LAGRANGEVILLE – The Haldane High School girls soccer team ran into 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, Bailey McCollum got the ball in the Schechter box, beat a couple of defenders and finished to 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.”
Haldane moves on to play Section 9 champion S.S. Seward in the regional semifinals on Tuesday at Middletown High School at 4 p.m.
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. “The whole team chemistry is awesome.”
“We just had a little bit of lapse, we just weren’t playing our game … 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.”
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 we 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.”
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.