LAGRANGEVILLE – Haldane ran into a bit of a scoring drought in the Section 1, Class C championship game at Arlington High School on Friday against Solomon Schechter..
After Marina Martin scored 1:02 into the game, the Blue Devils were confounded by Solomon Schechter’s off-sides trap, and saw several attempts to break it whistled off by the officials.
In the 32nd minute, star scorer Bailey McCollum got the ball in the Schechter box, beat a couple of defenders and finished to finally end the drought.
It was smooth sailing the rest of the way for top-seeded Haldane, and the Blue Devils cruised to a 6-2 win over the third-seeded Lions to capture their fifth-consecutive sectional title.
“They definitely got us a few times,” McCollum said. “But we adjusted to it by arching our runs and timing it better.”
By halftime, Haldane built a 4-0 lead, with Martin completing her hat-trick. Both her and McCollum tacked on a goal each in the second half to build the lead to 6-0.
“It’s a good connection we have going,” Martin said of her chemistry with McCollum. “The whole team chemistry is awesome.”
Solomon Schechter, which finished the season with a winning record under first-year head coach Chelsey Feldman, got two late goals from junior Marci Brustman, who emerged as an offensive threat for the team after playing as a defender the previous season.
“We knew were going to play a hard team like Haldane; we tried our best and we couldn’t be prouder,” Brustman said. “We’re going to lose one senior; if we really practice and work hard, we can get back to this point.”
Haldane moves on to play SS Seward, the Class C winners of Section 9, in regionals on Tuesday, November 3rd at Middletown High School at 4 p.m.
Player of the game: Marina Martin, Haldane. The senior forward’s speed and skill was in full force from kickoff. She scored the opening goal and finished with four goals and an assist.
Turning point: Haldane dominated possession from the start, but around the midway point of the first half, Solomon Schechter was able to sustain possession in Haldane’s defensive third. The Lions were unable to generate a good scoring chance, however, and McCollum’s goal to make it 2-0 quieted the Lions.
Stat line: For Haldane, Martin had four goals and an assist, McCollum had two goals and an assist, and goalkeepers Sara Labriola and Amelia Hall made two saves each. For Solomon Schechter, Brustman scored twice and Lily Hochfelder made 18 saves.
Quotable: “We just had a little bit of lapse, we just weren’t playing our game,” Martin said. “Once we got it back on, Missy (Lisikatos) began to control the middle, and we were able pass around their team instead of chasing the ball, and that’s when we started to connect and score again.”