It took until the end of the season for the Red Hook High School girls soccer team to suffer its first loss.
And it came at a tough time: Monday in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League semifinals at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park.
Wallkill beat the Raiders 1-0, scoring off a free kick from 20 yards out six minutes into the second half. Following the Raiders’ loss, Spackenkill beat Rhinebeck 3-1 on the strength of two goals by Gabby Prichard and one by Morgan Dominick.
The Raiders’ loss and the Spartans’ win pits Spackenkill against Wallkill in Thursday’s MHAL finals at 7 p.m. at Roosevelt.
“Wallkill plays more physical, we play more ball control,” said Spackenkill coach Mike Corbett, whose Spartans are now 15-0. “I think being on a big field like Roosevelt will help us.”
Caitlin Speranza, Katie Lillis and Jacqueline Hannan each had assists, while Savannah Barefoot made three saves. Rhinebeck’s goal was scored by Michelle Giamportone, and the Hawks’ keeper, Dani Amidon, made 12 saves.
Corbett added that he expected tough competition in the semifinals. As did Red Hook coach Jason Pavlich.
“We fell asleep for five seconds and Wallkill made us pay for it,” said Pavlich, whose Raiders finished the regular season 13-1-1. “Overall it was a relatively even game, the stats will bear that out. I credit them (Wallkill) for taking advantage. We pushed in the final 15 minutes, we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Pavlich also credited his goalie, Megan Jankowiak, on a good game.
“Even though she let in that one goal, she had a good game overall,” Pavlich said.
Although ousted from the MHAL tournament, Pavlich is making it a point to have his team regroup.
“We have no choice but to pick ourselves up and refocus,” Pavlich said. “There are some very good teams in our class: Wallkill, Goshen and Cornwall. At some point we’re going to have to face one, two or three of them, along the way.
“We have no choice, we have to learn from it and get back to work tomorrow.”
A.J. Martelli: [email protected] 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports