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November 10, 2013

NAC girls' soccer heading to first ever final four

PLATTSBURGH — There is a first time for everything.

The Bobcats (15-3-2) defeated Section II Canajoharie 3-1 Saturday and will head to their first ever NYSPHSAA Class C final four appearance.

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“I think every single one of these kids came to play (Saturday),” Northern Adirondack coach Sharon Relation said. “They just jelled.”

The Bobcats were able to take advantage of their speed up top, as well as play a physical defensive game to knock off a technically sound Cougar team.

“Hats off to Canajoharie. They are a very talented team and they came to play,” Relation said. “But our girls came out with a mission.”

Northern Adirondack was the first on the board, as Rachel Venne capitalized off a thru ball from Elle Warick at the 25:10 mark of the first half. Venne was able to beat a Canajoharie defender to the ball, and placed a shot over goalie Lauren Balfe’s head.

“We didn’t know much about this team, but me and Elle have been a 1-2 punch all year,” Venne said.

The Cougars almost tied the match at one, but Bobcats keeper Anna Lashway made a terrific diving breakaway stop with 10 seconds left until halftime.

At the end of the first half, Canajoharie led Northern Adirondack 7-5 in shots on goal and was also given four corner kick opportunities, but was unable to capitalize off any.

“We were pretty confident at halftime, talking about ways we could beat them,” Venne said. “If we could lift balls over their heads we could get there, but everyone, the offense and defense played awesome.”

At the start of the second half, the Cougars were able to put in the 1-1 equalizer.

Canajoharie was given a free kick about 35 yards out, which Cougar defenseman Hannah Bowerman launched over everyone’s head, including Lashway, and into the net.

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