Niskayuna vs. Massapequa, 11:15 a.m.; Monroe-Woodbury vs. Eastport-SM, 1:15 p.m.
At Niskayuna HS (Field 2): Rochester Mercy vs. Islip, 9:15 a.m.; Bethlehem vs. Valley Stream South, 11:15 a.m.; Wallkill vs. Ithaca, 1:15 p.m.
At Shenendehowa HS: Shenendehowa vs. St. Anthony's-LI, 9 a.m.; New Hartford vs. Kellenberg, 9 a.m.
At Niskauna Town Park (Field 1): St. Joseph Hill vs. Guilderland, 9:15 a.m.; MacArthur vs. Fayetteville-Manlius, 11:15 a.m.; Johnstown vs. Tamarac, 1:15 p.m.
At Niskayuna Town Park (Field 2): Bay Shore vs. Holland Patent, 9:15 a.m.; Cambridge vs. Allegany-Limestone, 11:15 a.m.; Mechanicville vs. Central Valley Academy, 1:15 p.m.
At Niskayuna Town Park (Field 4): Canajoharie vs. Watertown IHC, 10:15 a.m.; Island Trees vs. South Glens Falls, 12:15 p.m.; Northville vs. Little Falls, 2:15 p.m.
At Stillwater HS: Clinton vs. Buffalo Nardin, 9 a.m.; Stillwater vs. Buffalo Nichols, 11 a.m.; Hoosick Falls vs. Parishville-Hopkinton, 1 p.m.; Hoosic Valley vs. Poland, 3 p.m.
At Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake HS: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake vs. Hauppauge, 10:30 a.m.