STILLWATER — With a miraculous goal in the 100th minute of play, Holy Names senior Megan Marini sent her team past Schalmont 4-3 in Friday’s Section II Class B girls’ soccer championship.
With 53 seconds to go in the second overtime at Stillwater High School, Marini scored the championship-winning goal with a corner kick she’d meant to send toward the goal as a pass.
“I didn’t really intend for it to go in,” Marini said. “It kind of just happened, I guess. . . . I think, this game, I was meant to make it.”
A back-and-forth game was expected. The only loss this season for Holy Names (No. 1, 18-1-0) came against the Sabres, while Schalmont (No. 2, 17-2-1) suffered both its losses against Holy Names.
“We knew it was going to be a battle until the end, and sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t,” Schalmont head coach Alaina Lange said. “This was one of those games where both teams fought hard, and they came out on top.”
On Friday, Schalmont started off the scoring with a goal by senior Vanessa Wainwright with 24:51 left in the first half. Schalmont’s second goal of the night was scored unassisted by Ashley Cirilla with 9:34 left in the first half.
Holy Names cut Schalmont’s lead in half with their first goal of the game scored by Ava Panto with 31:19 left to play in regulation. Panto scored again with 6:30 to go in regulation to tie the score at 2, where the score stayed through regulation.
In the first overtime, Holy Names took the lead for the first time when sophomore Marissa DeMartino scored in the 84th minute, but the Sabres tied the game back up minutes later on a score from senior Teghan Older.
The game stayed tied at 3 until Marini’s corner kick in the 100th minute. When her kick found its way into the back of the net, Marini said she had to look twice to make sure she was seeing the play right.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Marini said.
“On that last goal, you just have to tip your hat,” Lange said, “because that’s just a great strike by a great striker.”
For Schalmont, the loss denied the Sabres a fourth consecutive area championship.
“They played their hearts out,” Lange said of her players. “They came out, and we attacked early and took the lead, and then they came back in the second half and they put one in on us that we probably shouldn’t have allowed. . . . They never gave up in any game, we played a lot of overtime games, and we had the hardest league for Class B this year and we battled every single game.”
Holy Names will next play Tuesday against a Section VII opponent in the state tournament.
WARRIORS TOP SPARTANS
In Friday’s Class A girls’ soccer championship game at Stillwater High School, Averill Park won 2-0 against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
Burnt Hills (No. 7, 9-10) and Averill Park (No. 1, 13-2-4) were tied at halftime, but Averill Park junior Jessica Haskin scored in the 53rd minute, while junior Sydney Haskin added a score in the 56th minute.
Averill Park last won an area championship in 2016, when it shared a Section II title with Mohonasen. Burnt Hills was making its first appearance in an area championship game since 2015.
Averill Park will next play Nov. 3 in the state tournament.
Jennie Heyward is an intern at The Daily Gazette. Heyward, a senior at the University at Albany, is majoring in journalism. Gazette Sports Editor Michael Kelly contributed to this report.