Tartans’ star excels at both ends of the field

The Scotia-Glenville girls’ soccer team has won a lot of games thanks to the goal-scoring ability of

The Scotia-Glenville girls’ soccer team has won a lot of games thanks to the goal-scoring ability of senior Silvana Giovannone.

On Friday, she helped at the other end of the field as the Tartans held off Foothills Council rival Queensbury, 2-1, in a Class A quarterfinal played on the turf at Schenectady High School.

Giovannone gave the Tartans the lead 10 minutes into the game, then spent the remainder of the game helping keep Brittany LaPlant — Queensbury’s top scorer — in check.

Her efforts, and Max Culhane’s goal late in the first half, helped the Tartans avenge a home-field loss during the league season and move to Wednesday’s semifinal against top-seeded Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

“The first time we played them, that was kind of what we did,” said Giovannone, who has scored over 30 goals this season. “So, it was easy to adjust.”

Giovannone’s goal came off a one-on-one with Queensbury goalkeeper Maggie Corbett, with Culhane playing her teammate into an open space behind the defense.

“That was really critical, because we’re a team where it’s good if we score early and come out strong,” Giovannone said of the first goal. “It was like having a little stress relief. I wasn’t as worried about things after that. It’s easier to play with the lead.”

Knowing goals might be hard to come by, Scotia coach Lise Will­iams opted for more of a defensive approach, and moved her best player.

“We did it when we played in overtime up there, and it worked,” Williams said, referring to a 3-2 win at Queensbury early in the year. “It’s a matter of how much to do it and when to do it.

“It’s a hard decision, because you know you could get more goals with her up there.”

LaPlant, an eighth-grader with 36 goals this season, had some chances, but was held scoreless. Queensbury got its tying goal from senior Emily Stangle, who outhustled the Scotia defense to the far post and put home Katie Shevlin’s driven corner kick.

Culhane got the Tartans back in front, making Williams’ decision easier.

“Even without Silvana up there, we were getting enough chances,” she said. “It gives the other girls some confidence, to play like that with Silvana not up there. It would have been nice to put a couple more away.”

A long throw-in by Rachel Cox resulted in Culhane’s goal. The distance she got when putting the ball into play helped the Tartans keep possession in their offensive third and helped kill the clock.

“Rachel’s throw-ins were a big weapon for us,” said Williams. “I was hoping we could get another goal off one of those, because she was getting her throw-ins into the box.”

Both LaPlant and Culhane just missed on good chances in the second half before Scotia pulled out its seventh straight win.

“It does get easier, because you know what they do and how they play, especially with a player like No. 2. [LaPlant],” said co-captain Sara Zieniuk of seeing the Spartans in the playoffs.

“After you play them once, you know who you need to shut down,” echoed fellow co-captain and

defender Megan Clune. “I didn’t mind playing them again.”

“I was fine playing Queensbury, even for a third time,” said Will­iams.

“I truly like knowing who I’m playing. When you get the unknown, sometimes there’s a little more fear with the girls.”

Categories: High School Sports

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