CLIFTON PARK– A pair of late goals led Baldwinsville to a regional final win, as they beat Saratoga in field hockey on Sunday at Shenendehowa High School by a final score of 4-3.
Heading into the final 15 minutes of action with the score tied 2-2, Baldwinsville was coming closer and closer to scoring but could not get the ball past Saratoga goalkeeper Renee Banagan. This was the case until Baldwinsville’s Mary Cate McKee scored from eight yards out with exactly 11 minutes left on the clock to make it 3-2. The attack wasn’t done there. Amanda Strenk came up big for the Bees 35 seconds later as she scored to make it 4-2.
“We really focused on that this could be the last 30 minutes of our season so we wanted to give everything we had, and I really think the girls just left it all out there,” Baldwinsville head coach Tessa Ordway said.
In the first half, the game was very back-and-forth. Baldwinsville got on the board first just under seven minutes in on the first of Mackenzie Wodka’s two goals. Saratoga answered right back less than three minutes later on a score from Jessie House, also coming as her first of two.
The game stayed with a 1-1 score until 9:15 left in the first half, when Wodka scored her second goal, a deep shot that went right under Banagan. Saratoga answered that one just 38 seconds later, as House slipped in a rebound to tie the game at two.
“My biggest thing is that after we scored, I don’t know if it was after our third goal, I called an immediate timeout. That was becoming the pattern, we score, they score, so I wanted to make sure I brought them all in, got our composure so they’d go out there ready to go and won’t get caught on our heels,” Ordway said.
They ended up needing that fourth and final goal, as Saratoga’s Erin McCarthy scored with under two minutes to play, but it ended up being too little, too late for the Blue Streaks.
“We kept answering them back but we just needed to collectively answer back a little sooner there. I think we a little bit ran out of gas,” Saratoga head coach Jo-Anne Hostig said of the final goal and the potential for a comeback.
This loss will end Saratoga’s season, with a final record of 16-3 and a sectional championship.
“Every single one of (the season) goals involved us getting to the sectional finals, and winning the sectional finals. That’s what we came here to do and that’s what we set out to do, and that’s what we achieved this year. Getting here was just the cherry on top,” Banagan said.
With the win, Baldwinsville advances to the state semifinal game. They will take on Ward Melville out of Section 11 on Saturday, November 11 at Maine-Endwell High School. Game time is set for 9:30 a.m.