Reprinted with permission from the Times Union
KINDERHOOK – As the halftime whistle sounded, a contrast of body language was obvious as the Schuylerville Black Horses sprinted to the sideline, with a few jubilant jumps in the mix, and the Ichabod Crane Riders walked off the pitch until head coach Mike Young encouraged his squad to jog off.
The reason for No. 6-seeded Schuylerville’s excitement was obvious, a two-goal lead over the top-seeded Riders in a half in which the Black Horses were in the right place at the right times and a step ahead of Ichabod Crane as the teams went to intermission.
Ichabod Crane, appearing in its ninth Section II final in 10 years, picked up its game in the second half but the rally fell short, and with it, came Schuylerville’s first Section II title with its 2-1 win in the Class B final at Colonie High.
Schuylerville (13-7) avenged an overtime loss in the 2018 semifinals to Ichabod Crane (16-3-1).
“It’s a special group. We got close last year and I think the group we have right now realized we have something special,” Schuylerville coach Dave Gauci said. “Not too late in the season, we figured things out and I think they believed that they work well together. They wanted this, they were focused and I’m proud of them. I’m glad the season is going on.”
Ian Winchell staked Schuylerville to an early lead with a blast to the far-right corner of the net in the game’s sixth minute to give the Black Horses the lead and a big emotional lift.
Zach Saddlemire pushed the lead to 2-0 with 13:15 left in the first half with a shot through a crowd that found its way into the net to give the Black Horses a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
Ichabod Crane picked up its pace in the second half and finally cracked the scoreboard in the 76th minute on Logan Groat’s goal but the Riders were facing a determined Schuylerville team and the clock as time wore down.
“I have to give credit to Schuylerville, they worked hard non-stop, very physical team but physical in the right way,” Ichabod Crane coach Mike Young said. “I really want to compliment them on a good game plan. We talked at halftime that we had 40 minutes left to work. We’ve been in this spot (trailing) a few times this year. It’s always worked out but this time the first goal came a little later.”