WATERFORD — No. 5 Chatham traveled to No. 4 Waterford on Saturday in what would become an instant classic.
The Fordians escaped with a 1-0 victory over the Panthers in a Class C quarterfinal game.
Chatham came out hard and put pressure on the Fordians, winning the midfield battle and pushing the pace of play. Waterford was able to shut down the panther attack and spring their own attacks with their quick midfield and striker up top.
The game was back and forth and at a frantic pace, truly an experience for all the spectators. Waterford’s Josh Catanzarita was a handful all night long but the panther senior backline of Brycen Haner, Evan Groom, Ben Halpin and Ethan Narofsky did a fantastic job covering and neutralizing his opportunities.
About halfway through the 1st half, Chatham’s Tobias Jeralds received the ball outside the 18, created some space, and placed a great ball far post upper corner that Waterford keeper Alex Roy stretched for and miraculously tipped off the crossbar and over. It was one of many game saving moments from the freshman Waterford keeper. Another shot by Chatham would also hit off the top corner and out during the half.
With 8 minutes to go in the half, Catanzarita broke through and was run down by the Chatham backline but was able to get through and charging Panther keeper John Wisseman came out and made a save but it bobbled in the box, resulting in all 4 Chatham defenders, Catanzarita, and keeper Wisseman, scrambling trying to gain possession. Somehow the ball popped out of the scrum and Catanzarita found his footing, and the ball, and put it in the net. 1-0 at half.
The second half continued to be a back and forth affair with Chatham having the better run of play and creating chaos in the Fordian 18 and earning corner kicks. In what appeared to be the tying goal, Chatham’s Miguel Casarrubias was able to rip a shot from 8 yards out that once again was miraculously saved by Roy with a full extension dive.
Waterford would hold on and pull out the 1-0 win and move onto the Class C semifinals.
Emotions were real for the Chatham Panthers who followed up back to back 1 win seasons with a 10 win campaign this year and a great effort in the quarterfinals.
“A big congratulations to them and all the hard work they put in this season,” Chatham coach Aaron Willis said of his team. “Congrats to Waterford and good luck the rest of the way.”
Holy Names 3, Greenville 1
GREENVILLE — Patroon Conference champion Greenville’s quest for a Section II title ended on Saturday with a 3-1 loss to Holy Names in a Class B quarterfinal game.
Ella Grupe scored the Spartans’ lone goal.
Susie Smith, Morgan Brewer and Anna Nichols all had one goal for Holy Names.
Greenville goalkeeper Josie O’Hare turned away 14 shots. Sofia Pantoja had eight saves for Holy Names.
Maple Hill 3, Cambridge 1
CASTLETON — Three players reached the back of the net for No. 3 Maple Hill as the Wildcats defeated No. 14 Cambridge, 3-1, in a Class C girls soccer tournament opening round game on Saturday.
Alayna Fletcher had a goal and two assists for Maple Hill. Haylee Spar and Rachel Frazier each had a goal and Finley Pearsall had an assist.
Samantha Crandall scored for Cambridge with an assist from Maizie Steele.
Wildcats goalkeeper Abby Szklenka had five saves. Cambridge’s Rochelle Daniels also stopped five shots.
Maple Hill hosts No. 6 Hoosick Falls on Tuesday at 3 p.m.