STILLWATER — AuSable Valley hadn’t allowed a goal in its first three playoff games, and when Hoosick Falls scored early in the second half, the Patriots were a little rattled.
That gave the Panthers a chance to extend their lead.
Hoosick Falls totaled four second-half goals in its 4-0 shutout of AuSable Valley in an NYSPHSAA Class C girls’ soccer regional final Saturday at Stillwater High School.
“We knew they were going to come out strong against us in the second half. We wanted to boom it into their end and sorta take it away, but they had adjusted quite well,” AuSable Valley coach Bruce Bourgeois said. “And they’re the sort of team, we knew if they scored, they were going to come back again.
“And our girls were hanging their heads for a little bit after that first goal, and they got a couple more. And then what are you gonna do?”
Hoosick Falls (19-2), which is ranked third in Class C, advanced to the Final Four next weekend in Cortland.
AuSable Valley goalkeeper Bryce Douglass had to make 11 saves in the first half to keep it a scoreless game. She stopped a line drive early on and batted away a high shot just before the horn. The Patriots’ best opportunity came when Hoosick Falls’ keeper Hannah Fricke came way out to stop the ball and it got past her. But AuSable Valley couldn’t get a shot off.
The Panthers came out pressuring in the second half and took control of the game in the first five minutes.
With 1:24 gone, Douglass went down, and Jordyn Haynes fired a shot into the right side of the net. Shortly afterward, Hoosick Falls sent a high shot just over Douglass’s fingertips and off the crossbar. Less than a minute later, the Panthers hit the crossbar again, but this time the ball found the net. Allie Martin was credited with the goal.
In the 11th minute, Haynes drew Douglass out to the right post and then sent the ball across, where Dana O’Malley put it in the left side.
“We didn’t really come out that strong because, I don’t really know,” Haynes said. “But we kinda stepped it up in the second half.” The freshman forward added that the Panthers played with more energy.
The 24th-ranked Patriots (8-12) had a golden opportunity when Taylor Saltus got loose and went in 1-on-1 with Fricke, but Saltus pulled the shot just wide of the left post.
Liz Babson rolled a shot into the lower right corner at the 19-minute mark, giving the Panthers a 4-0 lead.
The Patriots put the ball in the net twice around the 25-minute mark, but neither goal counted. The first time, the whistle was blown before the shot. On the ensuing indirect kick, the shot slipped under the crossbar but did not touch another player before it went in.
Fricke made eight saves for the win, and Douglass finished with 15.
Bourgeois said he had heard that the Panthers were very fast, but the Patriots found that they could keep up with their speed. He added that he thought experience helped Hooskick Falls, which also made the Final Four last year.
“Unfortunately they had a little more experience when it comes to playoffs than we did,” Bourgeois said. “We’ve gone a little bit further than we ever expected to. And we’ll be back here again next year; then we’ll have the experience.”
Hoosick Falls 4, AuSable Valley 0
AuSable Valley 0 0 — 0
Hoosick Falls 0 4 — 4
Second half- 1, HF, Haynes, 1:24. 2, HF, Martin, 3:19. 3, HF, O’Malley, 10:33. 4, HF, Babson, 19:00.
Shots: AuSable Valley 8, Hoosick Falls 19.
Saves: Douglass, AV, 15. Fricke, HF, 8.
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