SARANAC LAKE - Players on the Lake Placid girls soccer team knew they would have their hands full when they hosted the Chazy Eagles in a Northern Soccer League Division II match on Monday, Oct. 15.
After all, when the Blue Bombers traveled to face Chazy earlier this season, they upset the state's second-ranked Class D team in overtime, and the Eagles aren't used to losing soccer games on their turf.
In a hard-fought, exciting battle at the North Elba Athletic Fields, the Eagles got their revenge, edging the Blue Bombers 2-1 on a goal scored by Courtney Gilmore with 8:30 remaining in the match.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News
Lake Placid’s Liza Marinis waits for the ball before making a run while Bailey Pepper of Chazy closes in during a Monday, Oct. 15 game at the North Elba Athletic Fields.
The final score was identical to the result when the teams clashed in late September, but this time, the match didn't extend into extra time. Gilmore made sure of that when she got control of a rebound off a direct kick and fired a shot into the net past downed Lake Placid goalkeeper Liz Leff. Gilmore's goal broke a 1-1 deadlock with 8:30 left in regulation, and from there, the Eagles defense, led by sweeper Megan Reynolds, held Lake Placid off the board.
The result left both teams with just one loss in Division II play. Chazy is now 12-1 in the division and 13-2 overall, while Lake Placid is 11-1 in the division and 11-3 overall.
"It went back and forth all game," Lake Placid head coach Heather Brewer said. "We had opportunities, they had opportunities. They just put one more in the net than we did. We were a little bit unlucky. Each team scored a nice goal from the field and then they got the winner off a direct kick.
Chazy, the two-time defending New York Class D champions, grabbed a 1-0 lead with the only goal of the first half when Shelby Gonyo scored at the 24:13 mark on a well-placed shot from 20 yards out.
The Blue Bombers netted the tying goal just 5:21 into the second half with Liza Marinis converting a pass from Kendra Manning. The Blue Bombers were attacking the net on the play, and Manning sent the ball to Marinis, who was open in front of the net and found the mark from 10 yards out.
The goal appeared to motivate the Blue Bombers, who kept the pressure up and were denied a go-ahead goal about a minute later when keeper Logan Baker made a diving save on a shot taken from the middle of the penalty box.
Reynolds, who had been moved back to sweeper due to some injuries on the Eagles roster, started the play that ultimately won the game for Chazy. She lined up to take a direct kick from just outside the right corner of the penalty area and lofted the ball toward the far post. Leff made the save on the initial shot, but the rebound went right to Gilmore, who sent a one-timer into the net for the game-winner.
"We got a little bit of revenge today," said Chazy coach Karin Sherman-Trombley. "Both games were very close. I thought both teams played a great game today, and we were very excited to come out on top.
"Due to some injuries, we had to shift some players around, but my girls know I'm a shifter," Sherman-Trombley added. "They are used to playing three or four positions. Courtney Gilmore, she's usually the one dishing the ball off, but today she got the game-winner."
Chazy held a 12-9 edge in shots. Baker earned the win in goal with eight saves while Leff stopped 10 shots for Lake Placid.
The Blue Bombers have two road games remaining this week against teams they have already defeated to close out the regular season. Lake Placid was scheduled to face Willsboro and Moriah this week.
"Our girls are very competitive, and obviously they wanted to win this game," Brewer said. "But being in a game like this is only going to help us the rest of the way."
Chazy 2, Lake Placid 1
1. C, Gonyo, 25:13.
2. LP, Marinis (Manning) 5:21; 3. C, Gilmore, 31:30.
Shots: Chazy 12, Lake Placid 9
Saves: C, Baker 8; LP, Leff 10.