POTSDAM — When the Peru girls’ soccer team got out of the first half tied at 1-all with Franklin Academy on Wednesday, Indians’ coach Tom Harrigan was feeling pretty confident about his team pulling out a win.
Lindsey Bushey’s goal on a free kick midway through the second half lifted Section VII-champion Peru to a 2-1 victory in the opening round of the NYSPHSAA Class A Tournament.
The Indians (7-7-1) move on to the state quarterfinals on Saturday in the Albany area.
Peru had to go up against a strong wind in the first half, survived it and then had the wind in its favor over the final 40 minutes of play.
“I wanted the wind in the first half, but Franklin Academy got it,” Harrigan said. “I felt that if we got out of the first half tied, we would be in great shape.
“We scored the first goal and then they scored late in the half. But I was still pleased with where we were.”
The talented Bushey, who doesn’t need the wind’s help, blasted a free kick from outside the box at the 17:21 mark to give the Indians the lead for good. Franklin Academy keeper Jayme Lavoie had little chance on the shot.
“The wind was blowing so hard in our favor that I told girls like Lindsey to take 30-yard shots whenever they had the opportunity,” Harrigan said. “Rachel Sheldrick also had a shot from that far out that nearly went in.”
The Indians held a 9-4 advantage in shots in the second half after the Section X champions held a 9-3 edge in the opening half.
“Even though I was pleased with the score at the half, I didn’t think we played our best soccer in the first half,” Harrigan said. “We were giving up a lot of scoring chances.”
The Indians did grab the early lead, however, when Sheldrick scored at 11:24. Bushey sent a thru ball to Sheldrick, who was able to get behind the Franklin Academy defense and went in on a breakaway. Lavoie came off her line in an effort to stop Sheldrick, but to no avail.
It appeared the Indians might get out of the opening half with a lead playing against the wind.
But with 4:25 remaining in the half, Franklin Academy (12-5-1) tied it. There was a scramble in front and Katlynn Allen headed a ball directly down and through the legs of Peru keeper Kara Barber from point-blank range.
That, however, would be the lone goal allowed by Barber, usually the right halfback for the Indians, who finished with seven saves and played well.
“Kara is our back-up goalie who was pressed into action (Wednesday) and she stepped up for us,” Harrigan said.
Lavoie was credited with three saves in the Franklin Academy nets.
“I was worried about Franklin Academy’s speed up front,” Harrigan said. “They like to bring the ball up the middle and I thought we did a good job defensively.
“Lidia Greselin played well at halfback and Amanda Laporte at stopper. I felt our entire defense did well.
“I’m very happy with the win and pleased that we are advancing on.”
Peru 2, Franklin Academy 1
Peru 1 1 — 2
Franklin Academy 1 0 — 1
First half- 1, P, Sheldrick (Bushey), 11:24. 2, FA, Allen, 35:35.
Second half- 2, P, Bushey, 17:21.
Shots: Franklin Academy 13, Peru 12.
Saves: Barber, P, 7. Lavoie, FA, 3.