CANTON — The Northern Adirondack girls’ soccer team wasn’t going to let a first-half deficit stand in its way of a state quarterfinal appearance.
The Bobcats, led by Elle Warick, scored two unanswered goals in a 3-2 come-from-behind defeat of Brushton-Moira in the NYSPHSAA Class C regional semifinals Wednesday.
High School Sports Magazine
“We’re ecstatic,” Northern Adirondack coach Sharon Relation said. “The kids have played tough in a lot of close games. It shows a lot about their character and their mental toughness, so to speak.”
The Panthers (10-4-4) jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 6:22 mark. After being awarded a direct kick, Kenzie Traynor floated a shot home from 30 yards out.
The Bobcats (14-3-2), who were ranked No. 5 in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association Class C poll Saturday, tied it at 1-all 11:11 later.
Warick received a one-time feed from Rachael Venne and flipped it up over goalkeeper Ashley Debeer.
The game, however, remained tied for just five minutes and 51 seconds.
Traynor was able to slip behind the Northern Adirondack defense and bury her second of two goals at 23:24.
Brushton-Moira maintained a one-goal lead at the halftime break, but faced a 6-4 disadvantage in shots and 2-1 deficit in corner kicks.
“I knew if we could survive that first half and if the kids didn’t mentally get down on themselves and give up, we’d definitely have a chance,” Relation said. “Like I told them at halftime, ‘You’re really facing two opponents. You’re facing the wind and you’re facing the other team.’ I do think that we controlled the play more, but we just couldn’t put it in the net.”
Benefiting from the wind at her back, Warick ran in all alone on Debeer, firing a shot into the back of the net at 9:03. Venne was credited with the assist on the play.
The Venne-to-Warick connection continued when Warick registered her hat-trick goal, which scored at the 25:04 mark.
“It’s just amazing,” Warick said. “For me to get a hat-trick is a team accomplishment, really. Everybody worked so well together, and we were able to pull it off. It was a team effort.”
The Bobcats led shots in the second half, 10-0.
“Honestly, to be fair, the wind was a big factor in this game (Wednesday),” Relation said. “The wind would come up and the ball would just die. But I think when we slow it down and play a possession game, we’re so much more effective. That’s what worked well in the second half.”
Anna Lashway accumulated two saves between the pipes in the win. Deeber stopped six shots in the one-goal loss.
With the win, Northern Adirondack will face Canajoharie of Section II, a 3-0 winner over Waterford-Halfmoon Wednesday. The game will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Plattsburgh High School Athletic Complex.
“We’ve got momentum on our side, so we’d just like to keep things rolling,” Warick said. “We just want to play our game and keep control of the ball more. We’re excited for the opportunity.”
Northern Adirondack 3, Brushton-Moira 2
Northern Adirondack 1 2 — 3
Brushton-Moira 2 0 — 2
First half- 1, B-M, Traynor, 6:22. 2, NAC, Warick (Venne), 17:33. 3, B-M, Traynor (Euhara), 23:24.
Second half- 4, NAC, Warick (Venne), 9:03. 5, NAC, Warick (Venne), 25:04.
Shots: Northern Adirondack 16. Brushton-Moira 4.
Saves: Debeer, B-M, 6. Lashway, NAC, 2.