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Cardinals fall in Class D title game

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STILLWATER — Fort Ann had to settle for the runner-up plaque on Monday night. It wasn’t what they wanted, but it was more than might have been expected.

Fort Ann lost 2-1 to St. Johnsville in the Class D championship of the Section II Girls Soccer Tournament at Stillwater High School. The Cardinals ended the season 12-4-2, which is a long way from where they were last spring.

“With the overall season, I couldn’t be happier,” coach Jason Humiston said. “Five, six months ago, when Fall II season ended, we were 4-4-4. It’s pretty special to turn around that quickly. We’re disappointed with today’s outcome … we’ve just got to work harder to get the job done.”

The Cards had taken a 1-0 lead in the first half on Marissa Lunt’s long drive just over the goalkeeper’s hands. But Jordan DeNinno tied the game in the second half for St. Johnsville and Nataley Caponera later scored the eventual game-winning goal.

“We didn’t play our best game,” Humiston said. “We didn’t connect on passes like we usually do. We were a little out of sync.

“It’s a tough way to end, but I’m still proud of my girls. They fought hard all season.”

The Cardinals had no seniors on the roster this fall. Humiston expects to have 18 players back next fall, plus others coming up from the lower ranks. Monday’s game gave them some much-needed experience in a playoff atmosphere.

“I have three or four girls that were on my state (tournament) team, but nobody else has been to sectionals,” Humiston said. “I’m really happy with how the kids handled it. We just couldn’t hold on.”

Fort Ann’s boys soccer team never got to play a sectional game because of COVID quarantines.

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