Schuylerville, NY — The Maple Hill boys varsity soccer team advanced to the Section II Class C Championship game Tuesday night, with a one-nil win over the Lake George Warriors.Eighteen minutes and 47 seconds into the game Garrett Axtmann scored the eventual game-winner after receiving the ball from junior Alec Yager. “He passed a beautiful ball to me, and it hit both posts, going in. I didn’t think it was going to,” said Axtmann.
“I’ve never won a game we haven’t scored in. To put the ball in first is huge,” said head coach Dan Gillespie. “When I first started coaching, and we would make it to sectionals, it was big for us just to put up a single goal. To win and stay alive is huge.”
With the score locked in Maple Hill’s favor, Lake George came out strong to start the second 40 minutes of play– challenging keeper Lucas Bourdeau. The junior goalie held his own all the way to the end, even as the Warriors made one final push with just seconds remaining. “He was prime,” said Gillespie. “They were composed, nd he just came through and saved our butt.”
The last time the two teams met it was Lake George who came out victorious, on their way to capturing a state title.
“It feels great to beat a powerhouse like them,” said senior Jack Santore.
Last year, the Wildcats fell in the same game, but to the Spartans of Greenville, 4-1. “Last year on the bus, when we lost we all said we would be back, and it feels amazing to do so with a win,” said junior Connor Hall.
The Wildcats will now take on Mayfield in the title game on Saturday, at 10:00 a.m. The game is being played at a neutral site: Colonie High School.
“Ever since I was a little kid [watching the older guys play] I’ve always dreamed of playing in the championship game in Colonie. To have that come true is unreal,” Santore said.