Girls’ soccer: Section II sweeps behind Sabres, 1-0

A wild celeb­ration for Schalmont.

Business as usual for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.


A wild celeb­ration for Schalmont.

Business as usual for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

All part of a day Section II went 5-for-5 in getting teams into next weekend’s state semifinals for the first time since the state went to five enrollment classifications beginning with the 2003-04 school year.

Megan Strijek’s 100th career goal got Schalmont past Beekmantown, 1-0, in the Class B regional champ­ionship, the middle of three games at Stillwater High School.

Burnt Hills followed with a 4-1 win over Section X’s Malone Franklin Academy, the seven-time running Section II champs earning their sixth trip to the final four in that span.

Bethlehem opened the trio of games here with a 2-0 win over Section III’s Liverpool in the “AA” contest, snapping a three-year run that saw the Eagles’ season end at this stage.

Northville and Hoosick Falls both won on the road. The Falcons beat John A. Coleman High of Section IX, 2-0, in the Class D game at Middletown, and the Panthers blanked Tupper Lake of Section X, 5-0, at Massena.

Strijek’s milestone goal, the 41st of her senior year, came 8:39 from the end of regulation. While the Eagles fished the ball out of their net, the Sabres mobbed each other at midfield in anticipation of the school’s first trip to the final four since 2006.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Strijek of her 41st goal of the year. “It was a real important goal for us.”

Jenna Saccocio set the play in motion, picking up a loose ball in the center of the field and finding Rachel Gac on the right wing. Gac served a ball to the back post, where Strijek and Diana DiCocco were both lurking. Strijek got possession, held off a defender and made good on her team’s 12th shot of the game.

Until Strijek’s goal, the game had the look of the Sabres’ regional semifinal 2-0 win over Lowville, when Diana DiCocco scored twice in overtime to keep their season alive.

Unbeaten Schalmont did everything but score in the first half as it went after its 21st victory of the season

Ciara Vitallo’s 30-yarder from the right flank hit the crossbar, and Hannah Saccocio, DiCocco, Strijek and Gac all saw good chances turned away by Eagles’ soph­omore goalkeeper Lauren O’Connor. Schalmont owned an 8-2 edge in shots in the first 40 minutes.

“They were too nervous,” said Schalmont coach Angelo Caschera. “On the way up here, they were too quiet on the bus. Even the bus driver said ‘What is wrong with them?’

“It was a tough game, but we did it. Our defense did a good job. And I’m happy for Megan, to get her 100th goal in four years of playing varsity.”

“It was a little different than the other night, because we were getting a lot of good shots,” said defender Katie Saccocio, one of eight Schalmont seniors. “Maybe we were a little, not nervous, I don’t know what exactly it was.

“But when Megan scored her goal, we all breathed a little easier.”

“The five minutes after I scored were the longest five minutes of my life,” said Strijek. “I was watching the clock.

“This is surreal, especially for all of our seniors.”

Schalmont will play Section I champ Bronxville in the state semifinals Saturday at 5 p.m. at SUNY-Cortland.

Burnt Hills shook off some early rust and rolled past the Huskies, improving to 17-4-0.

“It’s tough after you beat that Section III team in the first round, to come back with the same energy for this game,” said Burnt Hills coach Brian Bold, whose team beat Jamesville-DeWitt in the regional semi­finals. “We didn’t seem that sharp in the first half, we were a little off.

“I had to remind them that this game was even more important . This is the one that gets us to Cortland.”

Freshman Meghan Malone got the Spartans into the game with a goal in the 24th minute.

Senior Jess Lyden made it a two-goal lead early in the second half, but the Huskies, outshot 24-4 for the game, scored to make it 2-1.

“I wasn’t that uncomfortable, because we had the better of play,” said Bold.

Still, Bold immediately put his starting three forwards — Malone, Lyden and Burchhardt — back on the field, and Lyden set up Burchhardt for a goal before Malone could find its new defensive assignments. Carly Finn added a goal in the final two minutes.

Burnt Hills will play Section I champ Somers in the state semi­finals. That game is set for Saturday at 1:30 at Tompkins-Cortland Community College.


In their fourth try in as many years — and first without graduated all-state player Kristina Maksuti — the Eagles got past a Section III opponent and moved into the state Class AA semifinals. Jackie Kearney and 10th-grader Autumn Fetterolf got the goals in the second half.

“In the last two games, we had given up some early goals. It was very important for us to get out of the first 20 minutes without giving up an early goal,” said Bethlehem coach Tom Rogan, whose 15-3-2 Eagles had a steady breeze in their faces the first 40 minutes. “Once we did that, I felt much more comfortable.”

The Warriors hit the crossbar once in each half, but the Eagles stepped up to deny or block shots.

Bethlehem will play Section I’s Arlington Saturday at 1:30 at Homer High School in its first trip to the state semifinals.


Georgina Maye and Ashley Ferguson scored goals in the first half, and Northville also snapped a three-year hex at the state quarterfinal level.

Maye got to the rebound of an Allison Woodworth corner kick 15 minutes into the game, and Ferg­uson added a goal before the half.

The 15-4-1 Falcons will meet Section VI champion Ellicottville Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Homer High in the semifinals.

Hoosick Falls jumped out to a 3-0 lead at the half, Grace Delurey, Meg McKee and Mackenzie Hinchcliff.

Delurey and McKee both added second-half goals as the 19-1-1 Panthers moved to a 9 a.m. Saturday semi at T-CCC against Tully of Section III.

Categories: Sports

Leave a Reply