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HS girls soccer: Carthage, Copenhagen celebrate league titles

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LOWVILLE — Not even 100 minutes of soccer could decide the latest girls soccer showdown between Carthage and Watertown on Friday.

Yet it was the Comets who rose to the challenge to prevail by the closest of margins in a shootout to claim the program’s first Frontier League playoff title in nine years.

With the game scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods, Carthage edged the Cyclones, 4-3 on penalty kicks on a frosty evening at Lowville High School to secure the league’s “A” Division crown.

“I tell you, our girls played with everything they had,” Carthage coach Marty Weaver said. “I think they got stronger as the game went on and I don’t think they even let up when they were tired. I’m just so impressed with their will to succeed.”

Later in a closely contested “D” Division final, Copenhagen outlasted rival Lyme, 4-2, to take the title.

Mackenzie Kidder, Paige Kaune, Cassie Birth and Emily Bush each scored in the shootout for second-seeded Carthage (8-6-2), which secured its first division playoff championship since 2004.

“We’ve had some good years, but this is something that has just eluded us,” Weaver said. “We played some great semifinals to get this far before, so it’s satisfying to win it here.”

The result of the game was officially recorded as a tie, which is fitting since the top-seeded Cyclones and Comets split their regular-season series, with Watertown winning the last meeting, 3-0 last Wednesday.

This time, Carthage goalie Becky Brandal finished with eight saves and Watertown’s Katie Aldrich made four stops through overtime.

“We were excited and I think we really had a fire in ourselves with a desire to get this win,” Brandal said. “In the shootout, I was very, very nervous and I just tried to compose myself.”

Each team was awarded five attempts in the shootout and Watertown took a 3-2 advantage when Olivia Miles scored in the fourth round. But Birth followed with a conversion into the net to even the tally.

“I think a (shootout) has only happened to my team three times in all my years of coaching,” Weaver said. “You prepare for it every year and we’ve been practicing it for about two weeks, but you hope you don’t get into one. But the girls got it done.”

Then in a head-to-head meeting of goalies, Brandal got a hand on Aldrich’s drive to deny her counterpart. Bush followed with the decisive PK by placing a shot into the right corner.

“It was very nerve wracking and overwhelming,” Birth said. “Especially like afterwards and everybody asked me ‘why aren’t you celebrating?’ And I said ‘it’s overwhelming’ because if I missed, it could have cost us the game. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet.”

Miranda Gilbert and Kira Kolb also scored in the shootout for the Cyclones (8-4-4), who won the “A” Division regular-season title.

“When you play a team three times it’s tough and I thought both teams played well,” Watertown coach Mike VanNostrand said. “When it comes down to PKs like that, it’s tough and it’s exciting. Someone has to win it and tonight Carthage was the winner, give them credit.”

COPENHAGEN 4, LYME 2

Sophomore Claire Stackel scored a pair of goals and registered an assist to help spark the top-seeded Golden Knights past the second-seeded Indians in the “D” Division final in Lowville.

Copenhagen (16-0), the No. 2-ranked team in the state in Class D, won its second consecutive playoff title and its third in five years.

“It’s about pride,” Stackel said. “They’re our rival and they played a tough game, but we just found a way to win.”

With the Golden Knights leading 2-1 at halftime on a goal from Emma Roberts in the 39th minute, Stackel scored unassisted in the 62nd minute by lifting a drive that carried through the hands of Lyme goalie Lauren Campbell.

The Indians (9-5-1) answered just 1:40 later as Yanna Ososkalo finished off a feed from her sister, Enesa Ososkalo in the 64th minute to draw within 3-2.

Stackel set up Copenhagen’s fourth goal as she sent in a direct kick that Campbell knocked away, but Maci Spaulding pounced on the rebound for a 4-2 advantage.

“It’s that third time we’ve played them,” Copenhagen coach Katherine Stackel said. “And they’re a good team — their forwards are fast and strong. ... But I thought defensively we did a really good job and I thought the game was a real battle.”

Junior Brooke Spaulding, playing in place of injured starter Mackenzie Wheeler, made four saves to register the win.

After Claire Stackel opened the scoring by finishing off a centering pass from Lexie LaBarge in the 16th minute, Lyme’s Shanelle Trombley scored on a rebound after her initial shot was blocked by a defender in the 30th minute to tie the game at 1-1.

Roberts followed with the go-ahead goal, with Maci Spaulding assisting, as her shot slipped past Campbell with 1:18 left in the first half.

Campbell, a junior, finished with four saves for the Indians,

“I thought our girls played hard today,” Lyme coach Kristin Dickson said. “We knew going in with playing them the third time what we needed to do ... I thought we controlled play for about 10 minutes there in the second half and we had opportunities. But they were the better team today.”

BOYS SOCCER

GENERAL BROWN 4, THOUSAND ISLANDS 2

Cole Johnson finished with two goals as the Lions wrapped up the regular season with a nonleague victory at Dexter.

Shawn Wilcox supplied one goal and one assist, and Trevor Hickok also scored for General Brown (8-7-1, 6-7-1), which shares the Frontier League “B” Division championship title with Lowville (7-8-1, 6-7-1).

Aaron Zehr scored for Thousand Islands (8-7, 7-4).

GIRLS TENNIS

FOUR MAKE STATE QUALIFIER

Frontier League singles standouts Emma Renzi of Immaculate Heart Central and Therese Dines of Lowville, and South Jefferson’s doubles team of Elisabeth Roberts and Austin Stevens have reached the Section 3 state qualifying tournament, scheduled for today at the SU Skytop.

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