HOOSICK, N.Y. -- All year, Hoosick Falls Central School senior Drew Phillips and junior Max Haar have gotten most of the attention for the boys soccer team -- combining for 27 goals this season.
But sometimes, the postseason becomes the time for new players to shine.
Senior Alex LaBarge scored two goals and added an assist, all in the second half, as No. 6 Hoosick Falls topped No. 11 Cairo-Durham 4-1 on Wednesday afternoon at Delurey Field in the opening round of the Class B playoffs.
"My last game at Delurey Field, as a senior, I wanted to do the best I could for my team and I think I gave it all I could today," said LaBarge, who had one goal the entire season before Wednesday. "It was a good way to go out."
With 18 minutes left in regulation, Hoosick Falls finally seized the momentum. The Panthers earned a corner that Haar put a nice swing on and found LaBarge, who knocked it past Mustangs keeper Ethan Yates for a 2-0 advantage.
"We have a good formation, new today and it worked out well," LaBarge said. "There's more passing and ball movement ... it'll work better for us. [Drew and Max] get a lot of the glory, but it was nice to get some today too."
Five minutes later, LaBarge took advantage of a lazy play by the Cairo-Durham defense. Yates played a short goal kick to one of the Mustang defenders and LaBarge beat him to the spot and touched the ball past the goalie and into the net for a 3-0 lead.
"On the first goal, we overloaded [the box], and I got to the right spot at the right time," LaBarge said. "It was hustle on the second, putting everything into it to get the goal."
The momentum came back to the Panthers halfway through the second half.
With the Panthers ahead 1-0 and about 20 minutes remaining in regulation, Cairo-Durham's Jon Mejicano fired a shot toward Hoosick Falls goalie Noah Chani that hit the bottom of the crossbar and appeared to bounce over the goal line. But the referees said no and play continued with Chani grabbing the carom.
"It's tough to get back in when [you're] down," said Cairo-Durham coach Larry Farrell. "The kick over there looked like it was in, but it went out. I saw it hit the bottom ... that would have changed the momentum, but they finished the shots in front of the net, and we didn't."
After David Gabrelson buried a penalty kick to make it 3-1 with 12:54 left when a Mustangs player was taken down in the box, LaBarge had an unusual assist for the Panthers' fourth goal.
A cross from Cole Webster hit LaBarge in the face near the goal and the ball found its way to Haar, who tapped in when the goalie came out of position to play the ball.
"It was just luck on the assist, I was just in the right place at the right time," LaBarge said.
Defensively, the Panthers had a clean sheet in the run of play, an encouraging sign.
"They picked it up, better than the first half," LaBarge said. "We had to get more goals, shut them down and make sure they had no chance."
The Panthers move on to play Saturday at a time to be determined.