SACKETS HARBOR The Copenhagen girls soccer team made the most of its opportunities Friday against Sackets Harbor and as a result finds itself closing in on another divisional title.
Freshman Claire Stackel scored three goals, including two on penalty kicks, as the Golden Knights blanked the Patriots, 3-0 in a Frontier League D Division showdown.
First-place Copenhagen (9-2-1) now leads Sackets Harbor (8-4) by three points in the standings, 19-16, with three divisional games remaining for each team.
This was for the league, Stackel said. Its pretty cool because were continuing to win. So thats a good thing.
The last time the two teams met, the Golden Knights needed to go to overtime to outlast Sackets Harbor, 4-2 on Sept. 10.
We always like to beat Sackets, Stackel said. Theyre always physical and fast and we did a good job against them.
In this meeting, Copenhagen took the initiative early on as Stackel converted on a penalty kick in the 24th minute by drilling the ball into the left corner of the net after the Patriots were called for a handball infraction.
We knew it was a big game coming in and I thought my girls rose to the occasion, Copenhagen coach Katherine Stackel said. Which was nice to see, they had intensity.
I thought we recovered from that, but that second one (penalty kick) was tough for us, Sackets Harbor coach Dan Green said.
Sackets Harbor nearly got even two minutes later as a shot from Sara Cassidy deflected off the inside of the crossbar and landed on the goal line, but senior goalkeeper Lindsey Fitzpatrick was there to keep the ball out of harms way.
Stackel struck again as she took a pass from Cassidy ODonnell and placed a shot over the hands of goalie Olivia Martin, who made eight saves, and into the upper left corner of the goal in the 53rd minute for a 2-0 advantage.
I thought tonight was one of our better games, Katherine Stackel said. We still have a ways to go, but I was really pleased with our vision today and I thought we did find the open person well and we made some really passes.
Just a minute later, Copenhagen also converted on its second penalty kick opportunity as Stackel scored in the 54th minute.
Claire is a good player, Green said. She always has control of the ball and she did it again today.
Fitzpatrick, who finished with four saves to record the shutout, then denied a scoring bid by Nicole Menapace by booting the ball down field.
Were working hard and we had a lot of possession, Claire Stackel said.
Copenhagen, which won the past two D Division titles, has four games left before the postseason, including three division games with two against Alexandria and one versus Belleville Henderson.
It is a big win, but we still have three league games left, said Katherine Stackel, who returned to coach the Golden Knights this season. We have to get back at it and we will when we have practice at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Said Sackets Harbors Green: We just have to pick ourselves up and come back strong. We might even see these guys again in sectionals.