What better way for the Schalmont girls soccer team to end its 2011 season than to win its first state title?
Megan Strijek recorded her second conseuctive hat trick to lead the Sabres (23-0-0) past Section V's Greece Odyssey 4-0 in Sunday's Class B state final at Tompkins-Cortland Community College.
"It was a complete[ly] perfect season," said Strijek, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
"We had a really great weekend up at Cortland," said Schalmont coach Angelo Caschera. "The girls played well starting with my [goal]keeper all the way to my forwards."
Schalmont's run in the state tournament echoed its run to the Colonial Council and Section II titles. The Sabres scored goals in bunches, while the defense and goaltender Karley Murray kept the slate clean at the other end.
"It was definitely my defense," said Murray, a senior who joined the team this year having never played soccer before. "Without my defense, I would have definitely been out of luck."
"We have a lot of communication where we tell each other where we have to be on the field," added defender Isabella Borini.
Defending state champion Bronxville (Section I) tested Schalmont's defense in Saturday's state semifinal game, putting several shots on goal in the first 20 minutes of the first half. But, Murray stopped all of the shots to keep the game scoreless until Diana DiCocco put the Sabres ahead late in the opening half.
"She did a super job. She made some nice saves for us," said Caschera.
DiCocco's goal opened the flood gates for Schalmont against Bronxville. Strijek made the score 2-0 early in the second half off a feed from Rachael Gac and then tallied two more times to give the Sabres a 4-0 victory.
"Once we score our first goal, they just keep coming," said Murray.