CORTLAND Kristin Dake scored with less than five minutes to play to seal Lansing’s 2-0 victory over Schoharie in the state Class C girls’ soccer semifinals Saturday night at Cortland High School.
The second-ranked Bobcats (17-4-0) will take on top-ranked Haldane at 10:30 a.m. in the Class C championship game, at SUNY Cortland’s White Field.
Megan Dean scored early for Lansing, which will play in its first state championship game. Sarah Gisler made eight saves in the shutout, including two massive stops in the final minutes as the Indians (19-2-1) pressed for the equalizer.
“It wasn’t pretty, but by the same token, we were able to get out of there with a 2-0 victory,” said Lansing coach Eric Stickel, whose team is making its second straight final-four appearance. “Our senior goalkeeper played one heck of a game, she’s taken it to a whole new level these last few weeks.”
Dean put Lansing on the board less than four minutes into the game as a Shea McCartney cross slipped across the face of the goal to the sophomore midfieldler, who calmly deposited the ball into a wide-open net.
Stickel said he didn’t think the early goal put his team on the defensive, but it didn’t possess the ball like he wanted, either.
“We got into a game of kickball, and I really don’t know why,” he said. “When we do that, we’re really not successful. When we did possess the ball well, we got two goals. We can do it, we’ve just got to do it for 80 minutes.”
The Indians turned up the pressure late in the game, but Gisler was at her acrobatic best when it mattered most, with diving stops on Schoharie’s goal-scoring leaders, Carolyn Krohn and Kaitlyn Kendle, down the stretch.
Dake, the younger sister of former Cornell wrestling great Kyle Dake, put the game on ice with 4:38 to go on a feed from freshman Kassie Riemer. Dake took the ball into the box and beat Schoharie keeper Lindsey Vanier (6 saves) with a low hard blast.
Sunday’s game will give the Bobcats a chance at some revenge — Haldane knocked off then-No. 1 Lansing, 1-0, in last year’s state semifinals at Tompkins Cortland Community College.