Girls’ Sectional Soccer: Spartans turn back Tartans, 3-1 (with photo gallery)

If it’s numbers you like, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls’ soccer program has them. Six, as in c

If it’s numbers you like, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls’ soccer program has them.

Six, as in consecutive Class A championships.

Fifteen, as in total Section II championships.

The Spartans also seem to have Scotia-Glenville’s number, ending the Tartans’ season once again with a 3-1 victory in Wednesday’s Class A semifinal played at Stillwater High School.

“I think we’ve beaten Scotia either in the semis or finals the last six years,” said Burnt Hills coach Brian Bold, who will take a team to the sectional championship game for the seventh time in as many years as the team’s head coach when Burnt Hills plays South Glens Falls on Saturday. “It’s always a battle.”

Freshman Meghan Mal­one had two goals and sophomore Morgan Burchhhardt had the other, with senior Jess Lyden also very active all game as the Spartans continually put pressure on the Scotia defense.

“I think we have the best three front runners in Section II,” Bold said. “They work hard and get into good positions on the field.

“It’s made a difference this year. In past years, we’d win sectional games, 1-0. This year, we’re getting more goals.”

It looked as if goals were going to come in bunches early on, as the teams raced up and down the field, each offense trying to outnumber the opposing defense.

Malone’s high, looping shot put the top-seeded Spartans up 1:29 in, but Scotia pushed back, and was unlucky to not to have tied the the score or taken the lead.

“We were a little unorganized back there for a while,” said Bold, who watched nervously as the Tartans had three good chances in the next four minutes. Goalkeeper Florie Comley came up big on Scotia’s second chance, turning away a shot by Silvana Giovannone, the Tartans’ top scorer.

“Florie came up big, and then we kind of settled down,” said Bold.

“I like that we came out like that, but we couldn’t get a bounce to go our way,” said Scotia coach Lise Will­iams, after seeing her team’s season end at the hands of the Spartans again. “We always play them tough, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some other team.”

Burchhardt’s goal, coming off a great turn on the end line and cross from Malone, gave the 14-4-0 Spartans a 2-0 lead at the half.

Morgan Bailey got Scotia’s goal 12 minutes into the second half, but Malone snuffed out any comeback when she jumped on a misplayed ball in the Scotia defense and scored her team’s third goal.

“Coach always says to get a goal in the first 10 minutes, and we did that,” Malone said. “We knew they would fight back, and I think playing against Suburban Council teams all the time helps us.”

“We don’t see that kind of constant pressure, that intensity, every game,” said Giovannone of playing in the Foothills Council. “Burnt Hills pressures all the time.

“I think we were a little unlucky, because I thought we were going to get a goal early.”

Williams would like her team to experience first-hand the type of pressure Burnt Hills applies more often. in preparation for sectional play.

“I would love to be able to play two games against Suburban teams,” said Williams. “But since the state cut two games from our schedules a few years ago, they’re all full at 16 games.

“We need to see that style, that intensity, to get ready for it in the sectionals.”

Lansingburgh rallied late in the game from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime before falling to South Glens Falls, 4-3, in the other semi.

The Knights stunned the Foothills Council champs with an early goal, fell behind by one at the half and trailed, 3-1, with 13:57 to play in regulation.

After Meghan Strube’s goal made it a 3-2 game with 8:33 left, Knights coach John Cipperly moved goalkeeper Callie Moise to her regular spot at midfield. Moise, playing in goal because Carole Montanino suffered a knee injury in warmups prior to the quarterfinal, tied the game with 5:20 to go.

Taylor Volkman got the winner for South Glens Falls 2:05 into overtime.

“Callie had played goal for us the last couple of years, but she hadn’t played goal at all this year,” said Cipperly. “She came on and got the goal to send it to overtime, so I chose to keep her on the field in overtime. If we had scored first in overtime, I was going to put her back in goal. But we didn’t get that chance.”

The girls’ Class B semifinals are set for tonight, with unbeaten and top-seeded Schalmont taking on Cobleskill-Richmondville in the second game of two at Stillwater. Broadalbin-Perth plays defending champ Chatham in the 4:30 p.m. opener.

Categories: -Sports-, High School Sports

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