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Postgame: Friends Academy shares Class C title

Not everything can make it into the paper. Here are the additional quotes from after Sunday's Class C state final between Friends Academy and Hoosick Falls, which ended in a scoreless tie and the teams were named co-champions.

Friends Academy coach Gail Baker:

On how it feels to win a state title:

This is a really special moment. It’s very emotional. It’s somewhat bitter sweet having the co-championship. I know the girls have mixed feelings about that. I have to say we fought to the end. We had many opportunities at the beginning.

On not being able to score:

I want to give them a lot of credit for sticking it out. Coming out strong the second half. Their goalie really kept them in that game. I thought there were many goals that were so close that we could have poked in that she deflated and did a fine job.

On whether Iordanou had a concussion:

It wasn’t a concussion. The doctor looked at her. We felt that to take precautions, as a coach I’m not a ‘win at all costs.’ I think you still preserve the dignity of your players. I’d like to win it but you’ve got to take care of your players. We made a decision collectively that it was best for her to sit out. She got us here. She’s been a fine player for us. She’s a nationally-ranked player. She had tears in her eyes but we felt it was best to keep her on the side.

On what she thought when Iordanou went down:

First thing is, who am I going to sub in quick on the fly. You hope for girls to be healthy in this kind of competition it’s the highest level you’ll compete at.

On the defense:

I believe in my players. Sophia, we put her on No. 18. We had Marissa Tidona marking No. 10. She denied her the ball. She did what she was supposed to. She’s a tenacious player. She has been the heart and soul of our defense. We have a collective group of girls that have been amazing in the back.

On missed chances:

I think in my heart I’m saying ‘here we are knocking at it all day long’ but there are four goals that hit the post. I knew it would be very important for us to strike early and keep that momentum going. Of course fatigue will set in for either team if you’re going into overtime. I’m somewhat disappointed that we weren’t able to capitalize but I know each girl played their heart out and sometimes that’s what sports are about.

On what it says about Friends to dominate against state competition:

We dominated this class. I think it proves to our league and our class that Friends Academy is on the page now. We’re somebody to reckon with. We built this program up. There’s a lot of good feelings on this team. We never changed or compromised what we were as a team. We knew who to mark, who to shut down. I can’t ask from my team as individuals. Those opportunities were there for us we just didn’t completely capitalize. It’s such a wonderful feeling to go back home with all the support of our fans to bring back the first state championship as a girls sport.

On the adjustments made to mark Mckee after she moved up field:

When they moved her up we made some changes with our players. I think it threw our players off a little bit. We switched the mark, I think we shut her down for the most part. The girls that had to stop their key players really did a good job. It didn’t pose a big threat to us I think it got us a little bit off our rhythm.

Sophia Toles:

On winning a state title:

It feels good. I feel like we could have scored, make it more official but I think we earned it and we played as hard as we could.

On marking Jordyn Haynes:

No one usually gets past me. I don’t want to sound cocky but, she was little. She got frustrated easily. She started crying towards the middle of the game. [I tried to] keep her towards the outside because when she cut in she had me beat.

On missed chances to score:

I’m thinking our team should score and get any shot off that they could. I’ve gotten frustrated with them before so I tried to stay as composed as possible and stay quiet, When I get loud I’m kind of negative and I tried to help them by staying composed and quiet.

Krystina Iordanou:

On winning state:

It’s a surreal moment obviously you don’t want to be the co-champions but in our school we never won a state championship in any girl sport so this is something that we’re going to cherish. Going home with that plaque is a great thing for our school.

On missed chances:

Definitely we had many opportunities. That’s the game of soccer. Things go both ways. You’re always going to have regrets. Coming out as a champion I still think we went out there, tried our best. They’re a great team. I know they’ve won previously. We’ve never been to states.

On her collision:

It’s still a little hazy to me. I’m pretty sure I was running with the ball and I didn’t know she was going to come at me, once she came in my neck locked and I blacked out for a second. I’ve had concussions before. Last year we lost in regionals I got a concussion with the last two minutes left. I wish I could have gotten back in the game. The referee wants to make sure we’re all healthy. I wasn’t feeling fine but with the emotions, you want to get back in that game and play for your team. I have so much confidence in these girls. I knew they were going to fight for me, fight for the school and that’s what they did.

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