MECHANICVILLE — No big deal, right?
Even after all the winning the Stillwater girls’ soccer team has done in recent years, Wednesday’s 6-2 victory against Voorheesville in the Section II Class C championship game was a special one for a program looking to continue its fantastic run for as long as possible.
“When that buzzer sounds, it’s like it’s happening for the first time again,” Stillwater senior Brooke Pickett said. “It doesn’t get old.”
Two days after registering her 200th career goal, Pickett scored three more to help lift Stillwater to its third area championship in as many years. With the victory, Stillwater played its 43rd consecutive game without suffering a loss, and the Warriors now head into the state tournament to defend their state title.
“We came out ready,” Stillwater junior Keelyn Peacock said of Wednesday’s win. “We came out as a state-champion team.”
Peacock scored in the fourth minute to start things off for Stillwater, while Pickett followed with goals in the 12th and 24th minutes to increase the Warriors’ lead to 3-0 before halftime. Junior Devon Wagner and sophomore Lily Tanner pushed the Stillwater (No. 1, 18-0-2) lead to 5-0 before Voorheesville (No. 2, 16-2-2) seniors Jenny Bogart and Amanda Gillenwalters sandwiched goals around Pickett’s final score of the evening at Mechanicville High School.
“We knew we had to come out hard and play our game,” said Pickett, whose three goals pushed her career total to 204, leaving her seven shy of matching the Section II record that belongs to Brittany LaPlant of Queensbury.
While Pickett reached a career milestone in Monday’s semifinal win, Wednesday’s turn at that belonged to Stillwater head coach Christine Ihnatolya, who recorded her 100th career win.
“It’s something that the girls have been talking about and I refuse to talk about,” Ihnatolya said. “But I have to give the credit to the girls because they’ve worked hard to get us to this point.”
Wagner said Ihnatolya deserves ample credit for continuing to push the Warriors.
“She’s a role model for us,” Wagner said. “She motivates us every day to be better, and to do better for our program and ourselves.”
Besides her goal, Peacock added an assist, while junior Teya Staie assisted each of Pickett’s scores.
Stillwater will play in Saturday’s state quarterfinals against Section VII’s AuSable Valley at Beekmantown High School. The Warriors are three wins away from back-to-back state championships, but the state’s top-ranked team isn’t looking past Saturday’s game.
“It’s one game at a time,” Ihnatolya said.
With a 3-1 victory against New Lebanon, Northville secured this year’s Section II Class D championship in Wednesday’s first title game at Mechanicville High School.
Senior Brytney Moore scored two goals to lead head coach Doug Hammons’ team, while junior Grace Forsey added a goal.
“It’s indescribable,” Moore said of the win. “This year, our team has been the closest it’s ever been. It’s like a family, and there’s nothing like getting this with your family. It’s the best feeling in the whole world.”
Northville (No. 2, 16-3-0) led 2-0 at halftime, but New Lebanon (No. 1, 15-3-1) senior Emily Schafer scored to bring her team within 2-1. Moore’s second goal of the game gave Northville some breathing room down the stretch.
Northville will play Section IX’s Mount Academy in Saturday’s state quarterfinals at Goshen High School.