Spartans’ girls' soccer title streak stretches to eight
STILLWATER Brian Bold has heard all the catch phrases as his team has rolled up an impressive streak of Class A girls’ soccer titles that stretched to eight on Saturday.
“One for the thumb.”
“The drive for five.”
There is one he most definitely does not want attached to Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Scotia-Glenville.
“Don’t ever say eight is enough,” he said after his latest champions earned yet another regional spot with their 14th win in 15 games. Burnt Hills will play Section III winner Jamesville-DeWitt at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Fulton High School, a rematch of a game the Lady Spartans won, 4-1, a year ago.
Schalmont joins Burnt Hills in the regional semifinal double-header. The unbeaten reigning state Class B champs beat Broadalbin-Perth,
4-0, their 43rd straight win, and will face Marcellus in the second game Tuesday night at Fulton.
Burnt Hills, now 15-4-0, made its intentions clear early, when Morgan Burchhardt and Carly Finn got to the touch lines and drove balls into the Scotia penalty area.
“That was going to be the major thing, let’s come out and put pressure on them early and see if we can get on the board early, and we did,” said Bold.
“They did exactly what we talked about in training, get the ball to the corner, draw some pressure and find the open runner in the box.”
Meghan Malone wound up on the end of two of the services, and she delivered goals 1:51 into the game and again 15 minutes later.
“They have so many weapons,” said Scotia coach Lise Williams. “You can’t always account for everyone.”
“It’s always great when you get the early lead. It’s not enough to carry us through, but it’s a boost,” said Burnt Hills co-captain Skye Kaler, who teamed with Burchhardt on a textbook goal in the second half.
Despite falling behind early,
Scotia gamely soldiered on, even after losing defensive midfielder Rachael Cox to a knee injury, then seeing Morgan Bailey leave the game after getting the worst on a 50-50 ground ball 22 seconds from the end of the half.
“It makes it even tougher when you lose one of your best defenders,” said Williams, whose team finished 14-4-1 and saw yet another season end at the hands of their neighbors.
“Scotia never stopped playing. They worked hard. It was a good match. They gave us a good run,” said Bold, whose teams beat the Lady Tartans in the semifinals the previous three years, in the 2007 final and the 2006 semis.
“It’s a good rivalry that started back when they played in the Suburban Council.”
Burnt Hills’ run of eight straight sectional titles ties a run Scotia had at the Class B level from 1981-1989 (ended, of course, by Burnt Hills), and is one shy of the nine straight titles won by New Lebanon at the Class D level from 1988-96.
“Every year is different, a different group,” Bold said. “Kids graduate, and on the bus ride home we say, ‘How are we going to replace her? How are we going to replace her?’ The wonderful part about it is you take a different group and try to do the same thing over again.”
Kaler has been a part of the last four titles. She sealed the latest one when she elevated at the back post to head home a perfect driven cross from the opposite flank from Burchhardt.
“If I had a dollar for every time they’ve done that over the last three years, I wouldn’t be coaching,” Bold said.”
“Probably more than I can count on my fingers,” Kaler said of the frequency of success for that play. “I usually get to the far post, because I knew her crosses pretty well, and they usually go second stick. That’s where I try to be.”
Kaler just wanted to maintain the program’s run of success.
“You don’t want to be the senior class that ruins the streak,” she said. “When you’re an underclassman, you kind of play for the seniors. You want to win it for the seniors, so being a senior, it’s different because you’re playing more for yourself. This is your last chance. You don’t want it to end. It’s in the back of your mind, so maybe you’re playing with a little more heart.”
Junior defender Jenna Retell was enjoying her first sectional title
after she and her twin sister, Julia, transferred from Lansingburgh.
“This is what I was hoping for,” she said, pointing out how playing as one of three `A’ schools in the 12-team Suburban Council prepared her.
“The Suburban Council is so competitive, you have to be on your game all the time,” she said.
Guilderland earned a spot in the Class AA final with a 1-0 semifinal win over Shaker in a game played at Schuylerville.
Ang Luizzi scored off an assist from Ali Cardinal in the 74th minutes as the Lady Dutch improved to 14-3-1.
Jenn Cubella made a pair of saves for Guilderland. Shaker’s Gabby Cotugno had three saves..
SABRES ROLL ON
Schalmont shook off some jitters, withstood some early Broadalbin-Perth pressure and then moved along to its 20th straight victory — and 18th shutout — this season.
“I told them that the first 10 minutes you go out there, you’re going to be nervous. That’s what happened,” said Lady Sabres coach Angelo Caschera, who is stepping down at the end of the season. “You could see it. Then, we got a goal, and that made it easier for us. But it was a little shaky.
“We had to hold their midfield. [Tori] Marotta controls their midfield very well. Once we stopped her, I think we got control. But the first 10, 15 minutes of the game, it was ugly.”
Diana DiCocco gave Schalmont a 2-0 lead, the first goal off a bad clear by the Lady Patriots, the second in a one-on-one with B-P goalkeeper Rachel Orapello.
Allie Gallo headed home a Rachael Gac cross in the first half, and Gac ripped home a free kick in the second half.
“You’ve got to convert your chances, and we didn’t. They did,” said B-P coach Rob Klug, whose team fell to Schalmont in the final for the second straight year. “We had some good play in the first 10 minutes, were a little unlucky.
“We wanted to get out, take the game to them. I feel like we did at times. That first goal hurt us. Sometimes, it’s not fair for you.”
“We usually say, even when we’re up two goals, that it’s still 0-0,” Gallo said. “We have to keep playing as hard as we can.”
DiCocco has assumed the role of main scorer from graduated Megan Strijek as the Colonial Council champs go for a second state title.
“I feel like I have to focus a little more,” she said. “Megan was kind of the big dog last year. It’s like I have to follow in her footsteps.”
She and her coach both point to a difference in style of play this year.
“We lost a lot of great players, but we had a lot of great players back and a lot of great players come up, like [freshmen] Kennedy [Cronk] and Jess [Barnett] that stepped up on defense,” DiCocco said. “Madeline [Saccocio] stepped up at midfield to help us there. I think we’re just as good as we were last year.
“I think our style of play has changed. Last year, we were more direct. This year, we bring a lot of skill into the game.”
“This team, compared to last year’s team, has a little more ball control, they move the ball well,” said Caschera. “It’s not running and running. They play one-touch, two-touch, and look for each other.”
“We have a lot of people who can score, which is very, very good for us,” Gallo said.
TROY MAKES HISTORY
COLONIE — Troy became the first Big 10 team to win a Section II title, beating South Glens Falls, 2-1, in Saturday’s Class A championship game at Colonie High.
Northville fell to Fort Ann, 2-1, in the Class D game. The Falcons took the lead on a Jimmy Grega goal, but the Cardinals pulled out their third straight title on two Chris Jackson goals before the end of the first half.
Ichabod Crane beat Greenville, 2-0, in the Class B final, and Hoosick Falls, the seventh seed, dethroned Maple Hill, 1-0, in the Class C championship game on a goal by Tyler Carr in the second 15-minute OT.