HALFMOON, NY (NEWS10) — The regular season matchup between the Shenendehowa and Colonie girls soccer teams couldn’t have been any closer; the lady Plainsmen pulled out a 1-0 victory in Clifton Park, N.Y. The two sides squared off again Tuesday night with a trip to the Section II, Class AA championship game on the line.
After a back-and-forth game, Shenendehowa rattled off two goals in 90 seconds in the late stages of the second half, securing a 3-1 win over the Raiders to advance to Saturday’s title match.
The Plainsmen struck first in the 18th minute of the first half. Senior midfielder/forward Lauren DeMura capitalized on a penalty kick, giving her team the 1-0 edge.
Colonie answered in the second half. In the 11th minute, senior forward Sofia Sanzo chipped a shot over Shen defender Serena Suchdeve; Plainsmen goalkeeper Eva Pflomm was out of position, and the shot found the back of the net, knotting the game at one.
That goal seemed to stun the Plainsmen, and put them on their heels for the ensuing 15 minutes. The Raiders shifted momentum in their direction, but in the 28th minute, Shen junior defender/midfielder Taylor Jourdanais launched a shot from beyond the 25-yard line, and it carried just over the head of Colonie keeper Hailey Blake to put Shen back on top by one goal.
Just over one minute later, senior midfielder Emily Silva scored on an off-foot strike to put the match away.
After the game, Plainsmen head coach Holli Nirsberger commented on the goal from Jourdanais that changed the tide of the game, and credited her team’s resilience after Colonie had tied the score.
“She can rip ’em from there, and she did,” said Nirsberger. “It just got in behind (Blake), and…it’s a game-changer…absolute game-changer; proud of her. It was remarkable in the second half. You know, we got a little bit, like, dismantled, and I was so proud of…mostly our central midfield players, but our backs as well kind of weathering that storm, and being able to settle us back down. You’ll be shocked, but one of our sophomore central midfield players (Cali Augustino) did a nice job of controlling us, and settling us down a little bit, and allowing us to get into our half, and really play the style we wanted to, and not be disrupted by…kind of the mayhem we were enduring.”
Shenendehowa meets up with No. 1 Shaker Saturday at noon for the section championship game, which will be played at Stillwater High School.