LANSINGBURGH, NY − Schalmont claimed the Section II Class B Championship Friday night thanks to a 3-1 win over Mechanicville at Lansingburgh High School.
"As a first year coach of this program, there was a lot of pressure on me," said Schalmont Head Coach Ryan Fries following the win. "The girls know soccer. It's nice to have a team that can tactically adjust and they are aware on the soccer field. I think for this win it was obviously huge, they wanted to get back from last year. It was a huge goal for them this year and they were working hard for it. This was one of their goals they achieved so we are moving on."
For Mechanicville, the season falls just a game short from a massive celebration but for the coaching staff, the season did not go down as a disappointment.
"It was unexpected, we had a slow start with 1-3 and to get here, it's disappointing to lose in the finals again for the second time in three years, but overall you would take this type of season, the girls played great," said Mechanicville Co-Coach Karl Gersenberger. "They gave a great effort tonight, you can't fault them for how they played.
Schalmont, the number two ranked team in the state at Class B, scored just one goal in the first half to carry the 1-0 lead into halftime. A bouncing ball from Sofia Cassano caused chaos in front that ended up squirting into the goal. Teghan Older was credited with the assist.
Mechanicville did not hang their heads going into the half trailing by a goal. After all, they trailed Holy Names by a goal in the quarterfinal on Tuesday.
"It wasn't the first time that we had been in that situation so we realized we wanted to take them back to realize 'the games not over, this is still doable,'" said Co-Coach Val D'Aloia. "We wanted to keep putting the pedal down and keep playing our game. We were hoping to come out with a better outcome."
Schalmont owned the first half possession wise but the game was as back and forth as you would expect a sectional title game to be. Gianna Viscusi was able to score early in the second half on a perfect through ball by Cassano that set Viscusi up by herself in front of the goal, just sliding the ball past Mechanicville's Savannah Bowie.
With some more pressure coming, Mechanicville was able to score their first and only goal of the game from about 25 yards out on a lob to the net that just squeezed between Kierstin Lynch's hands. The kick was booted by Nevaeh D'Aloia.
Schalmont continued to pour pressure on after Mechanicville came within one goal. Bowie made a huge stop at the 17 minute mark but some confusion arose a minute later after a goal barely crossed the goal line and came out. After play ensued for just a few more seconds, the referees confirmed it was the third Schalmont goal of the game.
"That's always a big goal to make it 3-1," said Fries. "We want to make sure we have that third goal, that's big for us. You don't want to give them that chance to come back, you don't want to give anyone that chance. We had opportunities, and at the end of the day we still won, but their were a lot of other opportunities that should have gotten into the back of the net."
The win pushes Schalmont to 17-2-1 this season. Mechanicville falls to 15-4-1.
Schalmont will move on to play the representative from Section X at Lansingburgh on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.