Brandon Laurin scored the game-winning goal in extra time as the Chazy Eagles advanced to the Section VII/Class D finals with a 1-0 win against the Elizabethtown-Lewis Lions.
For 84 minutes, the Chazy Eagles and Elizabethtown-Lewis Lions were matched in a classic Section VII/Class D game that has almost become an annual tradition between the rivals.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net for the first 84, but Jordan Barriere was able to control the ball at midfield at the start of the 85th minute and set in motion the play that would lead to a 1-0 golden goal victory for the Eagles Nov. 2.
“I could hear Nolan (Rogers) yelling to get the ball over,” Barriere said, obliging Rogers with a pass to the sideline in front of the Lions bench.
“I knew that there was an opening on the sideline and a chance to cross the ball into the box,” Rogers said. “I knew that if I could get it in, we had a chance.”
Rogers got a bouncing cross into the box, and Brandon Laurin found himself with the ball and space.
“I knew I had to put it on frame,” Laurin said. “They are well organized in the back and they know what they are doing as a defense. I got lucky to put one away.”
The score had Chazy players running toward each other in celebration, while Elizabethtown-Lewis players fell on the field in a combination of exhaustion and disappointment.
“This was a game between two great programs,” Chazy head coach Rob McAuliffe said about the victory over ELCS. “You know that you are going to get a great game whenever we get together. Both schools should be proud tonight.”
The Eagles out-shot the Lions 20-11, with Austin Santor making five saves in the win.
Lions goalie Brock Marvin, in his final varsity start, made 10 saves, including three difficult stops in the first half that kept the game scoreless.
“He made saves on shots that we could have been talking about as being keys to putting the game away in the first half,” McAuliffe said.
Laurin’s shot ended the contest just over four minutes into the first of two 15-minute golden goal overtimes, advancing the two-time defending state champions to the Class D championship game Saturday, Nov. 5, against the Willsboro Warriors, who scored a 5-2 win against the Minerva-Newcomb Mountaineers.
Clay Sherman scored a pair of goals in the win, including the opening tally in the 25th minute and a goal assisted by Jeff Bigelow in the 60th.
Seth Swires (27th), Nick Arnold (Sherman assist, 52nd) and Sam Politi (69th) also scored in the win.
Warriors head coach Andy Lee said the team played better as the game went along.
“The way that we played in the first half could have been better,” Lee said. “The possessions were not crisp and the touches weren’t good. We looked like a team that had not played in almost two weeks. In the second half, our defense played much better.”
The Warriors, who have already accomplished the unprecedented mark of defeating the Eagles twice in the regular season, will now look to score a third victory to end Chazy’s state and sectional title defense.
“No matter what has happened this season, I still feel that they (Chazy) are the team to beat,” Lee said. “They are the team with the history and the tradition which is something we all look up to in the section, whether teams want to admit that or not. We need to stick to our game plan and play a strong game.”
“Willsboro is a great team and we have to play a good game to beat them,” McAuliffe said. “My kids are going in with a very good mind set, they believe in each other and they believe that they can win.”
The top two seeds in Class C volleyball will meet for the title, as the top-seeded Plattsburgh High Lady Hornets and second-seeded AuSable Valley Lady Patriots advanced Nov. 2.
The Hornets swept past the fourth-seeded Northeastern Clinton Lady Cougars with wins of 25-17, 25-9, 25-17.
Kianna Dragoon had 25 assists and three kills, while Deanna LaBarge had 12 digs and six kills, Katie Cantwell added 12 kills, Taylor Witkiewicz seven kills, Katie Dwyer 11 digs and Kayla Boise 10 digs.
Vada Loya had 15 digs four the Cougars, while Tori Duprey added 10 digs and Kelly Rogers combined eight digs with three kills.
The Patriots found themselves trailing 1-0 and 2-1 against the Saranac Lake Lady Red Storm in their semifinal contest, but were able to win the final two games in a 24-26, 25-29, 24-26, 25-13, 25-17 five-set thriller.
Noelle Miller scored 20 kills for the Patriots to pace the offense, while defensive specialist Jacquie Joey had 27 digs, five aces and five kills. Miranda Sheffer also had five aces to go with seven kills and 15 digs.
Emily Fountain had 13 assists for the Red Storm, with Nikkie Trudeau adding five aces and 12 digs, Shannon Stevens 22 digs and Nicole Viscardo 10 digs.