RICKY ST. CLAIR
CHAZY — The Saranac girls’ soccer team will get its second consecutive crack at a Section VII Class B championship Friday.
The Chiefs (15-0), utilizing two goals from Amy LoTemplio, defeated AuSable Valley 3-1 in a semifinal bout at George Brendler Field in Chazy Saturday.
LoTemplio recorded back-to-back tallies inside the first 25:58 of play.
“Yeah, I was pretty pleased,” Saranac coach Mary LoTemplio said. “Actually, the first five minutes of the game, we hit the crossbar and we came out really strong. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get anything out of all of that.
“But then, we got a direct (kick) and got that in. We got a little lucky with a lucky bounce. All of a sudden, it was 2-0.”
The Chiefs maintained a 2-0 advantage at the halftime break and led in the shots department, 10-2.
Ellen Thew extended Saranac’s differential to 3-0 when she buried her 20th goal of the year with 3:24 gone in the second half.
“She gets a lot of attention,” Mary LoTemplio said. “She gets two or three players on her, and I think AuSable decided to close down certain players. If you close down this one, that one is going to score. That’s the way it’s been. It’s hard to stop everybody. We’re lucky to have a lot of players that can score, not just one or two.”
Dru Gravelle helped the fifth-seeded Patriots (5-11) get their lone score of the game with 24:19 remaining in regulation. Slipping past the defense, Gravelle flicked a loose ball into the back of the net. Taylor Saltus was credited with an assist on the play.
The Chiefs concluded the contest with a 17-7 advantage in shots, while owning a 7-0 margin in corner kicks.
“Well, (that) says that we have 11 pretty good players,” Mary LoTemplio said. “We can get the ball, keep the ball. We’re still working on a few things (like) not getting beat over the top, getting good pressure on the ball and playing for a whole 40 minutes. But as far as our talent, we have the ability to do a lot of things.”
Mary LoTemplio’s senior goalkeeper, Jamie Favreau, accumulated six saves in the win. Favreau, who was tested inside the 18-yard box on multiple occasions, has surrendered 17 goals in 15 games.
“She keeps us in the game,” Mary LoTemplio said. “(She) makes up for our mistakes over and over again. I wish we didn’t make so many mistakes, but when we do, she covers them up almost all the time.”
Bryce Douglass made 12 stops in net for AuSable Valley in the two-goal loss.
Saranac, who was ranked No. 6 in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association Class B poll Oct. 19, is seeking its first sectional crown since 1995.
“We’re going to have to play, I think, better in the next game to win,” Mary LoTemplio said.
Beekmantown 4, Plattsburgh High 0
CHAZY — Kallie Villemaire was the obvious star as the Eagles (15-2) rolled to a four-goal win.
Villemaire, a junior, grabbed a hat trick and added one other assist in the victory.
“Not only does she (have) the speed, she’s been playing for four years also,” Beekmantown coach Peter Bursik said. “She’s one of those players that makes everybody else around her better.”
Before a goal could be put up on the scoreboard, Hornets (9-8) forward Brooke Knight was awarded a penalty-kick opportunity with just under 13 minutes to play in the first half.
Lauren O’Connor, however, stood tall between the pipes for the Eagles and hauled in the shot.
“That was huge,” Bursik said. “I think that was the turning point in the game because we came back shortly after that and scored our first goal. We work on those every day in practice. Lauren’s good. It’s nice to have a keeper that you’ve had since she’s been in eighth grade.”
Kirstin Villemaire, an eighth-grader who monitors the middle of the pitch, opened scoring by floating a shot just underneath the crossbar at 32:34.
Beekmantown extended its lead to 2-0 4:30 later when Kallie Villemaire benefited from a rocket shot on target. Plattsburgh High goalkeeper Alyssa Salls was unable to field the strike and the ball found the back of the net.
The Eagles held a 14-3 advantage in shots at halftime and owned a 22-5 margin by the game’s conclusion.
“We actually had a chance to get the ball outside-in,” Bursik said. “We’ve been trying to go up the middle a lot in our previous games, and we worked hard (in practice) going outside-in. Angle runs worked real well.”
Making six saves between the pipes, O’Connor garnered her sixth shutout of the year.
“That also tied her with our school record for shutouts,” Bursik said. “I believe that is her 22nd shutout in her career. She tied Brett Smith from the boys’ with that one. She’s been working hard. I’m happy for her.”
Courtney Wilson, who has been a catalyst for Beekmantown on offense, recorded two assists in the win.
Salls totaled 18 saves in the loss.
The Eagles lost back-to-back games to Saranac during the regular season by identical scores of 1-0. Beekmantown will try for its second Class B championship in three years when it faces the Chiefs at 5 p.m. Friday.
“Saranac’s a good team,” Bursik said. “They’re not ranked sixth in the state for nothing. They’ve got a lot of weapons, they have speed. We played well the first two games we played them. The girls, they wanted Saranac to win (Saturday). It should be good.”
Saranac 3, AuSable Valley 1
AuSable Valley 0 1 — 1
Saranac 2 1 — 3
First half- 1, SCS, LoTemplio, 22:21. 2, SCS, LoTemplio, 25:58.
Second half- 3, SCS, Thew, 3:24. 4, AVCS, Gravelle (Saltus), 15:41.
Shots: Saranac 17. AuSable Valley 7.
Saves: Douglass, AVCS, 12. Favreau, SCS, 6.
Beekmantown 4, Plattsburgh High 0
Plattsburgh High 0 0 — 0
Beekmantown 2 2 — 4
First half- 1, BCS, Ki. Villemaire (Ka. Villemaire), 32:34. 2, BCS, Ka. Villemaire, 37:04.
Second half- 3, BCS, Ka. Villemaire (Wilson), 5:41. 4, BCS, Ka. Villemaire (Wilson), 28:47.
Shots: Beekmantown 22. Plattsburgh High 5.
Saves: Salls, PHS, 18. O’Connor, BCS, 6.