Kondrat returns, lifts Blue Bombers to victory

Junior midfielder scores late goal as Lake Placid downs Schroon Lake 1-0 in Class D quarterfinal

Lake Placid junior Mackenzie Kondrat takes the ball toward the Wildcat net in the second half of Thursday’s win in Lake Placid. Kondrat went on to score the only goal of the match.
(Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

Lake Placid junior Mackenzie Kondrat takes the ball toward the Wildcat net in the second half of Thursday’s win in Lake Placid. Kondrat went on to score the only goal of the match. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

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LAKE PLACID — The Schroon Lake girls soccer team rolled into Lake Placid Thursday afternoon looking to avenge last year’s double-overtime loss to the Blue Bombers in the first round of the Section VII, Class D playoffs. But there would be no retribution for the Wildcats this year, as Lake Placid put the game away with the lone goal of the match with less than 10 minutes left to play.

The match pitted second-seeded Lake Placid hosted against the seventh-seed Wildcats, and the return of Mackenzie Kondrat certainly proved to be a difference for the Blue Bombers. Although the midfielder is still nursing a leg injury, she came through the the game-winner with the lone goal of the game, scoring with 3:54 remaining in regulation.

Lake Placid started off strong. Junior Megan Byrne and freshman Lydia Bullock kept the pressure up on Schroon Lake senior keeper Alora Bearor, who tallied 14 saves during the game.

Lake Placid largely dominated the first half, with Schroon Lake breaking through a few times, but posing no real challenges on Shelby Jewtraw, who nabbed five saves in the match. While the Bombers controlled the midfield, the young team – which only has five seniors – couldn’t find the back of the net, and the first half of play ended with a 0-0 draw.

The Lake Placid girls came out swinging in the second half though, with Bullock earning a fast break early on that was smothered by Bearor and Wildcat defender Victoria Buell. The Blue Bombers kept up the pressure on Bearor, and as the match went on , she took a couple of dings along with making some nice saves.

But Bearor didn’t really a get a break, with Lake Placid putting 15 shots on net and applying plenty of pressure even when not shooting.

As regulation time was winding down and the teams appeared to be heading to overtime, Kondrat got away from a Wildcat defender in the corner and started to take the ball toward the net.

Dribbling in at about five feet off the end line, Kondrat took a shot toward Bearor, who dropped to her knees for the save. But the ball popped through her legs and trickled over the goal line as the Blue Bomber girls exploded in jubilation.

“I don’t even know, it happened so fast,” Kondrat laughed. “I just went to the corner and shot and it happened to go in.”

Kondrat has missed the last five weeks of soccer, but said she was thrilled to be back on the pitch and happy that she helped win the game.

Kondrat wasn’t the only Blue Bomber making her return to the field after an extended absence, with junior Lyndsey Rath also suiting up for the game, and coach Brendan Gothan said the team played well considering the adjustments that needed to be made.

“They’re a great team, when I saw they were the seventh seed I was nervous,” Gothan said. “We played well, we just didn’t generate enough shots in the first half. Second half, I thought we applied a lot of pressure but we just couldn’t tuck one in but finally we did.

“It was good to get our playoff legs under us and get the nerves out. That was great to have them back, and I think we had to adjust to that.”

The Wildcats were heartbroken to be heading home for the year, but coach Mary Lou Shaughnessy said she was proud of her girls.

“I think they played hard and gave it their all,” she said. “We played this team last year in sectionals, we were 2, they were 7 (and we) lost in double overtime with two minutes left, so we feel pretty good about what happened here even though we lost.”

In another match happening at the same time, Moriah beat Crown Point 2-1 in overtime to advance and take on Lake Placid in the semifinal round.

Lake Placid and Moriah will square off at 3 p.m. Monday on the Blue Bombers’ field.

The teams split their two meetings during the regular season with Lake Placid winning 3-0 at home and the Vikings claiming a 4-3 triump on their turf.

“They are a hot and cold team, and when they are hot they are fantastic,” Gotham said of his team’s next opponent.

Elizabethtown and Chazy will battle in the other semfinal matchup.

Lake Placid 1, Schroon Lake 0

Schroon Lake 0 0 — 0

Lake Placid 0 1 — 1

Scoring

Second half

1, LP, Kondrat, 36:06.

Shots: LP 15, SL 6.

Saves: Bearor, SL, 14. Jewtraw, LP, 5.

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