TROY — Brooke Pickett scored the only goal in the first half of Wednesday night’s Section II Class C championship soccer game between Stillwater and Schoharie.
That tally as time wound down ultimately helped the Warriors’ sophomore get a bunch more.
“We tried to do some things to contain Pickett in the first half, and I thought we did a pretty good job,” Schoharie coach Kevin Scofield said. “In the second half we decided to score some goals, and she went unmarked.”
Pickett took full advantage of that new-found space, scoring three times in the second half, and Stillwater’s defensive cast stymied high-powered Schoharie until the late going in a 4-2 title-game victory on the turf at Lansingburgh High School.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Pickett said after boosting her season goal total to 43. “I’m so happy. We have worked so hard, and to see it pay off is amazing.”
Stillwater (No. 2 seed, 18-2-0) claimed its first area championship since a share with Mechanicville in 2009, dethroned a Schoharie (No. 1, 18-1-0) team that had won the last three and did it with a roster that includes just one senior in defender Faith Sheehan.
“Honestly, it’s crazy to think about it,” Sheehan said of Stillwater’s young group. “We graduated seven or eight seniors, and losing that many you never know. But once preseason came, you could see it. Once we started playing, you could tell we were going to be pretty good.”
Pickett is among six sophomores. Eight others are freshmen.
“We do have a really young team,” Pickett said. “Our hearts are bigger than who we are.”
Though Pickett took care of the scoring load and freshman Kiersten Conroy made 10 saves at the opposite end, Stillwater coach Christine Ihnatolya called Wednesday’s mild upset a complete team showing. Schoharie had been involved in only one one-goal game this season, and that came Saturday in a 4-3 semifinal win against Hoosick Falls.
“Without them getting her the ball, she doesn’t get those goals,” Ihnatolya said. “From the defensive end, to the midfielders to the other forwards, everyone had to do their part.”
At the defensive end, Stillwater used smart and sometimes physical play to contain the Indians, specifically sisters Carrie and Katie Krohn. Carrie Krohn had scored the game-winning goal in last year’s 1-0 title-game win over Lake George on a late second-half header.
“Number 23 [Carrie] and number 32 [Katie], they was our two major focus points on defense,” Ihnatolya said. “Both of them are unbelievable players.”
Carrie Krohn got both of Schoharie’s goals in her final scholastic game. The senior connected with 12:59 to go and again with 29 seconds left to up her season total to 41 goals and school-record career mark to 133.
Pickett did her offensive damage before, starting with that first-half goal with 4:54 left, and capping her superb performance with 13:42 remaining in the contest.
Pickett also delivered with 23:13 and 16:30 left in the second half. Stillwater assists went to freshman Devon Wagner, ninth-grader Teya Staie and sophomore Paige Brinsko.
“It’s been a long time,” Pickett said. “I can’t wait to bring this back to school and celebrate.”
Stillwater will face regional opponent Northern Adiriondack on Saturday at a site [in Section VII] and time to be determined.
Class D title to Northville
Kerrigan Groff broke a 1-1 tie with 5:11 left in the second half, and Jenna Forsey made a crucial stop just a few minutes before as Northville defeated Fort Ann 3-1 to secure the Section II Class D championship at Lansingburgh earlier Wednesday.
“When she [Groff] got that in, it was, ‘We got this,'” Northville senior captain Hannah Coupas said after her insurance goal with 59 seconds left clinched the school’s first area title since 2011.
Before Groff’s unassisted goal, Fort Ann’s Amanda Godfrey got past Falcons’ goalkeeper Emily Shepard on a break and fired a shot toward the net. Forcey raced to the line and kicked the ball away just before it crossed, keeping the game even with 12:20 remaining.
“Obviously, that was a game-changing play,” Northville coach Doug Hammons said of the effort by Forcey, a junior midfielder. “It was instinct. She saw the ball going into the net and she cleared it.”
“That was a game-saver,” Coupas added. “If that went in, it would have been a totally different game.”
Fort Ann (No. 2, 13-6-1) took a 1-0 lead on Sarah Paige’s goal with 5:57 left in the first half, but Brytney Moore struck for Northville (No. 1, 15-4-0) 37 seconds later on an assist from Groff.
“Fort Ann scored on us and we quickly answered back,” Hammons said. “That’s this team.”
Northville had eased past Doane (5-0) and Fort Plain (6-0) before getting a much stiffer test from Fort Ann.
“It came down to who was going to push themselves the hardest,” Hammons said. “We had the No. 1 and the No. 2 going at it.”
Northville will play Eldred at Middletown Friday at 3 p.m. in a regional game.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports