Brian Bold blinked once, then blinked again.
That quicky, his Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Spartans had a two-goal lead over Jamesville-DeWitt in Tuesday night’s Class A regional girls’ soccer game.
“In 17 years of coaching, I’ve never had that luxury,” he said after Morgan Burchhardt and Jess Lyden scored in the first 62 seconds of what would be a 3-0 win. “It was phenomenal. There was a lot of time left. We knew that. To be up two goals in the first two minutes is a blessing.
“To have the opposing team have to dig the ball out of their own net twice in the first two minutes, you can’t ask for more.’
Next up for the 15-4-0 Spartans is a Saturday regional final here at 5 p.m. against Section X champ Malone, which had a bye.
Burchhardt stunned the Section III champions by easily beating Rams’ goalkeeper Abby Smith to a long ball played into the box on the Spartans’ first penetration into the J-D zone. The sophomore’s speed gave her an open shot, and she didn’t miss.
“I saw the goalkeeper come out, and knew I could beat her to the ball,” said Burchhardt. “Then I just had an open shot at the goal.”
That was after just 39 seconds of play.
Lyden doubled the Spartans’ lead the next time the ball crossed midfield, firing a shot high into the Jamesville-DeWitt net.
“It was a great start,” said Burchhardt. “I never thought we’d be up, 2-0, that fast.”
The Rams tried to get back into the game with a short-passing attack, but Burnt Hills pressed all over the field, trying to disrupt any J-D offense.
“Unbelievable, I never imagined a start like that,” said senior Nicole Shively. “And they were a good team. Those first two goals in the first two minutes. That was ridiculous.
“When Morgan scored, I was thinking, ‘Just get more.’ Jess’s goal was icing — actually the third goal was.”
Bold let his players ride the emotion into the break, before reminding them that their job was only half done.
“I wanted to let them build on that [excitement] in the first half, and at halftime the kids were talking about it,” he said. “They knew if we gave one up, they get back in it. We talked about getting that third goal.”
Burnt Hills turned in its usual strong defensive game as it played at the regional level for the seventh consecutive year.
“They have three exceptional players, but my hat’s off to my back four and [goalie] Florie Comley,” said Bold of seniors Shively, Kaita Albanese, Chloe Hay and sophomore Michaela Hitt. “Chloe played a phenomenal game tonight.
“We were composed, organized, we communicated, and when Florie needed to catch the ball, she caught the ball.”
Skye Kaler provided the third goal, connecting at the far post after Burchhardt drove a corner kick from the right side.
“That Morgan-to-Skye combination off corner kicks has been our bread and butter all year long,” said Bold. “Skye rises above the ball. She’s not the biggest kid, but she times it so well. And Morgan puts the ball on a dime from the corner.”
Bold was also pleased that Burchhardt played a big role in the win after struggling a bit in the sectional final against South Glens Falls.
“The thing about Morgan is, even when she’s not playing her best game, she’s explosive, and she can be dangerous at any time. A touch of a ball can change the game. She’s that kind of a player.
“To be honest, when that ball got played through, I didn’t think she was going to get on the end of it.”
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: High School Sports