PLATTSBURGH - Lake Placid's historic soccer run came to an end Saturday with a 1-0 loss to Hoosick Falls in the Class C state quarterfinals at the Plattsburgh High School.
In a tight game, Hoosick Falls managed the only goal with 24 minutes and 8 seconds left in the second half when Chris LaCroix knocked home a shot after a corner kick from teammate Evan Phillips.
"We don't concede many goals from corners. The one we do concede crushes our season," Lake Placid coach Stuart Hemsley said. "But good luck to them."
Hoosick Falls goalkeeper Noah Chani makes a leaping save in front of Lake Placid’s Eddie Kane, left, and a Hoosick Falls defender Saturday at Plattsburgh High School. Hoosick Falls won the state quarterfinals soccer game 1-0.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)
The goal capped off a period when the Panthers were able to put a lot of pressure on Lake Placid goalie Chris Kordziel. During that brief run, one goal was called off due to a whistle right before the score. Another shot hit the post and bounced out.
"No discrediting Lake Placid, but we stepped up our game in terms of work rate," Hoosick Falls coach Mike Young said. "It's a regional final game. Both teams are playing hard. We started to press a little bit, get a little more possession in the midfield, and luckily we got some opportunities off corners and things like that."
Other than that run in the second half, the game was mainly even, and Lake Placid had a number of chances to score. One of its best opportunities came with just over two minutes left in the first half when Ryan Meyer nearly put a free kick past Hoosick Falls goalie Noah Chani. Meyer shot from just outside the box got past the defense untouched, but Chani made a diving stop to his left, getting his hands on the ball just enough to knock it away.
"The one free kick (Ryan Meyer) had for Lake Placid, that was an amazing free kick and I don't know how my goalie got to it," Young said. "He read it perfectly and he was able to parry it away."
Had the Blue Bombers gotten that goal, it would have given the team momentum going into halftime and a lead to play with in the second half.
"They go up a goal on that goal and it energizes their team," Young said.
Despite the loss, the Blue Bombers had a great season, capturing their first-ever Section VII, Class C championship with a 2-0 win over Seton Catholic. It was the first boys soccer sectional title in the history of the school, and it came a year after the team picked up just five wins.
"It doesn't come any better than that," Hemsley said. "You take a bunch of kids that people said had great talent and we made school history with a sectional banner. That's a great year for a first year."
With the loss, the Blue Bombers fell to 12-7 while Hoosick Falls is now 16-5. The Panthers face Section IV champion Lansing in the semifinals at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday at Middletown High School.
Both teams got as far as they did by playing great defense, which was evident Saturday. Neither team had too many opportunities on offense as both teams swarmed on defense. Both teams were coming off shutout wins.
"We knew they were going to be very tough to beat," Young said. "They have a lot of very good athletes and a few really good soccer players and tons of speed so we had to make sure we were very focused in the back. And they got the chances we thought that they would get. Luckily, we kept them out."
A big part of that speed up front for Lake Placid came from senior Haile Thompson, who had netted three goals in the playoffs. But the defense didn't give him much room on Saturday and he had limited opportunities to score.
"We just couldn't manage to get our offense going today to score a goal," Thompson said. "We played great defense but we slipped up once and it cost us."