I've been sitting here trying to think of something to unique write about Wednesday's Class D final, beyond the game story, but I can't. It all kind of speaks for itself.
There were a couple of times when I thought this would be Fort Ann's year to win the title, even though Northville was carrying the play. Namely, after the Cardinals scored their first goal, and when it looked like they were going to score in the second half. Sometimes singular events like that can turn around a soccer game. But it didn't happen.
So it's another tough finish for Fort Ann after another very strong run (they were 12-3-1 after the first three games of the season). That's what you have to hang onto if you're in the Cardinals' position -- you can't experience the disappointment without first getting to the finals year after year.
The Cards lose only one senior from this team, but they will be big shoes to fill. Goalie Renee Allen leaves after five years on the varsity.
I would love to have stayed for the Class C final, but there's noplace to sit down and type at Lansingburgh -- away from the elements anyway -- and I needed to get the story in.
Stillwater was a 4-2 winner over Schoharie, the highlight (so far) of quite an impressive season for the Warriors. Looking back on their run through sectionals, I get the feeling they were a team of destiny, a team that was a lot better than everybody thought, a team that just wasn't going to be beaten. That should be some small consolation to the teams that lost to them along the way, namely Lake George and Bolton-Warrensburg.
Rules question: After Northville took the lead late in the second half, Fort Ann coach Jason Humiston pulled Allen out of the goal to play the field, while Allison Keith took over as goalkeeper. Humiston said Allen is one of the Cardinals' best athletes and he needed to throw everything he had into the effort to score a goal. Can't argue with that.
The game was held up for a minute or two while Allen shed her goalie gear and changed into her No. 6 field uniform. Northville complained about the play stoppage. The officials said Fort Ann had to be given time to make the change. My own impression was that you can't stop the game to make a substitution.
I looked up the NCAA rules and it doesn't specifically address the issue, though there is a clause that says a player doesn't have to "be ready" to enter the game for a restart after a goal. I don't know if that covers it or not. It's rule 3.6.1 if you're in the mood to look it up. I'd love to hear from an official on this.
A reporter's problem: The TV folks were interviewing a Northville player after the game, and since I was standing there, I listened in. She had a very interesting observation about the defensive save late in the game, so I wrote down the words, noted her number (5) and figured it would work well in the story.
As I was typing the quote into the story, I checked the roster to attach a name to the uniform number. No. 5 is a junior defender who played no part in the scoring, which is not someone the media would normally seek out. Could I have seen the number wrong? Could it have been a 9 (Hannah Coupas)? I'm betting it was. It killed me to go without that quote, but it's better to have a less complete story than an inaccurate one.
Still to come: Our local teams (as it concerns our core blog readership) are all done, but we'll have all-star teams as soon as they're announced, the Section II all-star team in December, and other items of interest before we go into mothballs.
Does anybody actually use mothballs anymore?