STILLWATER — For all of regulation, Broadalbin-Perth and Mechanicville battled to a scoreless tie Tuesday in the Section II Class B girls’ soccer semifinals.
Less than a minute into the night’s first overtime, Anna Izzo changed that.
With the ball in Broadalbin-Perth’s end of the field, Izzo — a Mechanicville freshman — was able to control a loose ball that Broadalbin-Perth was unable to clear and gave her team a lead seconds later.
“It kind of got stuck in my feet,” a smiling Izzo said, “and I just finished it. It was really cool.”
In the next overtime, Izzo pulled off another cool feat, as she registered another goal midway through the session to provide all the scoring in Mechanicville’s 2-0 win to advance to Friday’s championship game back at Stillwater High School. That game will pit Mechanicville against top-seeded Schalmont.
“We’re all just so happy and excited,” Izzo said.
“We deserved it,” said junior Olivia Horan, who made 15 saves in the shutout. “We’ve worked so hard all season, and this was a huge win.”
Broadalbin-Perth (No. 3, 14-3-2) and Mechanicville (No. 2, 12-3-3) played an entertaining first half, with scoring opportunities for both squads. The teams entered halftime, though, tied at 0. The second half brought more of the same, with both teams threatening to score, including Broadalbin-Perth in the final minute of regulation.
In between Mechanicville’s overtime goals that Bella Raucci assisted, Broadalbin-Perth registered multiple scoring chances, but Horan and the Mechanicville defense were able to maintain the shutout. Broadalbin-Perth head coach Rob Klug said he knew his team would “fight right until the end,” which proved correct.
“This group as a whole is one of the most well-rounded teams we’ve had in a long time,” Klug said. “Everyone played together. We had no superstars; we had players that would make big plays in big times, and they played together as a team from top to bottom.”
Mechanicville co-coach Karl Gerstenberger said his club knew not to let up after Izzo’s first goal.
“You’ve got to play the whole game. No matter what the score is, you’ve got to finish it out. We pound that into their heads all season,” said Gertsenberger, who coaches Mechanicville’s team along with Val D’Aloia. “Finish out. If you’re getting blown out, play strong. If you’re winning, play strong.”
After its dramatic win, D’Aloia said Mechanicville will make sure its ready for its chance at a Section II championship.
“We’re going to take a deep breath after tonight,” D’Aloia said. “We’ll refocus our energy, get back to our roots and make sure we’re prepared for our next battle.”
Down a goal at halftime, Schalmont made sure its season didn’t end Tuesday with a dominant second half against Holy Names in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Stillwater.
“We knew we had to come back and fight for it,” Schalmont senior Gabriela Amoroso said. “They came out to play, but we wanted that win.”
Senior Riley Taylor scored for Holy Names (No. 5, 12-5-0) in the 38th minute off an assist from sophomore Anna Nichols. Schalmont (No. 1, 17-2-0) head coach Ryan Fries said he’d cautioned his team before the game that the first half would be tough since the club from Rotterdam was heading into the evening’s strong wind.
Then, he reminded them at halftime the Sabres had the advantage in the second half.
“It’s a one-goal difference. It’s not a big deal,” Fries said he told his club at halftime. “You’ve got 40 minutes to play, and the wind is at your back.”
It didn’t take long for Schalmont to get going after halftime. The Colonial Council champions received a goal from Amoroso off an assist from junior Simone Cassano in the 42nd minute, then Cassano scored the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute off an assist from senior Gianna Viscusi.
Junior goalie Georgia Clark made 10 saves in the win, while Holy Names junior Sofia Pantoja had 15.
After no Section II girls’ soccer championships were contested during the 2020-21 academic year due to restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Tuesday’s wins for Mechanicville and Schalmont set up a rematch of the 2019 Section II Class B final. Schalmont won that year’s championship with a 3-1 win for its fourth area championship in five years.
MECHANICVILLE 2, BROADALBIN-PERTH 0 (2OT)
Halftime score: Tied 0-0. Broadalbin-Perth scoring: None. Mechanicville scoring: Izzo 2-0, Raucci 0-2. Goalies: Broadalbin-Perth, Mardsen, 9 saves. Mechanicville, Horan, 15 saves.
SCHALMONT 2, HOLY NAMES 1
Halftime score: Holy Names led 1-0. Holy Names scoring: Taylor 1-0, Nichols 0-1. Schalmont scoring: Amoroso 1-0, Cassano 1-1, Viscusi 0-1. Goalies: Holy Names, Pantoja, 15 saves. Schalmont, Clark, 10 saves.