MOHAWK, N.Y. — A single goal in the 73rd minute of play gave the East Syracuse-Minoa Spartans a 1-0 win over Central Valley Academy in the Thunder’s Section III playoff debut.
The match was scoreless before Ashley Scalzo netted the only goal with 7:36 left on the second-half clock. Sarah Britton, who had put two tough shots on goal on free kicks earlier in the second half, rolled a lead pass between two defender and sent Scalzo in one-on-one against Central Valley Academy goalkeeper Taylor Moquin. Moquin charged out to challenge the attack at the edge of the penalty area but Scalzo was able to slip a shot past her as she crossed the 18-yard line.
Moquin, returning to action after missing five matches with a bone contusion and sprain in her foot, had made six saves in the match. She deflected one of Britton’s kicks wide of the left post midway through the second half and made a diving stop on another free kick from 25 yards out with 12 1/2 minutes left to play.
The Thunder (13-4-0), seeded second for its first Class A tournament, spent its share of the final seven minutes in the East Syracuse-Minoa end but was unable to put a tying shot on goal. Nicole Doolen had the best chance when she hit the football crossbar one minute after Scalzo scored.
Amanda Goodhines made six saves in the shutout for the Spartans (11-6-1).
East Syracuse-Minoa’s semifinal opponent will be Camden, the No. 3 seed and a shootout winner Thursday after playing New Hartford to a scoreless draw in overtime.