Beltrami, defense key Crusader state win

Gabriella Beltrami loves soccer.

Beltrami plays the sport year round. Monroe-Woodbury’s senior goalie puts in a lot of work stopping penalty kicks.

Beltrami’s dedication and hard work paid off as she saved three of John Jay-East Fishkill’s five penalty kicks to help Monroe-Woodbury win the shootout 3-2 and advance to its second straight state Class AA quarterfinal.

Monroe-Woodbury celebrated the win in a game, which finished close to 11 p.m. at Tappan Zee High School.

“I have an amazing four defenders in front of me,” Beltrami said. “I can’t do it without”

Senior Jacqueline Smith and juniors Katie Benson, Sydney Harwood and Willow Duffell helped keep John Jay-East Fishkill off the scoreboard in regulation and 30 minutes of overtime.

Lost count of how many balls in the air that Harwood won. Smith impressed with some solid marking. Benson and Duffell were solid.

Monroe-Woodbury is now 17-3. Fourteen of those wins are shutouts.

Coach Leslie Ahlborn probably would never use the word, “rebuilding” but after losing eight seniors off of last year’s state quarterfinalist team, Monroe-Woodbury was pretty much a brand new team this season. Getting to the state tournament was a good accomplishment.

Now, the Crusaders are one win away from the final four. Only Corning-Painted Post stands in Monroe-Woodbury’s way Saturday afternoon in Johnson City.

VIDEO: Monroe-Woodbury goalie Gabriella Beltrami talks about her incredible performance in shootout.

Beltrami makes one of her three saves in the shootout.



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