Assistant Sports Editor
HOOSICK, N.Y. -- There wasn't much difference between the Hoosick Falls Central School Panthers and the Schuylerville Black Horses on Tuesday afternoon, but a goal from Kaitlyn Congdon was enough for the Horses to walk out of Delurey Field 1-0 winners in a Wasaren League girls' soccer match-up.
"Give Schuylerville credit, they played well today," coach Tom Husser said.
The game nearly opened with a bang for Hoosick Falls, as junior Kolumbia Cook was able to put a good shot in on net, only for Schuylerville goalie Sara Baker to dive across goal to make the save.
Senior Mackenzie Hinchliffe came close moments later, but her shot was gobbled up by Baker to keep the game level.
The Black Horses' first chance came a few mintues after Hinchliffe's, as Congdon found herself in on goal, but her shot was parried away by Hoosick Falls' senior goalie Hannah Fricke.
"Fricke had a fantastic game in net," Husser said. "She is something special."
Schuylerville's Gabriello Capobianco found herself in on goal midway through the first half, but as she went to shoot senior Alyssa Giordano was able to clear the ball away.
Junior Casie Mann came close to breaking the deadlock towards the end of the half, but her shot went begging as she ran in on net.
At the end of the half, Fricke did well to keep the game scoreless when she was able to stop a shot by Lacey Stagle.
"I told the girls at halftime it was two evenly-matched teams," Husser said. "We were going to get six shots, and they were going to get six shots, and whoever puts it in the net wins."
To open the second, Hinchliffe nearly unlockd the Schuylerville defense on two consecutive passes, as her sliding balls to the wings almost reached their intended targets, but the Black Horses were able to clear both balls out of danger.
Junior Rachel Pine came close next for Hoosick Falls, as she managed to get her head on a corner kick, but her shot went wide of the post and out of play.
After the Pine shot, Schuylerville started to press forward more. Capobianco put a cross into a dangerous position that junior Alyssa Houghton had to clear away, then Capobianco had a shot saved by Fricke.
"Hannah kept us in it [today]," Husser said.
But just over halfway through the second half, and the Black Horses found just enough to get a goal.
Being played in with a long ball over the top, Congdon took the pass, gave the ball a touch, and fired underneath Fricke to make it 1-0.
"She is fast and tough," Schuylerville coach Dave Mehan said. "She has done a great job, and nearly had a second goal against a great keeper."
The second chance came a few minutes after the goal. Again played in over the top, Congdon tried to rifle her shot home but it sliced wide of the post.
Hoosick Falls would press for an equalizer, but the Panthers could not find the right combination to open up the Black Horse defense. The girls would come closest on a free kick from the top of the area, but Pine's shot went inches wide of the left post and out of play.
"I thought we had that," Husser said. "I was waiting for it to hit the post and careen in."
Hoosick Falls falls to 2-1 on the season (1-1 in league), Schuylerville improves to 3-1 (2-0). The game was the first of three-straight for the Panthers, who host Granville tomorrow.
And while Husser said that the prospect of three games in three days was daungting, he thinks that the style of play by the Panthers will help them out.
"The next two games, we will possess the ball more, let the ball do more of the work so we don't have to do a lot of running," Husser said.
He notes that Granville will be a tough match-up tomorrow, but said that Schuylerville being first was a good thing because "next to us, i think that Schuylerville presses the ball very well."
After the game against Granville, the Panthers will then travel to Greenwich for a 4 p.m. Wasaren League contest.