LANSINGBURGH — Really, nobody was surprised it took two overtimes and plenty of goals to decide a winner in Tuesday’s first Section II Class B girls’ soccer semifinal.
That is generally the deal when Colonial Council rivals Schalmont and Voorheesville get together.
“When we play them, usually it’s games like this,” Schalmont sophomore Ashley Cirilla said after her team’s double-overtime victory. “But we just knew that if we stayed together as a team and never gave up, this would be the result.”
Voorheesville, though, put that to the test on an evening where Schalmont earned the right to defend its area title with a memorable win. After Voorheesville sophomore Megan Romansky forced overtime with a goal with 5.8 seconds to play in regulation, the Sabres scored a goal in each of the two overtime sessions to secure a 6-4 win.
Cirilla scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute, while senior Vanessa Wainwright added the game’s final goal off an assist from junior Davia Rossi in the 97th minute.
“We both knew coming into the semis today that we both wanted this so much and that it was going to be a battle,” said Wainwright, whose team tied Voorheesville 4-4 in the regular season. “And we proved that it was going to be a battle because we went into overtime once again.”
With the victory, Schalmont earned its chance to play for its fourth consecutive area championship, and its sixth in seven years, when it plays Friday at Stillwater High School against Holy Names. While Schalmont (No. 2, 17-1-1) outlasted Voorheesville (No. 3, 13-4-2), Holy Names (No. 1, 17-1-0) earned its trip to the final with a 5-0 win against Mechanicville (No. 4, 12-4-1) in Tuesday’s second semifinal played at Lansingburgh High School. In the regular season, Holy Names and Schalmont split a pair of games.
For long stretches Tuesday, Schalmont looked unlikely to keep its season alive. Voorheesville scored the first two goals of the second half to take a 3-2 lead, and maintained that advantage until Rossi assisted on a goal from Wainwright in the 68th minute.
Rossi, who finished with three assists, then found junior Sofia Cassano in the 76th minute to put Schalmont ahead 4-3. That goal looked ready to be the game-winner, but Voorheesville’s Romansky forced overtime with a goal in the final seconds of regulation that Schalmont head coach Alaina Lange knew the Blackbirds were capable of scoring.
“They don’t have any quit, so you know that even if you get a lead or you get up, you still can’t back off,” Lange said. “You still can’t let off the gas pedal. You still have to go because they’re not going to quit and they showed that to the very last second of regulation — and even in overtime. There was still no give-up [with] them even when we put the second one in. They still fought all the way to the end.”
In the first overtime, Cirilla scored the game-winning goal off a rebound.
“The team, just together, we all never gave up,” Cirilla said. “We really just worked as a team. Sofia [Cassano] and Jules [Monlea] got that first shot off, and I was just there to finish it.”
Cassano and Wainwright each finished with two goals in a contest that pushed both teams to the limit.
“Honestly,” Wainwright said, “anytime we have a tough game, even though it’s hard and we don’t know if we’re going to come out on top every time, it’s one of the most fun things you can experience.”
Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports