HERKIMER, N.Y. – The Frankfort-Schuyler Maroon Knights have been Little Falls’ biggest obstacle in Division II play in the current Center State Conference alignment and they put up another good fight Thursday in a match the Mounties won 1-0 with a goal in the second overtime period at Herkimer College.
Little Falls has gone unbeaten in league play the last two seasons with a 2-2 tie with Frankfort-Schuyler in 2016 the only blemish on an 18-0-1 record dating back to the end of the 2015 season.
Playing a tight defensive game to counter the Little Falls attack, the Maroon Knights kept Thursday’s match scoreless until the ball found Gabby Sylstra near the right post and the sophomore scored at the 93:17 mark in the second 10-minute overtime period.
"When a team plays to tie against you, you’ve got to keep plugging away, keep shooting and trying to score," Little Falls coach Sal Marchese said.
Marchese’s squad did just that. The Mounties (3-2-0, 1-0-0 CSC-II) outshot the Maroon Knights (4-1-0, 1-1-0 CSC-II) 17-4 in their league opener and had their share of near misses, the nearest of which may have been freshman Olivia Lindsay’s rocket off the crossbar 20 seconds into the first extra period. Frankfort-Schuyler goalie Charlotte Rodio stood up to the challenge and kept the contest scoreless with 11 saves.
"Their keeper played well," Marchese said. "She made some nice saves."
Rodio’s closest calls included a jumping stop on Nicole Failing’s direct kick late in the first half, and a double clutch on a shot by Sylstra midway through the second. Failing also chipped a shot over the crossbar in the opening five minutes of the second half, and the Mounties put a header over the top on a corner kick with 2 ½ minutes left in regulation.
In the final minute of the first half, Gianna DeSarro sent a crossing shot along the ground wide of the left post for Frankfort-Schuyler.
Kylie Miles made three saves in the shutout for Little Falls.
"We played tough," first-year Frankfort-Schuyler coach Alyssa Upson said. "It was a good team effort. We played together."
The Mounties beat the Maroon Knights by the same 1-0 score at home early last season – also on a Sylstra goal, this one in the second half – and later beat them 5-0 and 6-0 in matches just over one week apart at the end of the regular season and early in the Section III playoffs. Two years ago, Little Falls scored three goals in the second half of one match that was tied at 1 at halftime, and the teams tied in their rematch in Frankfort.
Both teams are off for the weekend and return to action Monday when Little Falls plays at Dolgeville and Frankfort-Schuyler has a crossover match at home against Holland Patent.