Chazy captains Kirsten Doran, Cailtyn LaPier and Katharine Tooke accept the NYSPHSAA Class D championship trophey along with head coach Karin Sherman Trombley.
Two goals to the bad in the 70th minute of play is not usually a position any soccer team wants to be in, especially when you are in the state semifinals.
However, the Chazy Lady Eagles were not going to let that stand in the way of their second straight New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D state title.
The Eagles stormed back against Remsen in the Nov. 19 semifinal match on goals by Christina Emery (70th, her second of the game) and Hannah Laurin with 50 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, winning 3-1 on penalty kicks; then scored a 1-0 win over Northville in the Nov. 20 final as Kirsten Doran connected on a penalty kick in the 78th minute to finish a successful defense of their 2010 championship.
“Remsen was the toughest game that we had by far,” head coach Karin Sherman Trombley said. “Once we beat them, we knew that we had a good chance of repeating.”
Trombley said that she felt the road to the 2011 title was tougher than 2010, especially with the pressure of being the defending state champion.
“Last year we played some great teams, but this year was more of a challenge,” Trombley said. “It’s tough to go back to back and defend a title.”
In the semifinals, the Eagles had to battle back against Remsen star Erin O’Connor, who scored the opening goal of the match in the fourth minute of the game. The Eagles responded in the 13th minute with the first goal of the game by Emery, which was unassisted, as the game remained tied at 1-1 for the rest of the opening 40 minutes.
In the 45th minute, O’Connor put Remsen back into the lead, then scoring an insurance goal in the 55th minute.
The score remained the same for the next 15 minutes, when Caitlyn LaPier found Emery for her second goal in the 70th.
Then, as time started to be counted in seconds and not minutes, LaPier crossed the ball into Laurin, who scored the equalizer.
After 30 minutes of overtime and no goals, the two teams set up for penalty kicks, with Chazy shooting first with Dora connecting and Remsen responding.
In the second round, LaPier connected and goalie Katharine Tooke made a save against Remsen, giving the Eagles a 2-1 edges that would last through the third round.
Megan Reynolds scored to start the fourth round, and Remsen was unable to respond, sending the Eagles to the state title game.
“It was the most unreal game to anything that I had ever been a part of,” Trombley said about the comeback. “At halftime, Caitlyn said that it did not matter how much we were down, as long as we played to the end. She said we could be down in the final minute, but if we played hard we were still in it.”
Trombley said that the team saw the overtime as a new game, and were able to contain O’Connor and get the game to kicks.
“We practice those every day,” Trombley said. “It’s like taking foul shots in basketball, we do it at the end of every practice. We took a week at the start of the season to find our perfect five, and they have been shooting all year against Katharine Tooke, who is one of the best keepers in the state.”
In the title game, the Eagles used a strong wind to their advantage in the first half but were unable to score despite an 8-1 advantage in shots.
In the second half, the Eagles continued to pepper the net but were unable to get past Northville keeper Kristi Bills.
In the 78th minute, a battle for the ball in the Northville penalty area resulted in a Falcon touching the ball with their hand, resulting in the call that set up Doran for her championship-winning penalty shot.
“I called out for Megan (Reynolds), and the girls got together and said Kirsten,” Trombley said. “I have some strong leadership out there, and I let them make the call.”
Trombley said that the team controlled the game but needed a break to get into the scoring column.
“We had so many opportunities and we kept on pushing,” Trombley said. “Our defense was spectacular in the championship game. We just could not put the ball in the net until the end.”
For the Eagles, the win represented a successful defense of the state title and third overall after earning a co-championship in 2007.