Fort Ann rallies for win over Northville

COLONIE – Having combined to win the last five Section II Class D titles, the Northville and Fort Ann boys soccer teams found themselves in familiar territory Saturday.

For the second straight year, the Falcons and Cardinals met to decide the Class D crown at Colonie High School on Saturday.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, this year’s result was much like last year’s result.

As they did a year ago, Northville grabbed an early 1-0 lead, only to have Fort Ann score a pair of unanswered goals to post a second straight 2-1 win over the Falcons in the title game.

“It was almost a repeat of last year’s game,” Northville coach Steve Clapper said. “Sometimes in sports that’s the way it is, and the ball doesn’t bounce your way.”

The title is the fourth straight Class D crown for Fort Ann, whose streak began after Northville won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.

“This is our fourth title in a row. That’s never happened in Fort Ann before,” Fort Ann coach Rich McCabe said.

Claiming their fourth straight title wasn’t any easy task for the Cardinals, who fell behind 1-0 with 17:13 left in the first half when Danny Reidell scored an unassisted goal to put the Falcons up 1-0.

Northville nearly struck again with 1:545 left in the half when a ball deflected off a Fort Ann defender after a shot and caromed just over the crossbar.

The Cardinals countered with plenty offensive pressure of their own, generating four straight corner kicks in the final 15 minutes of the first half.

Fort Ann nearly got the equalizer with 4:10 left in the opening half when Chris Jackson sent a shot toward goal that hit the right post.

As a result of the near-miss, Northville maintained its 1-0 lead into the half.

The lead was short-lived in the second half as the Cardinals knotted the game at 1-1 just 54 seconds in.

Nick Lehoisky scored on an assist from Jeremy Johnson and Seth Godfrey with 39:06 left in the game.

“We were happy to get that first one,” McCabe said. “It settled us down a little bit.”

The Falcons nearly got the lead back, but a point-blank save by Fort Ann keeper on Reidell with 35:01 left in the game kept the score 1-1.

Northville keeper Tim Monette answered with save on a shot in close from Fort Ann’s Tyler Gleason with 21:38 to play.

Will Wilson assisted Monette moments later when he cleared what would have been a goal off the goal line at the left post.

Lehoisky broke through for Fort Ann with 10:56 remaining, sending a pass from Jackson into the upper right corner of the goal for a 2-1 lead for the Cardinals.

The Falcons saw their best chance to tie the game come up just short when Kalob Russell crossed the ball to Wilson who sent his shot off the crossbar with 6:00 to play.

“I’m really proud of these guys and I’m proud of our seniors,” Clapper said. “AIl I ask is that they give it the best they have and they did that today.”

Gould finished with three saves for Fort Plain, while Tim Monette made nine stops for Northville.

“Northville is a great team. We seem to run into them every season,” McCabe said. “It means so much because we’ve got a history with them and they’ve got such a good program.”

Fort Ann also finished with a 21-7 advantage in shots.

“Fort Ann is a very big, aggressive team,” Clapper said. “They’re a good side and I wish them luck going forward.”

Fort Ann (18-1 overall) advances to state regional play with the victory.

“This is our fourth try at getting into the state tournament,” McCabe said. “Maybe the fourth time is the charm. We’ll see what happens. We just want to survive and advance.”

Northville finished its season with a 14-2-3 overall record.

“We’ll work hard to get back here next year,” Clapper said.