Lake George splits two hard-fought games in Sectionals

LAKE GEORGE In a dramatic conclusion to their 2008 season, the Lake George girls soccer team won a cliff-hanger Sectional matchup Oct. 23 in an upset over Schoharie, but was defeated two days later by Stillwater, the top-ranked C-division team in the state. The game against higher-ranked Schoharie was won in penalty kicks after four overtime sessions, in which the girls played a lengthy110 minutes of soccer. Sophomore Warrior Goalie Sophie Bruno won the game by blocking a series of kicks, coach Joel Gordon said. The first two overtime sessions were 10 minutes, followed by two sudden-death stanzas, five minutes each. The final showdown came in the penalty-kick session, in which each team gets five kicks at the opponents goal, alternating turns. Lake George won the toss and elected to give the first kick to Schoharie, and Bruno batted down the first kick of the Indians squad. Warrior Kenzie Weber responded with a waist-high shot she blasted to the left side of the goal. Schoharies second shot was slightly high. Warrior Rachel Flaherty answered with a ball she kicked into the left-hand top corner of the goal. On Schoharies third try, they managed to get one past Bruno their kicker ripped a shot to the same place Flaherty had scored. Lake Georges McKenzie Perkett kicked a rocket to the left side of the goal, raising the score to 3-1. Schoharie responded with a powerful kick to the left top, but Bruno dove fast, getting a few fingers on the ball, causing it to hit the top of the crossbar and fall to the ground, but Bruno then lunged to the ground and batted it away from the goal, Gordon said. Sophie was just unbelievable, he said. It was a spectacular save ending an exciting game. The whole team rushed Sophie in celebration of the big win, capping off a hard-fought clash between two tough defenses and talented midfielders. Saturday, the Warriors advanced to play a Section II quarterfinal against undefeated Stillwater, ranked No. 1 in the state. Stillwater lead the game 2-0 but Lake George answered with two goals within three minutes to tie it up a Meagan Stover shot on a free kick, and a Rebecca Kandora score on a sharp pass from Rachel Flaherty. But Stillwaters Galina Schreifels of Stillwater broke the tie in the last two minutes. Gordon said the game capped off a remarkable season, and the game showed how far the players had progressed. This final game theyd nearly beat Stillwater, while in an earlier matchup with the school, they were dominated. The heart the girls showed in this game was unbelievable, he said. It was the best game of the year by far. Gordon said the athleticism the girls displayed in this game and earlier ones was substantial, and that the 2009 season holds great promise. The pending loss of six talented Seniors Andi Sause, Rachel Flaherty, Kenzie Weber, Meagan Stover and Katie Flatley and Steph Mastrodomenico would be offset over time with the skills and experience of the returning players, including Freshmen First-Team All-Adirondack star McKenzie Perkett, starting fullback Jamie Jarett, standout Rebecca Kandora, Forward Gretchen Bechard plus star defender Caroline Murphy. Were going to be phenomenal next year, he said, noting that the returning athletes will be augmented by five new players who were elevated to Varsity from Junior Varsity for sectional play: Kay-kay Goutos, Torrie Smith, Kelly McGinnis, Melissa Ferris and Emily DeWaard. They will have hard shoes to fill, but these JV players showed they were ready for varsity play when they really stepped up for the sectionals, he said. Were going to be very, very tough in 2009 with a group of exceptionally talented athletes.

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