Johnstown field hockey denied in state final

Bronxville deals Section II champion its first loss
Sunday's loss was the 1st of the season for Johnstown.
Sunday's loss was the 1st of the season for Johnstown.

Johnstown’s bid for a perfect field hockey season ended Sunday with a 1-0 loss to Bronxville in the Class C state championship game at Alden High School.

Johnstown finished 20-1 and was denied its first New York title since 1990. Johnstown’s last title-game appearance before Sunday was in 1993.

“We’re already talking about next year,” said Johnstown coach Christine Krempa, who will have nine of 11 starters back for the 2020 season. “We have our sights on getting back there. We’re already talking about plans for the offseason and things we can do to get better.”

Johnstown had better numbers in terms of shots and penalty corners Sunday, but Bronxville goalie Caitlin Mooney made 16 saves to turn back the Section II champions that came into the matchup with 90 goals.

“We outplayed them,” Krempa said. “We outshot them 19-3. Their goalie had the game of her life. Their coach even said so. We couldn’t put one in. Sometimes, that happens in sports.”

Bronxville (Section I, 17-3-2) got a goal from Sunday Ladas with 23:36 left in the first half, and held off the Lady Bills from there.

“Our girls battled until the end,” Krempa said. “With 10 seconds left, Taryn [Ringer] and Emily [Fleming] were in the circle trying to get a goal.”

Abby VanValkenburgh made two saves for Johnstown, which beat Schuylerville 7-0 for its first Section II title since 2011, defeated Camden 2-1 in overtime and Greene 2-1 in regional play, and edged Carle Place 3-2 in Saturday’s semifinal round on an overtime goal by Kalena Eaton. Ringer scored the other two goals Saturday and joined Fleming on the state final four all-tournament team.

Johnstown went 18-1 last season, losing only to Hoosick Falls 1-0 in the Section II title game.

“Now we”ve been there,” Krempa said of the state final. “It’s kind of like the sectionals last year. The girls don’t want to feel like that again.

The 2019 Johnstown field hockey season almost didn’t happen. Last spring, sports programs were eliminated from the Johnstown school budget for the 2019-20 school year, but a successful fundraising campaign followed that enabled the school’s teams to compete.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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