Panthers' season ends in nailbiter
And after scoring in the first two minutes, it looked like the Indians might dismiss of Hoosick Falls just as they had done all season to everyone else.
But for a coach in Tom Husser who has won three New York state titles in his time on the sideline leading the Panthers, never count out Hoosick Falls until the clock reaches zero.
The Panthers fought for 80 minutes, but Schoharie came out on top 4-3 to end Hoosick's season.
"We just wanted to come in and give it our all," said an emotional Darian Morgan. "That's exactly what we did. We never put our heads down, we got done what we could."
Led by a trio of sisters — Carrie Krohn, Megan Krohn and Katie Krohn — Schoharie took the lead 1:50 in on a rocket shot from Carrie Krohn, the Siena-bound senior.
After that, Hoosick Falls kept the bulk of the play in the offensive end, nearly tying the game on a pair of occasions. Eventually, with 18:46 left in the first half, Angela Gonzalez fed a great ball to Morgan, who found Taylor Mann for her 23rd goal of the year to tie the game at 1-1.
Moments later, Hoosick Falls had another chance, getting deep into the Indians' end and a cross went off a Schoharie defender and in for an own goal — and Hoosick had the lead, only the second time this season that Schoharie played from behind.
"We talked on the bench with some of the subs, they said, 'We're not out of this down 2-1,' said Schoharie coach Kevin Scofield. "We have some weapons, [Hoosick] did a good job defending our weapons, but we did a nice job to get free. When you're playing for a championship you have to be resilient and we battled just enough to pull it out."
Schoharie redoubled their efforts to come back and after one good chance was kick-saved out by Hoosick goalie Olivia Brownell (who had 10 stops), Carrie Krohn did more damage, taking advantage of slow help on defense to tie the game at 2-2 with 5:34 to go in the half.
"She has the ability to see the play before it happens and in position to make things happen," Scofield said.
With the wind at their back in the second half, Schoharie took the lead on Carrie Krohn's third goal of the night and 39th of the season, assisted by her sister, Katie. Husser kept three defenders back, looking to protect the one-goal deficit, but with 10 minutes to go, Katie Krohn was the goal-scorer, with the assist to Carrie for a 4-2 lead.
"That fourth goal hurt us, that put a little dagger in and twisted it," Husser said.
However, Hoosick wasn't finished yet. Two minutes later, as Husser pushed up to look for more offense, Phoebe Thomson finished a header past Schoharie goalie Abby Wetzel (four saves) to cut the deficit to 4-3.
"That goal started with Grace [Wysocki], I moved her up on the [wing]," Husser said. "It made a big difference to bring her up there."
"It gave us a feeling of hope, really brought us up and made us go out with a bang," Morgan said.
Twice in the final seven minutes, Hoosick nearly tied the game again, once on a corner and another that a Schoharie defender tapped off of the goal line when the goalie was out of position.
"I thought we had a lot of quality shots and chances to score," Husser said.
Schoharie improves to 18-0 and faces Stillwater in the Class C title game, while Hoosick Falls ends the year at 12-6-1.
"Every one of these [seniors] is great to start with, they are soccer junkies," Husser said. "They are a nice group, great leaders and great young ladies, mature beyond their years."
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