Brooke Pickett scored her second goal late in the second half Saturday to give Stillwater a 3-2 win over Marion, and a chance at a second consecutive state Class C girls’ soccer championship.
Pickett’s 58th goal this season and 208th of her career came with 1:30 left and capped a back and forth affair at Cortland High School.
“It was very similar to some other close game we had with Nichols and Mechanicville,” Stillwater coach Christine Ihnatolya said after her team went to 20-0-2. “Both teams had scoring opportunities. Both teams played good defense. It was an intense game.”
Abigail Marotta of Marion (Section V, 20-2) tied the game 2-2 with 8:50 left in the second half.
“At that point, I had a feeling if we had a good scoring opportunity, we’d capitalize,” Ihnatolya said. “They did it.”
Keelyn Peacock fed Pickett down the right side, and the University at Albany commit scored the game-winning goal from close-range on a drive that tucked inside the left post.
Pickett’s 208 goals are three shy of the Section II record held by Queensbury graduate Brittany LaPlant.
“It was one of the most beautiful goals I have seen her make,” Ihnatolya said.
Ohio State commit Chloe DeLyser scored a first-half goal to put Marion up 1-0, notching her 76th goal this season and state-record 336th of her career. Stillwater freshman Kara Moran had the job of marking DeLyser.
“She [DeLyser] is an unbelievable player, and Kara Moran did an excellent job on her,” Ihnatolya said. “With support, we put a lot of pressure on her. In all of our postseason games, we’ve had her [Moran] man-mark a top threat.”
Pickett scored a first-half goal, and Paige Brinsko gave Stillwater a 2-1 lead early in the second half.
Stillwater will meet Unatego (Section IV, 19-0-1) in Sunday’s 10 a.m. state final at SUNY Cortland. Unatego advanced when it beat Haldane (Section I, 10-6-3) in penalty kicks 2-1 after the teams played to a scoreless tie .
Stillwater’s last loss came in the 2017 state Class C final against Allegany-Limestone. In the 2018 final four, Stillwater beat Haldane and then Little Falls for the program’s first state championship.
Poland (Section III, 20-0) beat Northville (16-4) in a Class D semifinal 5-0, and earned its sixth title-game berth in eight years.
Jude Rouhana scored on a header four minutes into the second overtime as Fairport (Section V, 16-3-2) defeated Shenendehowa (16-4-1) in a Class AA semifinal 1-0. The state semifinal setback was Shenendehowa’s second in three years.
Center Moriches (Section XI, 17-2-2) and Schuylerville (15-8-0) played to a 0-0 tie before Center Moriches won on penalty kicks 4-1 in a Class B semifinal.
Rhinebeck (Section IX, 19-0-1) made a first-half goal by Noah Lortie stand up in a 1-0 Class C semifinal win over Voorheesville (21-2).