CORTLAND Chateaugay played what its coach termed our best game of the year in its semifinal game Saturday and now finds itself in the girls soccer Class D state championship game.
After defeating Section 11 champion Smithtown-Christian 6-1, Section 10s Chateaugay has a 1 p.m. game today at SUNY Cortland against Section 3s Poland for the state title.
We picked the best time of the year to have our best game of the year, said Chateaugay coach Steve Lang, whose team is 21-0 after the victory.
The Bulldogs dominated semifinal play from the outset, limiting the Knights to just two shots on goal. Chateaugay didnt allow a goal until there were less than three minutes left in the game.
Chateaugay scored three goals in each half, but the offensive output could have been greater as several breakaway attempts were thwarted by Smithtown-Christian goalie Hannah Steffens.
Team scoring leader Alexis Beach scored three times, and her sister Katie Beach assisted on three goals. Courtney Boyea scored twice and Hannah Cook added a goal for the Bulldogs.
Alexis Beach put the Bulldogs up 1-0 at 7 minutes, 31 seconds into the game, converting a set-up pass from her sister. Katie Beach controlled a crossing pass by Boyea on the baseline, fed Alexis in front of the goal, and Alexis slipped a shot under an attempted tackle and into the far corner of the goal.
Cook gave Chateaugay a 2-0 lead minutes later on an assist from Katie Beach, and Boyea scored with five seconds left in the opening half by taking advantage of Steffens coming out of the crease and converting a clearing kick by Courtney Yando.
We got to play our game, use our speed and did an excellent job on defense again, Lang said.
The Bulldogs kept up the offensive pressure in the second half with multiple scoring opportunities. Alexis Beach scored the first two goals of the half, both assisted by her sister. Boyea capped off Chateaugays scoring on a feed from Alexis Beach. Chateaugay outshot Smithtown Christian 16-2.
We are playing really well right now and I truly believe that we have one more in us for (today), Lang said. We have a chance (today).
Poland (21-1) defeated Jasper-Troupsburg in the other Class D semifinal game, at Homer High School in Homer.
Smithtown Christian (9-6-1) spoiled Chateaugays shutout bid by scoring with 2:04 left in the game. Gennifer Vandeventers long crossing pass from the wing was stopped by Chateaugay goalkeeper Makayla Fleury. But Kristina Reuter was there when Fleury lost control and knocked the ball into the goal.
Fleury made two stops in goal. Steffans finished with 10 saves.