DRYDEN — Willa Pratt scored the first and only goal for the New Hartford girls soccer team in a 3-1 loss to Section I’s Albertus Magnus in the New York State Class A championship game at Tompkins Cortland Community College on Sunday.
The Section III Class A champions had also ended their 59-game unbeaten streak.
“You don’t win forever,” New Hartford head coach Frank DuRoss Jr. said of the end of the historic series. “It’s got to end at some point. This team hasn’t lost a game in three years and I’m so proud of them for doing it. It’s an incredible achievement. They should hold their heads high. They did.” Done amazing things for our program.”
To maintain that streak, the Spartans defeated Section X’s Spencerport on penalties in Saturday’s Class A state semifinals.
“It’s been a tough 24 hours,” DuRoss Jr. said after the game. “It was physically demanding going all the way into overtime and then into the PKs. The girls that were out there on the field, our starters, played pretty much the whole game. Winning on penalties yesterday was exciting, but it was really hard.”
DuRoss said his team came into Sunday’s game quite exhausted, but the Spartans moved the ball well early in the first half, which set up Pratt’s goal.
“We started to connect well, which we tried. We tried to make the ball do a lot of work and move the ball. Then when we added a little more pressure, we got away from a little bit and the Girls just didn’t have the strength to pace up and down the field like they’ve been doing all season.”
The goal came about 26 minutes before the end of the first half. Pratt was fouled while dribbling the ball around the top of the box and was awarded a free kick. She kicked the ball and it bounced off the wall that Albertus Magnus had put up and found the back of the net.
The lead was short-lived as the Falcons scored the first of two first-half goals and the first of three unanswered goals.
Gabby Chan drove the ball into the New Hartford zone. Spartan goalkeeper Savannah Cole came out of the box to try and catch the ball, but she missed and Chan slid behind and placed the ball in the back of the net to level the game.
Albertus Magnus made it 2-1 just under seven minutes from time in the first half when Ashley McMahon struck in front of the net from Chan. That score stood until halftime.
In the second half, the Falcons dominated possession time, keeping the ball in the New Hartford zone for most of the 40 minutes. Eleven minutes before the end, they scored the third and final goal. Isabel DePrima beat Cole to give the Falcons the two-goal cushion and win.
Seniors who played their last game in a New Hartford uniform were: Pratt, Cole, Erin Cahill, Biddie Clive, Meghan Kolb, Anna Rayhill, Mia Roberts, Talia Vitullo and Alexandra Volo.
Speaking of the senior group, DuRoss said, “This core group of seniors started this series three years ago. This is the first game many of them have lost in high school football. They’re driven, they’re intense and they give it their all, every single game. They have truly cemented our program with a reputation and a history that we can continue to build on in the future.”
New Hartford ends the season with a 21-1-1 record.