JOHNSTOWN — Powered by Cole Krempa’s hat trick and a dominant defense, Johnstown punched its ticket to its fourth-straight Section II Class C field hockey championship game Thursday afternoon at Knox Field.
The second-seeded Lady Bills controlled the semifinal match from start to finish to post a 6-0 victory over third-seeded Granville.
Johnstown (15-3) advances to play top-seeded Hoosick Falls (17-0) at 2 p.m. Sunday at Gloversville High School.
Hoosick Falls advanced to the title match with a 6-0 victory over Schuylerville Thursday at Afrim’s Sports Complex.
“I am super happy with this win,” Johnstown coach Christine Krempa said. “I didn’t know much about Granville but their record, that they are scrappy and move the ball like most grass teams do. This past week we have been working on the little things like cutting the ball, moving the ball, skills, finesse; the little things that we need to do.”
The Lady Bills took control of the match early when Emily Pertell put a long shot of a penalty corner from Nicole Simon with 89 seconds off the clock.
Johnstown continued to keep the pressure on the Granville defense and collected its second goal of the match when Cole Krempa poked home a shot off the pads of the Golden Horde’s goalkeeper Megan Decker.
Just 16 seconds into the second quarter, Krempa picked up her second goal of the half to stake the Lady Bills to a 3-0 advantage.
Caroline Krempa and Ava Barker added second-quarter scores, both off assists from Ayaka Sasaki, to give the Lady Bills a 5-0-halftime lead.
“I was super happy with the way we came out and got the ball in right away and got them on their heels,” coach Krempa said. “We don’t want to play reactive; we want the other team to play reactive and we did a good job of that today.”
The Lady Bills’ defense allowed Granville to cross the midfield stripe one time in the opening half, while out shooting the Golden Horde 15-0.
Cole Krempa completed her hat trick with 5:49 left in the third quarter, putting a pass from Pertell into the cage for the 6-0 lead and final score.
For the match, Johnstown out shot Granville 33-0 and held a 23-0 edge in penalty corners.
Decker finished with 20 saves in goal for Granville.
“[Ayaka] Sasaki has been solid for us all year and her stick skills and speed on the outside are outstanding,” coach Krempa said. “She has something like 16 or 17 assists this season and a lot of our offense originates from her stick. Another nice thing is that on a team of 18 and I think we have 12 or 13 girls who have put a goal in the cage. So if somebody picks up Cole, there are still plenty of girls who can put the ball in the cage.”
Johnstown will be looking to record its first area championship since 2019 when it takes on longtime rival Hoosick Falls.
“I don’t think these girls realized this is our fourth straight trip to the championship game,” coach Krempa said. “I believe it would have been five and a state championship, but we didn’t have sectionals in 2020 because of COVID. I told them this is not a fluke, this is not we squeaked through, this is Johnstown field hockey and this is what we do. We want to get that title back. It is essentially a home game for us. When we played there in 2018 against Hoosick Falls there was a huge crowd. The short bus ride is to our advantage and it is a short drive for everyone in town to get to and cheer for these ladies.”
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports, Sports