HERKIMER — Central Valley Academy brought the Northeastern Clinton girls soccer team's season to an end Tuesday.
Led by two goals from Reilly Rich, the Thunder (20-1-0) of Section III picked up a 4-1 win against the Cougars (10-7-2) in a NYPHSAA Class B sub-regional at Herkimer College.
Central Valley held a 1-0 advantage at halftime and was ahead by three goals at the 27:53 mark of the second half when Rich scored her second goal of the game, which was also the 150th of her career.
Marlie Sample cut Northeastern Clinton's deficit to 3-1 with 19:29 remaining in regulation.
Audi Hollister tallied the assist on Sample's goal.
"(Central Valley) deserved to win the game, but we were not outmatched," Cougars coach Tim Surprenant said. "We had a couple great chances.
"Even though they scored, we continued to fight being down 3-0 to get a goal to give ourselves a chance to get back into it.
"My girls fought right to the end. I can't say enough about their character. There were times where we kept our cool. We represented Northeastern Clinton very well."
Rich scored the lone goal of the first half with 21:37 remaining, and Mikayla Canipe made it 2-0 just over 10 minutes into the second half.
Jazmyn Gilette tallied the Thunder's last strike with 7:29 to go in the game.
"Their midfield played extremely well," Surprenant said. "That was a huge challenge, and their front, led by Reilly Rich, was dangerous."
Abby Racine finished with 12 saves in the Cougars' nets, and Cierra Doolen had four saves for Central Valley.
The Thunder held a 16-5 shot advantage.
"Their back three did a very nice job of getting in front of us and playing physical," Surprenant said. "They were not drawing fouls, but they were pushing us off the ball. They shielded the ball very well. They worked very well building out of the back and passing to the outside.
"We were not able to sustain enough of an attack in the middle."
While the loss marked the end of Northeastern Clinton's season, Surprenant said his team still has a lot to be proud of.
"What I am most proud of is we had a roller coaster season from the beginning to the middle," he said. "Once the middle of the season came, the girls really bought into each other and made a run for the sectional title.
"They came together, and they worked together as one."
Central Valley 4, Northeastern Clinton 1
NCCS 0 1 — 1
Central Valley 1 3 — 4
First half- 1, CV, Reilly Rich, 21:37
Second half- 2, CV, Mikayla Canipe, 29:33. 3, CV, Reilly Rich, 27:53 4, NCCS, Marlie Sample (Audi Hollister), 19:29. 5, CV, Jazmyn Gilette, 7:29.
Shots- Central Valley 16, NCCS 5.
Saves- Racine, NCCS, 12. Doolen, CV, 4.