Shenendehowa was well-contained on the six first-half penalty corners it was awarded in Tuesday’s Section II Class A semifinal field hockey game against Saratoga Springs.
The Lady Plainsmen received five more of those scoring chances in quick succession early in the second half, and the result was the same as the contest remained deadlocked.
“We were hoping for a goal on a corner. We’ve been working on them a lot,” Shenendehowa senior Emily Scholl said. “We didn’t get one today, but as long as we got a goal, we’re happy.”
Scholl provided it with a quick rip, turning Mary Kate Cusack’s long hit into the lone tally as Shenendehowa avenged a pair of regular-season defeats, and earned a shot at its second consecutive championship with a 1-0 victory.
“When you see a team three times, they know what you do. They’ve seen our corners,” Shenendehowa coach Jeanne Frevola said. “We were getting shots off, but they were in the right spot.”
Scholl broke through with 9:35 left in the second half, Melissa Nealon made 12 saves for the shutout, and the Lady Plainsmen prevailed after dropping two 3-2 overtime games to the Blue Streaks.
“When we get together, it’s always a good game,” said Frevola. “It’s just nice to win one.”
“This feels really good,” said Cusack. “We’ve been working hard in practice, and we’re glad it paid off.”
Shenendehowa (No. 3 seed, 13-5) will have a chance to avenge its other two Suburban Council losses when it meets up with Niskayuna (No. 1, 16-1) Sunday at noon on the turf at Schuylerville High School. Shenendehowa edged Niskayuna for the 2010 Class A title with a 3-2 overtime victory, while the Silver Warriors twice knocked off the Lady Plainsmen this season in extra sessions, both times by a 2-1 count.
“To make it this far is great. To win the section two years in a row would be awesome,” said Shenendehowa senior midfielder Hope Andrascik, who notched the game-winning goal in last year’s Class A final. “That’s what we’re going there for.”
Niskayuna beat Guilderland Tuesday, 4-0, for its 15th straight win. A victory over Niskayuna would make Shenendehowa Section II’s first back-to-back Class A champion since Johnstown in 1996 and 1997.
“It’s been OT, OT, OT with them [Niskayuna]. We know what they do. And this year, we’ve gone high-tech. We’ve even got film on them,” said Frevola.
The Lady Plainsmen will certainly enjoy watching the replay of Scholl’s third goal this season.
“It was perfect. Textbook,” said Frevola.
“When I’m in the circle, I want to be in the right position. I want to have my feet right,” said Scholl, a senior forward. “I saw the ball coming, and I knew what to do.”
Cusack passed the ball from right to left, and Scholl swiped it into the low right corner of the cage.
“I dribbled it in, got by a defender and drove it across,” said Cusack, a senior forward. “Emily was right at the stroke line.”
“The pass was perfect,” Scholl said. “It just slid onto my stick.”
Shenendehowa goalie Lauryn Huck had stopped a breakaway bid by Nicole deCunha for one of her 10 saves just before Cusack and Scholl made their decisive connection.
“We definitely had desire. We definitely had the effort,” said Blue Streaks coach Jo-Anne Hostig. “It was a matter of who was going to capitalize, and it was them. They had an opportunity and made it work.”
Shenendehowa finished with 13 penalty corners. Saratoga (No. 2, 14-4) was awarded nine penalty corners, including two inside the final minute, but never got a quality shot off in its attempt to tie.
“After they scored, we collected ourselves, and we were down there,” said Hostig. “We tried.”
Andrascik played a key role in defending the Saratoga penalty corners, bursting out of the cage to help break up plays by the Blue Streaks.
“Normally, I’m at the midfield line [to start a penalty corner], but coach made a switch and put me in there. I played trailer,” Andrascik said. “Saratoga is a great team. They’re dangerous with the ball. I just tried to get the ball out of there.”
“Hope was everywhere today,” Frevola said of her recently named all-state performer. “I put her on corners. She made plays for us. She moved the ball down the field. She did everything but score.”
Shenendehowa won its second straight 1-0 game after beating Shaker in the quarterfinals.
NISKAYUNA — Ali Frary scored a goal and assisted on another, and Niskayuna did not allow a shot to get through to netminder Abby Coyne as it advanced to its third straight title game and fifth in six years.
Sydney Bowker, Claire Young and Alexa Angerami also knocked in goals for the Silver Warriors, and Erin Down picked up an assist. Marissa DiMarzio made three saves for Guilderland (No. 4, 6-12).
Niskayuna’s first Section II title came in 2006 with a 1-0 win over Shenendehowa.
Glens Falls (No. 1, 16-1) will host Queensbury (No. 4, 10-7) and Johnstown (No. 2, 13-2) will host Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (No. 3, 9-7) in the Class B semifinals today at 3. Glens Falls has won five of the last six Class B championships.
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Categories: High School Sports