STILLWATER For the second straight season, the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots are going to the sectional championship game.
Third-seeded Broadalbin-Perth rode two first-half goals to a 3-0 win over No. 2 Catholic Central in Wednesday's Section II Class B semifinal contest at Warrior Park.
"I'm just really proud of our team," junior midfielder Katie Herba said. "It's exciting."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Kylie Gifford maneuvers the ball around Catholic Central’s Kelsey Moss during Thursday’s Section II Class B semifinal game in Stillwater. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
Broadalbin-Perth's Katie Herba gets past Catholic Central’s Claire Regan, Hannah Duncan and Kelsey Moss as she takes the ball toward the goal during Thursday’s Section II Class B semifinal game in Stillwater. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
The Lady Patriots had most of the early opportunities to put the ball in the goal, but didn't come through until a corner kick in the 32nd minute.
All game, Catholic Central coach Dan Carpenter was urging his team not to allow Broadalbin-Perth a corner kick. It was the corner kick that finally burned the Lady Crusaders (16-1-2).
"I try to aim for a certain spot each time," said Herba, who delivered the kick from the right corner. "We practice and practice and know where to go. Hopefully they can get a foot or head on it and get it in the goal."
Class B Semifinals
Broadalbin-Perth 3, CCHS 0
Schalmont 4, Coxsackie-Athens 0
Senior midfielder Victoria Marotta came in from the back of the crowd, picked off Herba's cross and put it past Catholic Central goalkeeper Katie Sullivan, giving Broadalbin-Perth a 1-0 lead.
"I think the two times before that, she got to them and nearly scored," Broadalbin-Perth coach Rob Klug said. "Finally, she was determined to put one in and found the opening. As she came in, she struck a good ball and put it in the back of the net."
Herba added a second goal about six minutes later when she collected a forward pass from Carly Washburn and maneuvered through three defenders for a breakaway. She moved toward the left post and blasted a shot inside the right post, doubling Broadalbin-Perth's lead.
"It was a big change for the game and it pushed us to keep going," Herba said.
Immediately after the break, Catholic Central appeared to have its first goal of the night, but it was waved off when Catholic Central was ruled to have kicked the ball out from under Broadalbin-Perth goalkeeper Rachel Orapello.
"I couldn't tell what happened and I was kind of nervous because they did score," Herba said. "But then he called it off, I was relieved and excited that they didn't score."
A score by Catholic Central would have changed the complexion of the game as the Lady Crusaders would have gained some momentum and would have been only within a goal of tying. But control stayed with the Lady Patriots after the goal was disallowed.
"I was pretty sure Rachel had the ball in her hands and the girl kicked it out," Klug said. "The refs were usually pretty good with protecting the goalies in that situation. That could have changed the momentum either way. Luckily it worked in our favor and we were able to stick one more to kind of put the game out of reach."
That third goal came off the foot of Kylie Gifford in the 65th minute. Gifford collected her own shot, which rebounded off Sullivan, and hammered it home, putting the final nail on the Lady Crusaders' season.
The Lady Patriots (16-3) will be back at Warrior Park on Saturday afternoon when they face top-seeded Schalmont at 3 p.m. for their second attempt to win a Section II Class B championship. Schalmont defeated No. 5 Coxsackie Athens, 4-0, in the other semifinal game.
"It's exciting and there's just so much excitement going into it," Marotta said. "We're going to go hard and fight to win. We've been there last year and we're ready. This is our turn."