LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. — The Little Falls Mounties got their offense going in the first half Tuesday and moved through the quarterfinals of Section III’s Class C playoffs with a 2-0 shutout of Canastota at Veterans Memorial Park.
Sydney McCarthy and sara Kotary scored goals before halftime, matching the team’s offensive output from its previous eight games, and the Mounties earned a trip to Rome for a Saturday afternoon semifinal against Holland Patent. Little Falls and Holland Patent did not meet during the regular season.
“Team, team, team,” Little Falls coach Monica Tooley emphasized following the game. “Teamwork won it. This was a great team game.”
The third-seeded Mounties (8-6-2) started the year 6-1-0 but scored two goals during a 1-5-2 stretch to finish the regular season.
“They’ve been doing the right things,” Tooley said. “They just needed to know that so they didn’t fall into doing the wrong things.”
The Mounties struck early against Canastota (6-10-1). McCarthy got the ball from Laura Wind inside the Raiders’ circle and scored just under eight minutes into the contest. Kotary book-ended that goal with one of her own late in the half, scoring with an assist from Teddi Fallis 3:57 before halftime.
“They felt good and they were confident about the way they were playing,” Tooley said of her halftime meeting with the Mounties. “They were talking at halftime; it wasn’t just (the coaches) talking.
“They were completely in tune with each other.”
Senior goalie Kristi Torres made all five of her saves in the first half as Little Falls outshot the raiders 9-7 and recorded their sixth shutout of the season.
Defender Sam Dewan contributed a key defensive play late in the first half for the Mounties. The ball got behind Torres in the Little Falls circle and Dewan, positioned on the goal line, was able to stop and clear it from the crease without letting the ball enter the cage.
The Mounties also had seven corners to Canastota’s six, including a 4-2 edge in the second half.
Goalies Grace Campbell and Nicole Delaney each played one half for Canastota and made one save.
In Tuesday’s other semifinals, Holland Patent defeated Sherburne-Earlville 4-1 and Port Byron shut out Clinton 3-0. Little Falls meets Holland Patent, the No. 2 seed, in Saturday’s 4 p.m. game at Rome’s RFA Stadium. Port Byron plays at Fayetteville-Manlius High School Sunday against Cazenovia, the No. 1 seed and defending champion.
Little Falls and Holland Patent swapped quarterfinal opponents after the initial brackets were released Sunday. A correction to Canastota’s record gave the Raiders the same overall mark as Sherburne-Earlville and Canastota moved up one seed on the strength of its record in league play.