STILLWATER - The last two times the Broadalbin-Perth and Schalmont girls soccer teams played it was for the Section II Class B championship, with Schalmont winning hard-fought decisions.
On Monday night, the perennial title contenders squared off again only this time it was in the Class BB semifinals at Stillwater High School.
The Sabres took another step toward defending their Class B state championship by defeating Broadalbin-Perth 6-0 to advance to the Class BB title game.
Broadalbin-Perth’s Kendrah Stewart (21) challenges Schalmont’s Rachel Cardinal (9) for the ball during Monday’s Section II Class BB semifinal match at Stillwater High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Top-seeded Schalmont will play second-seeded Catholic Central of Troy in a battle of unbeatens for the title Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Lansingburgh.
The Lady Patriots found themselves in a predicament early as Schalmont found the back of the net early.
Rachel Cardinal gained control out of a scramble in front of the goal to get the first goal just 2:41 into the match.
Just under 10 minutes later, eighth-grader Molly Older delivered the first of her three goals to push the Lady Sabres in front 2-0.
"I tell the girls to attack early and attack often because it is a heck of a lot easier to defend a lead than it is to get one back," Schalmont coach Alaina Lange said. "We have the midfield that can hold that ground for us and get us those opportunities early. Our forwards to a great job finding the back of the net."
Broadalbin-Perth coach Rob Klug said the early goals put his team in a situation they did not want to be in.
"We wanted to keep it 0-0 or us ahead as long as possible because they have not faced adversity all season," he said. "Unfortunately for us they were able to put two away early and made it an uphill battle for us the rest of the game."
Schalmont (18-0 overall) remained in control of the match with Julia Rossi hitting on a long shot with just under 12 minutes left in the half, while Older delivered he second goal of the match with 8:05 left in the half to stake the Lady Sabres to a 4-0 halftime advantage.
Older completed her hat trick with 19:46 left to play with a line drive into the upper corner from the top of the box, while Sydnee Matzhold connected on a 25-yard direct kick to closout of the scoring with 15 seconds left on the clock.
"We try to make teams worry about us," Klug said. "They play the flat four [defense] and we tried to get balls to our feet and see if we could get behind them. I don't think it helped much that Katie Herba was playing at about 30 percent with her ankle being hurt, so that kind of slowed us down a little bit, but that is how it goes sometimes."
For the match, Schalmont outshot Broadalbin-Perth 18-2 and held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Rachel Orapello made 12 saves in goal for the Lady Patriots, while Gabrielle Juers made two stops for Schalmont.
Looking ahead to Thursday's title match, coach Lange said, " We are both undefeated coming in and it is a battle the girls have been waiting for all season. We watched them play a little bit before this game and they have a good team with three up top and are going to be tough to shut down. The thing about our team this year is that everyone is unselfish. They are a true team, they have confidence in each other."
B-P finished its season with a 14-4 overall record.