MECHANICVILLE — Early in Saturday’s Class C girls’ soccer state quarterfinal, a few Stillwater shots clanged off posts.
That bad luck didn’t last long.
Didn’t really bother the Warriors, either.
“With the elements the way they were today, it was a bit different. It was windy and it was expected our shots might not be on target right off the bat,” Stillwater head coach Christine Ihnatolya said. “I just told them to stay confident and keep shooting.”
The Warriors did that, and were soon rewarded. Once sophomore Teya Staie got the scoring started in the 13th minute, Stillwater never looked back in advancing to the state semifinals with a 6-0 win against Ausable Valley at Mechanicville High School.
“We play with our hearts,” sophomore Keelyn Peacock said. “It gets tough sometimes out there, but we just stay together as a team.”
Stillwater led 3-0 at halftime, and the Warriors doubled their lead within the opening 10 minutes of the second half. Stillwater was just days removed from defending its Section II championship with a 6-0 win against Schoharie, but Staie said the Warriors had no problem focusing on their latest challenge.
“We wanted to get back to [the state semifinals], and win it all this time,” said Staie, whose squad fell in last year’s state championship game. “I think with all the work we’ve put toward this, we were so ready for today.”
Peacock, junior Brooke Pickett and Staie each scored a pair of goals for Stillwater (20-0-1) against Ausable Valley (Section VII, 6-10-2). Pickett offered a goal in each half of play, while Staie scored both of her goals in the first half and Peacock added her goals after halftime.
Stillwater is ranked No. 1 in the state heading into the state semifinals. The Warriors will play next Saturday against Section I’s Haldane at Cortland High School.
“The key is to stay healthy,” Pickett said of the week ahead of the Warriors. “We have to keep working hard so we can do well in the state tournament.”
“We still have our eyes on the big prize, and that’s their main motivation right now,” Ihnatolya said. “It’s one goal at a time, and our main goal is winning a state championship.”
IN OTHER ACTION
Bethlehem won 2-0 in its Class AA state quarterfinal against Fayetteville-Manlius. Grace Hotaling and Brianna Price each scored a goal, while Hotaling also added an assist. Shannon Donnelly made six saves in the shutout.
Averill Park lost 1-0 against Jamesville-DeWitt in a Class A state quarterfinal. Megan Glanton made nine saves in defeat.
In a Class B state quarterfinal, Holy Names lost 3-2 in triple-overtime to Holland Patent. For Holy Names, Riley Taylor and Ava Panto each scored.
Fort Ann won 2-0 against Eldred in a Class D state quarterfinal. Sarah Paige and Amanda Godfrey each scored for Fort Ann.