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‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.’

The words of Dr. Seuss are a perfect way to sum up the seasons that the Corning girls’ basketball team and the Elmira women’s hockey team had.

While their dreams of titles came up just short, the seasons they had were special.

Let’s just let this sink in what the Corning girls basketball team accomplished this year.

The first sectional final appearance as a program since the program merged. The first sectional title for the Hawks program, and the first regional title for the Hawks.

All of this likely left a lot outside of Corning stunned.

The Hawks had a strong regular season, but they dropped a pair of games to Elmira during the season as the Express claimed the STAC Championship this year.

But, in the postseason the Hawks were at their best. They beat Horseheads, Elmira and Warwick to get to the state final four.

All the success may have stunned a lot of people outside of the Corning area.

Corning was never a highly ranked team in the state rankings. They didn’t get into the top 15 until they won regionals. During the postseason they were even ranked behind teams who were finished with their seasons.

That was all ok. Others could be highly ranked, the Hawks were the team still playing basketball games.

Corning is a team without a player who averages as many as 15 points a game, and they don’t have a player over 5-8 on the roster.

And still, they took out teams with 20-point a game scorers and 6-foot plus centers.

What Corning did this season is reminded everyone that you can win with good, old-fashioned fundamental basketball, and 100% effort.

On Friday the dream of a state title came to an end at the hands of Bishop Kearney in the state semis, but the Corning girls put the Hawks program on the map this year.

Over the past 15 years Section 4 has had some very good basketball teams in Class AA, and yet none of them were able to accomplish what the Hawks did this year.

With three returning starters don’t expect the Hawks to go anywhere next year. They should likely be right back in hunt in Section 4 again.

And, with so many kids at the school seeing the success of Corning it could lead to even more turnout for girls’ basketball at the youth levels as they look to become a consistent threat in the section and region.

Before this season the girls’ basketball banner in the Hawks gym was blank. Now, it will have some accomplishments on it, and the Hawks are hoping to just keep adding to it each year.

The Elmira College women’s hockey team came as close as you can to reaching the national final in Division III Hockey.

They dropped a 3-2 game to No. 1 ranked and unbeaten Middlebury last night in the NCAA semifinals.

Instead of playing for a title today the Soaring Eagles will be playing in a third-place game.

While the season might not have ended the way Elmira wanted, that doesn’t make it any less special of a year.

Elmira went 25-3-1 on the season. They had a 15-game win streak heading into the national semis on Friday.

Two of the three losses for Elmira this year are to Middlebury, both of those losses by one goal. The only other loss this year, was a one-goal loss to Plattsburgh, the team they will play in today’s third-place game as they split with the team twice during the regular season.

Elmira had one tie on the year, against Adrian College, who was No. 8 ranked at the time.

The Soaring Eagles were undefeated at home this season, and they won their conference title, going 17-0 in league games this year, and outscoring their opponents 16-0 in three New England Hockey Conference Championship games.

Elmira outscored opponents 120-27 on the season scoring more than four goals a game this year.

Three Elmira College players earned All-American Honors this year. Eliza Beaudin and Jenny Heath both gained first team honors, as they become the 21st and 22nd first-team selections in program history. First-year Goalie Leonie-Louise Kuehberger earned second-team honors

The Elmira College women should be right back in contention next year. They return an All-American freshman goalie, and they only have two fifth-year players on the team. The team has six seniors on the team, who with the Covid year giving everyone an extra year of eligibility are left with some decisions to make for next year.

The team also has two players who scored 10 or more goals this year who are juniors.

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