SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. — The march goes on for the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Wolves after the top seed in Section II’s Class D playoffs blanked Bolton 2-0 in Thursday’s semifinal at Schuylerville High School.
The Wolves, winners of nine matches in a row, travel to Stillwater Wednesday to play for a sectional title against Fort Ann, the No. 2 seed and a 3-2 overtime winner Thursday over New Lebanon.
Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville (14-3-1) struck twice in the first half of Thursday’s rain-soaked contest. Freshman Addie Brundage sent a crossing shot to the far corner of the goal from the right corner of the box in the 21st minute. Jessi Hagadorn assisted.
“That was beautiful,” veteran coach Zale Benton said. “I’m not sure if she was trying to cross it or trying to shoot but she caught the far corner and dropped it right in.”
Nine minutes later, exchange student Tabea Salzmann took advantage of a defensive breakdown and added a second goal for the Wolves. A defender played the ball back to Andi Pfau from outside the box and the goalkeeper had to play it forward with her feet. Pfau’s kick was broken up by the attacking Salzmann who played it past the goalie and into the open net.
“2-0 is a lot better than 1-0,” Benton said. “We stepped up and made sure we played tough on defense (in the second half). It’s tough to make a push when you’re playing from behind in this type of weather.”
Benton praised the play of defenders Rachel Graepel, Hannah Taylor, Gabrielle DiPiazza and Skyler Viveros in front of all-state goalkeeper Leann Clark who made eight saves in the shutout.
“We sat back a little more than I wanted to,” Benton said, “but all today is for is a win. I told the kids to protect (the lead) no matter what.”
The Wolves wee also forced to adjust their lineup in the second half when Salzmann had to be helped off the field seven minutes in. She returned to action about 20 minutes later.
Pfau made 17 saves for Bolton (9-7-1).
The sectional final is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start in Stillwater. Prior to this year’s merger and the two former districts’ recent combined program, St. Johnsville last won a sectional championship in 2003. St. Johnsville’s Saints were state champions in 2000.
FORT ANN 3
NEW LEBANON 2
SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. — Casey Batchelder scored her second goal in overtime Thursday and the Fort Ann Cardinals defeated New Lebanon 3-2 in the semifinals of Section II’s Class D playoffs.
The Cardinals (11-2-0) trailed 1-0 at halftime and took a 2-1 lead on goals scored by Batchelder and Demi Stockman. Colleen Kroboth converted on a penalty kick for New Lebanon (8-8-0) to tie the score and send the match into overtime.
Page 2 of 2 - Batchelder scored the winner during the first period of overtime play.
Sage Soldato scored the first New Lebanon goal.