SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Come playoff time, you need your stars to step up and make big plays in critical moments. And that’s exactly what Schuylerville’s Macey Koval did in overtime of Wednesday’s Sec. II, Class D girls lacrosse championship game.
“We had a set play in mind, but I saw the opening, so I just took (the ball), and I went,” said Koval after netting the game-winning goal in overtime to claim the Black Horses a third straight sectional title with an 11-10 win over Cohoes.
For the second year in a row the Class D final came down to the Black Horses and the Tigers, and this year’s rematch proved to be an instant classic.
Schuylerville, despite being the two-seed in the tournament, garnered home-field advantage over top-seeded Cohoes. And it didn’t take long for the back-to-back defending champs to settle in; they jumped out to a 4-0 lead just 7:32 into the first half after a free-position goal from freshman midfielder Peyton DeLisle.
After the two sides traded a pair of goals, Schuylerville maintained possession in the waning seconds of the first half. Emily Tavares threaded a pass to Koval, who spun free from her defender, and fired a shot over the goalkeeper’s right shoulder that found the back of the net with just six ticks left on the clock. That goal gave Koval a first-half hat trick, and provided the Black Horses with a comfortable, 7-2 edge at halftime.
But Cohoes returned in the second half looking like a different team. The Tigers roared out to a 6-1 run, tying the game at eight with 7:34 to play on a free-position goal from senior Quincy Hytko.
Hytko won the ensuing draw control, and came flying down the center of the field. She raced right through the teeth of the Schuylerville defense, finishing top-shelf with a little wrist shot that claimed Cohoes its’ first lead of the game at 9-8.
But after a Carli O’Hara bounce shot gave the Tigers a two-goal edge, the Black Horses responded. DeLisle and Koval went back-to-back in the span of 27 seconds, knotting the game back up at 10, which would eventually reach overtime.
And that’s where Schuylerville got the ball in the hands of their top playmaker, Koval, who took a feed from DeLisle, broke out her go-to spin move to dodge a pair of Tigers, and dumped an overhand shot past the Cohoes netminder for the game-winner.
After Cohoes took its’ 10-8 lead, Schuylerville head coach Erin Lloyd had called a timeout that ignited the team’s 2-0 run to close out regulation. Koval recalled what was said in the huddle during the stoppage.
“I mean, the main thing that we always get from Coach (Lloyd) is, “take a deep breath; the game is ours. Control the controllables, and play how we play.” So, that’s what we did, “said Koval. “We were expecting a tough game, and that’s what we got. So, I’m glad with the way that my team played, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Lloyd cited DeLisle’s goal to trim the deficit to 10-9 as a major turning point of the game.
“When you’re held on a drought for that long, that’s a huge, momentum-shifting factor,” said Lloyd. “Once we broke that seal, and we were able to get one in…you could see it in the overtime period we were back to our fast play. And (then) we got the ball to who wanted the ball.”
Schuylerville now advances to the state tournament, and will compete in the sub-regional round played at Schuylerville High School Tuesday. The Black Horses will square off with the champion of Section One; opening draw is set for 5:30 p.m.