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Blue Devils Go 110 Minutes Of Scoreless Soccer Before PK Win


Barely 48 hours after winning the Section 1, Class C championship, the Haldane High School girls soccer team was thrust into a state regional final that turned out to be both physically and mentally draining.

And, ultimately, rewarding.

The Blue Devils and Section 9 champ S.S. Seward went 110 minutes of scoreless soccer on Tuesday night, which probably seemed longer as great shot after great shot was turned away.

But when it went to penalty kicks, Haldane showed its resilience in a 4-3 shootout victory at Faller Field in Middletown.

The victory vaults the Blue Devils into the state Final Four, with a semifinal game on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Cortland High School at 10 a.m. against the winner of this Saturday’s regional final between Little Falls and Unatego.

“Our girls just were relentless the entire night,” Haldane coach Steve Schweikhart said. “We had to play a sectional final game just 48 hours earlier, and then to go out and play 110 minutes of pressure-packed, intense soccer, and survive penalty kicks, it was just so impressive.”

Both teams were phenomenal in what turned out to be an epic games. Devils goalkeeper Abigail Platt made six saves, including one in the shootout, and then watched as the potential game-tying kick in the fifth round sailed over the crossbar.

Seward goalie Kathryn Mulhare made 11 saves and was brilliant the entire game on a chilly night when both teams raced up and down the turf field.

“The girls have worked extremely hard on their conditioning this season, and it really was critical tonight. They just kept pushing and kept pushing,” Schweikhart said. “I thought we would get one in the overtime periods because we seemed to be holding up a bit better. We just couldn’t get one past their keeper, who had a really good game.”

Liv Villella, Jade Villella, Bela Monteleone and Sara Ferriera all converted their penalty kicks in the victory. It was Ferriera’s goal that proved to be the difference.

Defensively, the back line of Mazzie Maxwell, Ella Ashburn, Liv Villella and Bianca Harmancin “really did a great job shutting down Seward’s very dangerous attack. And Abigail was just plain solid in goal for us. She made a nice save in overtime, and then had the big save on the fourth penalty kick.”



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