MECHANICVILLE — Shaking her head from side to side, Stillwater senior Brooke Pickett said it was difficult to fathom.
When her spectacular varsity girls’ soccer career got started, she never expected anything like what’s unfolded.
“I never thought I’d be here. Honestly. When I started, it was just about getting that first goal. Then, it was about getting a second,” Pickett said Monday after Stillwater’s 5-0 win in the Section II Class C girls’ soccer semifinal against Lake George. “But I never thought I would be getting a 200th goal.”
Pickett hit that milestone with her first score Monday at Mechanicville High School, a goal in the ninth minute off a pass from junior Keelyn Peacock, who has assisted so many of Pickett’s goals over the years.
“That [to help Pickett score her 200th goal] was my goal for the game, actually,” said Peacock, who had two goals and two assists in Monday’s win. “My mom and I were just talking about this before the game, how Brooke and I have played together since we were 3, 4 years old. We have a connection where we don’t need to say where we’re both going. We just know. It connects like puzzle pieces.”
Pickett scored a second goal later, her 51st of the season, as Stillwater — the state’s reigning champion — separated from Lake George in the second half after taking a 1-0 lead into intermission. Junior Devon Wagner scored in the 44th minute, Pickett headed in a goal in the 49th and Peacock added the Warriors’ final two scores. Junior Kiersten Conroy recorded a shutout in goal for the Warriors.
“We knew we had to come out stronger in the second half,” Pickett said. “Lake George was really giving us a run for our money. They weren’t letting us walk all over them. They were fighting back. We knew we had to work together.”
With its win against Lake George (No. 4, 15-4-0), Stillwater (No. 1, 17-0-2) advances to Wednesday’s championship game to play Voorheesville (No. 2, 16-1-2), which topped Schoharie (No. 3, 16-2-1) 2-1 in double-overtime in Monday’s first semifinal. Schoharie junior Megan Krohn scored in the first half, while Voorheesville senior Kaelyn Lawson tied the game in the 65th minute and provided the game-winning goal in the 93rd.
“This is just hard work and showing how it really pays off,” Lawson said.
At Mechanicville High School on Wednesday, a Class D championship game between New Lebanon and Northville will take place at 4:30 p.m., while Stillwater vs. Voorheesville is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be a great game,” said Stillwater head coach Christine Ihnatolya, whose program has won two consecutive area championships.
Pickett, a five-year varsity player, scored 49 goals as a sophomore and 52 as a junior. With Monday’s two goals, Pickett is 10 behind matching the Section II girls’ soccer record of 211 goals that belongs to Brittany LaPlant of Queensbury.
As Pickett scored one goal after another during her career, Ihnatolya said it became a goal of Pickett’s to reach 200. The coach, though, respected how Pickett never let that pursuit take away from helping the Warriors win games.
“Her team goals and team accomplishments were always above her individual goals for her,” Ihnatolya said.
Winning another state championship is Pickett’s top goal as a senior. The University at Albany commit, though, said winning a third consecutive Section II championship won’t come easy with Voorheesville standing in the Warriors’ way.
“They’re definitely a tough team,” Pickett said.