PLATTSBURGH — Chris LaCroix’s score off a corner kick 15 minutes into the second half propelled Hoosick Falls to a 1-0 victory against Lake Placid in Class C boys’ soccer regional action at Plattsburgh High School Saturday.
Throughout the first few minutes, both teams traded possession with Hoosick Falls firing the first shot just wide right of the net. Lake Placid responded with an attack of its own and maintained heavy pressure against a stingy Panther defense. Though the Bombers connected on passes among its midfield and forwards, they could not register a shot in the opening minutes.
“We just couldn’t break them today,” Lake Placid coach Stuart Hemsley said. “We tried spreading around the ball to open up chances, but their defense held up.”
When the Bombers were able to threaten offensively, they did it in fashion. Midway through the first half, Lake Placid laced a shot that Hoosick Falls keeper Noah Chani made a fingertip save on. The shot was aimed for the top left corner, but Chani made a last second leap to deflect the ball out.
“That was one we thought we had,” Hemsley said. “Their keeper was great today, though. Everything we fired on him just stuck like glue.”
Hoosick Falls then responded with an opportune scoring chance of its own. A shot from just inside the box was stopped by Bomber keeper Chris Kordzial, but the rebound squirted out for a second-chance shot that rang off the crossbar. Though the chances were plenty, the teams entered halftime with a scoreless tie.
Deep in its offensive half 15 minutes into the second half, Hoosick Falls lined up for a corner kick. Evan Phillips then sent a pass into the box that found the foot of LaCroix who then buried the go-ahead goal. LaCroix also tallied a goal in last week’s game against Maple Hill.
“We really picked up the intensity in the second half and knew we needed to capitalize on chances,” LaCroix said. “When we lined up for that corner, I didn’t really have a marker on me so I was able to just get the ball and shoot it.”
The Panthers then relied on team discipline to keep the Bombers at bay, Hoosick Falls coach Mike Young said.
“Coming into the second half, we talked about slowing their speed through the middle,” Young said. “Slowing them down and keeping our patience would work for us.”
Kordzial made one save for a Lake Placid team that ends its season with an 11-8 record and a first-ever sectional championship. Chani recorded six saves for the shutout and Hoosick Falls advances to next week’s Final Four.
Hoosick Falls 1, Lake Placid 0
Hoosick Falls 0 1 — 1
Lake Placid 0 0 — 0
Second half – 1, HF, LaCroix (Phillips), 15:52.
Shots: Hoosick Falls 2, Lake Placid 6.
Saves: Chani, HF, 6. Kordzial, LP, 1.