Garrett J. Wood
CHAZY — The Plattsburgh High girls’ soccer team’s season came to an end Saturday as it was outscored by Schalmont 3-0 in NYSPHSAA Class B playoff action.
The Hornets (13-5-2) played controlled soccer in the first half compiling several opportunities to put the ball in the net. In the first 10 minutes of the game they had taken five corner kicks.
“Five corners in the first ten minutes is a coach’s dream.” Plattsburgh coach Tim Mulligan said. “We did more than just hang with them in the first half.”
“They (Schalmont) were too nervous and tight,” Schalmont coach Angelo Caschera said. “If we don’t score right away, like we usually do, we get really nervous.”
The Sabres (21-0-0) had a chance to score when Rachael Gac dribble through some Plattsburgh defenders creating a one-on-one opportunity that was thwarted by Hornet keeper Karlie Neale.
Neale was tested again a few minutes later when both Allie Gallo and Rachael Gac each ripped a hard shot toward the Plattsburgh net only to be denied.
Plattsburgh did a good job clearing the ball in the first half as well. On several occasions the ball would be batted around the six-yard box as Schalmont tried to put it in goal, but Cierra Duquette, Kaylia Carper, Molly LeClair and the rest of the defense stood strong.
Senior Marle Curle did all she could to produce some chances to score. At 28 minutes into the game, Curle dribbled past some defenders and rifled a shot toward the net. At the 34 minute mark Brooke Knight used her footwork to split the defense and sent a pass to Curle for another shot.
Schalmont came out in the second half looking like a totally different team and took over control of possession.
“I have to give Schalmont a lot of credit the way they came out in the second half,” Mulligan said. “They put on a lot of pressure, and to my girls credit, they withstood a lot of that pressure.”
On multiple occasions in the second half, Plattsburgh found itself in a battle inside the box trying to clear the ball. And in each skirmish, the Hornets were able to eventually clear it.
The first goal of the game would come when a long ball from Schalmont toward the Hornets’ goal was miss kicked and sailed behind the Plattsburgh defenders. A speedy Diana Dicocco controlled the ball, took a few steps and fired a shot. The first shot was saved by Neale, but Dicocco was there to grab the rebound and tap it in for the score while also recording her 38th goal of the season for Schalmont.
Ten minutes later Schalmont would tally another goal. This time it was Alexandria Cardinal. Dicocco sent Cardinal a through pass that she sent low and fast into the left corner just out of the reach of Neale.
Cardinal would add another strike four minutes later after receiving a pass from Gac. Cardinal took a few dribbles to get out of trouble and, again, sent a low fast roller to the corner to seal the deal with around three minutes left.
“We came back after they scored the first goal and tried to make it a game,” Mulligan said. “But in the end they were much better that second half. They finished some chances and that’s the way the game goes.”
Despite losing, the Hornets had put together a great playoff presence. They came into the playoffs the No. 4 seed and beat Saranac, Northeastern Clinton and Beekmantown, which were all higher ranked teams. They then dominated Potsdam beating the Section X champ to advance to Saturday’s game.
“It’s just been a great run,” Mulligan said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with this group of girls and see the effort they give. All I wanted to see coming into this game was see them leave everything on the field, and walking away from this game they can say they did that.”
Schalmont 3, Plattsburgh 0
Schalmont 0 3 — 3
Plattsburgh 0 0 — 0
Second half: 1, SCS, Dicocco (Saccocio), 19:13. 2, SCS, Alexandria (Dicocco), 32:45. 3, SCS, Alexandria (Gac), 36:45.
Shots: Schalmont 10. Plattsburgh 5
Saves: Juers, SCSt, 3. Neale, PHS, 7.