Both Schalmont and Lansingburgh have had their way against the Colonial Council girls’ soccer competition through the first half of the season.
And both had reasons to be satisfied after their meeting Tuesday night under the lights at Schalmont, with the host Sabres (9-0) taking a 3-2 lead that wasn’t secure until a 35-yard free kick from Lansingburgh’s Calli Moise sailed just over the crossbar as time expired.
“Those are the kind of games we need to play,” said Schalmont senior captain Hannah Saccocio, who got the winning goal less than a minute after Moise had given her team a 2-2 tie with 6:35 to play. “I would rather be playing teams like this. We need to face good competition.”
“I think some teams are still taking us lightly, but I think this shows we can play with the best teams,” said Moise. “We came out to play from the start.”
Lansingburgh got the jump on the Sabres, as Nicole Welcome was played in behind the Schalmont defense and scored 5:34 into the game.
The goal was just the third surrendered by Schalmont in nine games.
“We completely blanked out,” said Schalmont coach Angelo Caschera. “The ball got over, she got it and it was a 1-0 game.
“It was a good thing it happened early in the game. We had a lot of time to recuperate.”
“We’re never behind, so this was a good wake-up call for us for the future,” said Saccocio. “We needed the competition. We hadn’t faced a team that good before.”
Lansingburgh held on through a steady rain and consistent Schalmont pressure for most of the half, until Diana DiCocco got the first of her two goals with 8:25 left until the break.
Schalmont kept applying pressure after intermission, and DiCocco put the Sabres up, 2-1, midway through the second half.
Moise ripped home a shot with 6:35 to play when the Sabres failed to clear the ball after a throw-in, but the Knights barely had time to celebrate before Saccocio scored.
Moise nearly forced overtime moments later.
“I didn’t even really look at the clock. I was asking the referee for room because they were standing right in front of me,” she said. “I could hear everyone screaming for me to shoot it.
“I tried not to rush. I knew it wasn’t in. I saw it hit the bar and go over. Everyone was coming over and hugging me. I wish.”
“They got the lead, but we answered back and I thought we were in pretty good shape at that point. I’ve got to give them credit that they came right back,” said Lansingburgh coach John Cipperly, whose team is 7-1-0 and is playing for a good seed in the upcoming Class A tournament.
“I’ve got a ton of respect for the kids on the other side of the ball. They got a lot of shots off, connected on a lot of passes and made a lot of good runs. I can’t say in any way that they didn’t deserve to win.
“I thought we played with a lot of heart. We had a couple of good opportunities at the end. I really thought that that last free kick was going to be the tying goal.”
“They get cocky when they play teams like Fonda, Watervliet, Cohoes,” said Caschera of his team that had scored 54 goals in its previous games. “These are teams we want to play to get us ready for sectionals.”
“It’s really good for us,” said Saccocio of both playing from behind and rallying. “I would rather play tough teams. This shows that come sectionals, when we play teams like this, that we’re ready to play.”
Schalmont lost in the Class A championship game a year ago. Playing as a Class B team this fall, the Sabres hope to get out of the section next month.
“Most of the seniors have been on the team since we were freshmen, and we know what it’s like to get into sectionals and lose,” Saccocio said. “And its not a good feeliing.”
“This was a good game for us.” Moise said. “A lot of our games haven’t been that close, and we want to get to sectionals and go far. I think this shows how good we can play.”
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: High School Sports, Sports