Near that same spot early in the second half, Chelsea Bowers tripped up Guilderland’s Laurie Knapp, but it took place just inside the 18-yard box, and a penalty kick was whistled. Emily Center converted it, and Liverpool trailed 2-0.
“It’s a tough call, and it’s frustrating,” said McGrane, who pointed out that Sharpe also got tripped in that same area on the other end of the field, but it only led to a free kick, which the Lady Dutch stopped.
Unable to do anything in its 3-4-3 alignment, Liverpool took more chances as regulation time ran low, and it paid off when Emma Geyer, from 25 yards out, ripped in a goal with 10:06 left, cutting Guilderland’s margin to one.
Fired up by that goal, the Warriors went all-out and got multiple chances to tie it. Twice, Sharpe had good shots on the right side, but hit them right to Cubello, and other times the Lady Dutch kicked it away just in time, hanging on and advancing to its first-ever state Class AA final four this weekend at SUNY-Cortland.
While Liverpool was sad about the defeat, McGrane said it could still take a lot of pride from the fact that it overcame a brutal 0-4 start to win 14 of its last 16 games and repeated its sectional title, even if a trip to Cortland proved elusive at the end.
“We have nothing to hang our heads about,” he said. “We had a tremendous season.”