Pearl River girls soccer set the goal of winning the section championship before the season started.
They earned the opportunty to play for one Tuesday, defeating Rye, 2-0, in the Section 1 Class A semifinals at home.
"Since Aug. 20, we've been talking about getting to the section final and winning the section final," Pearl River senior Marissa Scognamiglio said. "I'ts all we've wanted all season.
"For five years, we've wanted it, Amanda (DeCourcey) and me. And Casey (Walsh) since ninth grade. Every year we've gotten close and closer, but this year we finally get the chance to compete for a title."
The Pirates (16-1-2) will play Somers, the team they lost to by a score of 1-0 in the semifinals a year ago. The game is tentatively scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Somers, but the site could still change.
"The kids are fired up now, because we lost a heartbreaker to them last year," Pearl River Head Coach Tim Peabody said.
Casey Walsh scored off a loose ball to give the Pirates the lead in the first half, her third goal in the playoffs, beating a diving save attempt by Rye goalie Maddie Eck. Walsh also has three assists in the postseason.
"Any first goal is a big goal in a game like this," Rye Head Coach Rich Savage said. "It carries a lot of momentum. We started out with some good opportunities, but them scoring that goal, they got a momentum swing."
Pearl River had plenty of opportunities to add to the lead, but missed on some and Eck gobbled up the reast.
"Maddie Eck as a freshman in goal displayed a lot of composure and made some great saves for us," Savage said.
"We had so many opportunities, but we couldn't put them away," Scognamiglio said. "Then they'd come at us with a breakaway intransition and it would be scary."
Scognamglio helped to finally give the Pirates some breathing room with a crossing pass to set up a goal by Caitlin Noonan with 12:11 remaining in the game.
"We talked about getting an early cross loike Missy did to the far post, and to make sure we made far post runs," Peabody said. "Caitlin was so great today at not cutting too early. What was even better is she let the ball bounce. She didn't blast it. She just placed it in the net."
Peabody played Scognamiglio at forward rather than her normal spot in the center midfield.
"She has a very bad cold," Peabody said. "She couldn't run, so I moved her to foward hoping we could make some near-post runs. We didn't, but she opened up the game a lot and made some space, which was crucial in the second half."
In three playoff games, Pearl River has not given up a goal. The Pirates continued to get strong play from a young group in the back, including eighth grader Grace Moynihan in her first varsity start. She joined freshman Lauren Zimnoch, senior sweeper Megan Gallagher and senior stopper Kelly Guerci in front of freshman goalie Lauren Gallagher. Senior Julie Kuhn played significant minutes off the bench, with Pearl River employing five defenders at times.