Bobcats, Patriots advance to Class C championship

Ausable Valley’s Priscilla Coats redirects a Lake Placid corner kick away from the goal with a header during Thursday’s Section VII Class C semifinal soccer game at the Plattsburgh High Athletic Complex. Coats scored the game-winning goal for the Patriots. Bonus photos will be available midday at pressrepublicanphotos.com.

PLATTSBURGH — Just when it seemed like Thursday’s game was headed for sudden-death periods, Magan Magee’s shot with 10.5 seconds left in the second overtime lifted No.1 seed Northern Adirondack to a 1-0 victory over Ticonderoga in a Section VII Class C girls’ soccer semifinal game at Plattsburgh High.

With the win, the Bobcats advance to the Class C championship Oct. 29 against AuSable Valley, which was the winner of Thursday’s second semifinal game.

It was wet and windy in both semifinal matchups, and that played a major factor in the Bobcats’ victory.

Despite outshooting Ticonderoga 23-3 for the game, Northern Adirondack was unable to connect on any of its chances in regulation.

After the game, Bobcats’ head coach Sharon Relation admitted that it was frustrating at times to see the missed opportunities by her team.

However, some of those missed chances weren’t at the fault of the players.

“When we were going against the wind, it was like we just couldn’t finish (or) it hit the crossbar and went all over the place,” Relation said. “Then, we were going against the wind and — how ironic is that? — we score. We had our chances, but Ticonderoga played hard … I knew it was going to be a tough game, (and) I knew it was going to be a physical game. My kids have to be able to stand up to this type of play.”

Neither team was able to possess the ball for long periods of time as the slick field and strong winds made it difficult for the players.

As a result, the two teams battled back and forth to no avail in regulation.

Although the Bobcats (12-2-2, 10-1-2) dominated the stat sheet, the fourth-seeded Sentinels (7-7-1, 7-6-1) seemingly had a bend-but-don’t-break approach to the game.

With the score still locked at 0-0 after 80 minutes, the two teams headed for overtime.

Both teams began to get fatigued, and it showed.

Ticonderoga mustered up just one shot in the two 10-minute periods, while the Bobcats were held to four shots.

Luckily for Northern Adirondack, the fourth shot found the back of the net.

With time ticking down in the final overtime, Magee took a drop pass from Rachael Venne from just outside the box.

Wasting no time, Magee drilled a high arching shot that went high into the air before coming down underneath the crossbar and overtop of the outstretched arms of Sentinels goalkeeper Lillith Ida into the back of the net.

After the victory, Magee was quick to give all the credit to her teammates.

“My team worked hard to pass the ball around, and I called for the drop pass because I saw the open green grass and I just took the shot – it just happened to go in,” Magee said. “It was pretty frustrating (at times), but we never gave up, we never let down and we kept going, and it ended up (being) us winning.”

Looking ahead to the championship game, Relation is confident in her team’s chances.

However, she hopes for better weather conditions come game-time on Wednesday.

“I’m excited,” Relation said. “I don’t mind the cold, (but) I’m hoping it’s not a wet day because, honestly, and I know it’s a disadvantage for both teams, but I know for us it definitely takes a little of our speed out of our game.”

Northern Adirondack 1, Ticonderoga 0 (OT)

Ticonderoga 0 0 0 0 — 0

No. Adirondack 0 0 0 1 — 1

Overtime (2)- 1, Mag. Magee (Venne), 9:50.

Shots: NAC 23, TCS 3.

Saves: Lashway, NAC, 2. Ida, TCS, 16.


AuSable Valley 2, Lake Placid 1

PLATTSBURGH — In the second Class C semifinal matchup of the night, it was the third-seeded Patriots who came away with the victory as a late second-half goal by Priscilla Coats pushed them past Lake Placid.

Although it was a struggle at times, Patriots’ head coach Bruce Bourgeois was pleased with the ultimate outcome.

“When we play team-ball, we can play with anybody,” Bourgeois said. “Playing in Division I and playing against great teams like Beekmantown, Saranac and NCCS, it helps us immensely … As long as we remember how we played against those teams, we’ll be fine. And if not, we’ll suffer a little bit.”

Despite the less-than-stellar playing conditions, the second-seeded Blue Bombers (11-5-1, 10-3-1) wasted no time in getting a goal.

At just the 5:43 mark of the opening half, Taylor Barney went unassisted for a goal when she took the ball off a deflection inside the box and drilled a low, hard shot off goalkeeper Kendra Niemann’s leg and into the back of the net from close range.

From there, the Blue Bombers held strong and were able to fend off AuSable Valley’s offensive attack for the remainder of the half.

However, in the second half, the Patriots (7-8-1, 4-7-1) came storming back.

In just the second minute of the final half, AuSable Valley was able to tie the game at 1-1.

On the scoring play, Hillary Drake got deep into the box on the left side of the field along with Meghan Strong.

Once at close range, Strong tapped a pass to Drake, who was able to get a piece of the ball and sneak it into the right corner of the net past Lake Placid goalkeeper Laura Stanton.

With the game tied, AuSable Valley continued to keep the pressure on Lake Placid.

At first, however, the Patriots weren’t rewarded for their relentless effort.

In the 20th and 36th minute of the final half, AuSable Valley had two goals called back because of penalties.

That didn’t deter the No. 3 seed, though, and the Patriots pressed forward with their offensive attack.

Eventually, it paid off.

With 1:11 remaining in the game, Coats, a team captain who is normally a defender, found herself playing hero for the Patriots.

After a corner kick made its way into the box, Coats was in the right place at the right time as she took a pass from Vanessa Garrow on the left side of the formation and headed the ball into the left corner of the net to give her team a 2-1 lead with little time left.

Not only was it a game-winning goal for Coats, but it was also her first goal.

For that reason, Coats couldn’t have been happier with the way the game turned out.

“It felt great because I’ve never scored a goal before because I’m on defense,” Coats said. “It came at a perfect time because it’s my senior year and we just got a win to move on to the finals.”

Moving forward, the Patriots will have to get past top-seeded Northern Adirondack if they hope to advance to the state playoffs.

However, AuSable Valley’s head coach knows that will be easier said than done.

“They’re fast, they hustle to the ball, (and) they’ll out-hustle you all day long. So, what we need to do is make sure that we just don’t let that happen to us,” Bourgeois said. “If we pass the ball, which I think we can, then we’ll do fine against them. We have to finish (with) the ball. If we finish like we did tonight and make sure that we have the wind at our back, we’ll be fine.”

AuSable Valley 2, Lake Placid 1

AuSable Valley 0 2 — 2

Lake Placid 1 0 — 1

First half- 1, LP, T. Barney, 5:43.

Second half- 2, AVCS, Drake (M. Strong), 2:41. 3, AVCS, Coats (Garrow), 38:49.

Shots: Lake Placid 6, AuSable Valley 8.

Saves: Stanton, LP, 3. Niemann, AVCS, 4. 

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Hometown: Brushton, N.Y. SUNY Plattsburgh graduate with a degree in multimedia and newspaper journalism. Freelance sports writer.

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