The final seconds of Saturday’s girls Class B soccer championship game couldn’t have gone quickly enough for Schalmont captain Hannah Saccocio.
Four years of postseason frustration were about to end, and this group of Sabres would finally get its chance in the state playoffs, thanks to a 2-0 win over Broadalbin-Perth.
“This is the game we’ve been waiting for,” said Saccocio, one of four cousins playing on the 19-0-0 team. “We’ve worked so hard for this. Three months of practicing every day. This is the day, this is the game we’ve been looking forward to.”
Schalmont had made steady progression in the past three postseasons, falling to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in the 2010 Class A championship game.
“Last year at this time, after we lost, that feeling on the bus ride home was the worst feeling,” Saccocio said. “We knew we didn’t want to have that feeling again.”
Saccocio’s younger sister, Madeline, scored in the first minute of the second half, and Diana DiCocco sealed the victory with a goal with 2:25 remaining. Schalmont goes to Tuesday’s regional semifinals here at 5 p.m. against Section III winner Lowville.
“Every year, we’ve gone a little further in this tournament,” said Katie Saccocio. “We knew as seniors this was the year we had to do it.
“Sometimes, you just play harder, or focus more, when you know this is going to be your last chance.”
Broadalbin-Perth coach Rob Klug had a strategy for dealing with the multiple threats the Sabres presented.
“We knew they were a high-powered team, so we worked yesterday on getting numbers behind the ball, shutting down lanes and trying to pick balls off before they got there, and if they did get there, double-teaming them,” he said.
It worked for the first 40 minutes.
“I think we expended a lot of energy in the first half doing that. It hurt us in the second half. We ended up defending most of the game, but against a high-powered team like that, it happens. We had a couple of breakdowns, and they made us pay for it.”
“We had to get one-touch clears, distribute the ball outside, anything but play it up the middle,” Hannah Saccocio said. “It was important for us to keep our heads in the game the entire time.
“We had so many opportunities, but we knew if we kept at it, we’d score. “
“We kept pressing and pressing, and we got a couple of goals,” said Schalmont coach Angelo Caschera.
“We knew they were a good team, but you never know. We hadn’t played B-P before. The girls get nervous, but overall, I think we played a good game.”
Broadalbin-Perth goalie Sisina Machiarrelli turned in a solid effort in her final varsity game, but was helpless on the two goals. DiCocco’s goal was a one-on-one situation, as the second-seeded Patriots pushed players forward looking for the tie.
“We just had to keep going forward,” said Katie Saccocio. “We had chances, but couldn’t get a goal.”
The added effort in the second half was enough to erase last year’s bad memory.
“Last year was a bad ride back,” Caschera said. “This year, they said it wasn’t going to happen. There are eight seniors out there, so they’ve been here before. I knew they were ready.”
SCHUYLERVILLE — Senior Abby Maiello scored her Section II-best 45th goal of the season as fourth-seeded Mechanicville downed No. 1 seed Hoosic Valley in a Class C semifinal.
Maiello scored in the first half, and the Mechanicville defense held the Indians off the scoreboard to advance to Wednesday’s 4:30 championship game at Stillwater.
The 17-2-0 Red Raiders, winners of 15 straight games, will play Hoosick Falls, which eliminated Maple Hill, 2-0, with a pair of first-half goals.
The winner goes on to Saturday’s regional championship game.
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Categories: High School Sports