DRYDEN — Chateaugay didn’t waste any time in Saturday’s NYSPHSAA Class D girls’ soccer semifinal. The Bulldogs were aggressive from the start, putting immediate pressure on Smithtown Christian. Chateaugay scored two goals in the first 15 minutes and continued to control play, ending up with a 6-1 victory at Tomkins-Cortland Community College.
“We came out and attacked right off,” Chateaugay coach Steve Lang said. “It’s down to the final four, and we didn’t want to sit back and wait. We put pressure on and ended up having a couple good chances that didn’t go in. And within eight minutes, we scored.”
Chateaugay (21-0), which is ranked No. 1 in Class D, will take on Poland at 1 p.m. today in the final at Cortland State.
The Bulldogs put pressure on from the get-go. Smithtown Christian goalkeeper Hannah Steffens made a tremendous play to keep it scoreless early on, coming out and knocking the ball away from Alexis Beach, who came in 1-on-1. But Beach got payback a couple of minutes later when she put the ball in the lower left corner of the net at 7:31.
Chateaugay continued to get good scoring chances. Steffens stopped a hard shot from straight on shortly after the goal. Then Katie Beach brought the ball down the right side, waited for Steffens to come out, and crossed it to Hannah Cook, who put it in the open net at 14:51.
Courtney Boyea scored from the left side in the final minute of the half to send the Bulldogs to the intermission with a 3-0 cushion.
Chateaugay put 12 shots on net in the first half and had several others that just missed, including one that hit the crossbar. The Bulldogs were able to easily get behind the defense.
Lang watched Smithtown Christian’s regional final win, so he knew what to expect from the Section XI team.
“I did go down and scout Smithtown Christian, and the scouting trip sure paid off,” Lang said. “I just saw a couple schemes I thought we could break. “The kids played great. We had our best performance.”
Katie Beach started off the second half by creating a scoring chance, and Steffens made a solid save. Then Smithtown Christian got its best opportunity up to that point, but Chateaugay keeper Makayla Fleury scooped up the shot.
In the middle of the half, Alexis Beach corralled the ball out front using some nice footwork and lofted a shot that found the back of the net to make it 4-0. She tallied her third goal of the game at the 26:32 mark.
“Alexis played a great game, and so did her sister. Katie ended up with four assists,” Lang said.
Boyea wrapped up Chateaugay’s scoring with a goal in the 31st minute.
Kristina Reuter spoiled the shutout with just over two minutes left on the clock.
Fleury made seven saves in the Chateaugay nets. Steffens finished with 16 stops for No. 5 Smithtown Christian (9-5-1).
The Bulldogs reached the Class D championship game for the second time in the team’s history. They lost to McGraw in 2004.
Their opponent today, Poland, defeated Jasper-Troupsburg 2-1 in Saturday’s other semifinal. Poland plays in Section III and will be making its first appearance in the state title game.
Lang said Poland, which is ranked second, gets excellent play from its halfbacks and features two high-scoring forwards.
“We’re going to really have to do hard work to stop those front two,” Lang said. “We have strong halfbacks, so maybe my halfbacks can match their halfbacks.”
Chateaugay 6, Smithtown Christian 1
Smithtown Christian 0 1 — 1
Chateaugay 3 3 — 6
First half -1, Chat, A. Beach (K. Beach), 7:31. 2, Chat, Cook (K. Beach), 14:51. 3, Chat, Boyea (Yando), 39:55.
Second half - 4, Chat, A. Beach (K. Beach), 16:20. 5, Chat, A. Beach (K. Beach), 26:32. 6, Chat, Boyea (A. Beach), 31:24. 7, SC, Reuter (Vandeventer), 27:56.
Shots: Smithtown Christian 8, Chateaugay 22.
Saves: Steffens, SC, 16. Fleury, Chat, 7.
Email Courtney Lewis: email@example.com