On a cloudy afternoon at Arlington High School, the Crusaders took on the Admirals in the first round of the NYSPHSAA Soccer playoffs last week. The Crusaders entered the game with a 17-2-1 record on the season after beating Valley Central for the Section 9 title 2-0. The Crusaders beat the Admirals 4-1 when they met earlier in the season. The winner of this game would advance to the state quarter finale.
The Admirals surprised the Crusaders about half way thru the first half and scored on a Really Pettgrew shot from 20 yds out to give them a 1-0 lead. The Crusaders answered back with 9:43 left in the half. Francesca Donovan found Emily Berlinski breaking past her defender and she popped a shot just over the diving goalie and the score was tied.
The Crusaders took the lead 3 minutes later. Donovan beat her defender down the sideline and hit Faith Zollo with a perfect cross. From there, Zollo shot it past the outstretched arms of the goalie into the corner of the net to give the Crusaders a 2-1 lead going into the half.
Early in the second half, Crusader Lily Bandel powered her way through two Admiral defenders and pounded a shot into the net, and the Crusaders were up 3-0. Late in the game, Donovan was breaking past her defenders when she got tripped up by the Admiral goalie setting up a penalty kick. From there, reliable Emily McGee stepped up and scored, sealing the Admirals fate.
The Crusaders 4-0 victory moved them into the State quarter final, where they beat Corning-Painted Post 6-1 on Saturday. The Crusaders will face Ward Melville in the state semi-final on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
Early in the second half, Crusader Lily Bandel powered her way through two Admiral defenders and pounded a shot into the net, and the Crusaders were up 3-0.