Girls Sectional Soccer: Panthers nip Raiders in four OTs (with photo gallery)

Hoosick Falls coach Tom Husser was hoping a well-kept secret would play a key role in Wednesday’s Se

Hoosick Falls coach Tom Husser was hoping a well-kept secret would play a key role in Wednesday’s Section II girls’ Class C soccer championship game.

“Alice Hayden is a very good player, but because she plays defense, she doesn’t get the recognition that others get for scoring goal,” Husser said after the Panthers edged Mechanicville, 2-1, in four overtimes on two goals by eighth-grader Jordyn Haynes.

“Jordyn will get some press because she got the goals, but it’s nice to see people talking to Alice. She was tremendous.”

Hayden’s job was to mark Mechanicville senior Abby Maiello, the section’s top scorer with 45 goals. Hayden was up to the task, and she and her teammates are off to Saturday’s regional final after winning their third Section II championship in seven years.

The 18-1-1 Panthers will play Section X champion Tupper Lake at 1 p.m. at Massena.

Haynes’ winning goal came off a pass from Grace Delurey, whose bid for the winning goal hit the post in the second overtime.

“I think in overtime, once we started going outside, we controlled play,” Husser said. “Delurey hit the post, then she came back and made a great cross to Jordyn.”

Haynes had given her team a 1-0 lead in the first half with a goal after a Mechanicville defender stopped a shot inside the six-yard box. The ball rolled away to the right of the defense, where two Panthers were waiting. Haynes was quickest, shooting just inside the post.

While Haynes’goal gave the second-seeded Panthers some breathing room, at the other end of the field, Hayden didn’t give Maiello, who has accepted a scholarship to Saint Bonaventure, any room to breathe.

“I knew if we got to the final and it was against Mechanicville, I would be marking Abby. She’s an amazing player,” Hayden said. “It’s no wonder she’s going Div­ision I.

“She’s really fast, she’s really skilled, really smart with the ball. I just tried to contain her. There were a few times she got behind me, but everyone helped out.”

“She did a great job,” said Mech­anicville coach Karl Gerstenberger of Hayden. “She was as fast as Abby and very skilled.”

“We played our best against their best, and tonight, our best won,” Husser said.

Hayden could do little about the tying goal, as three Mechanicville players crashed the goal on Maiello’s 40-yard free kick.

The red jerseys, the ball and Panthers goalkeeper Hannah Fricke all met at the same time, the ball rolling free for defender Marissa Skacz­kowski to roll into the vacated goal 12 minutes into the second half.

“Marissa played a brilliant game.” Gerstenberger said. “Alysa Russell played great in midfield. This has been a phenomenal class of girls.

“This was a very good girls’ high school soccer game. I asked the girls if they were having fun, and told them to finish the job. And they did. They did it all year.”

Categories: High School Sports

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