Warren County

Burnt Hills defends Class B field hockey title

Eight in a row for Spartans
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake won its eighth straight Class B field hockey title Sunday.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake won its eighth straight Class B field hockey title Sunday.

GLENS FALLS — When Queensbury got busy in the second half of Sunday’s Section II Class B field hockey final, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake got a little bit tougher.

“The game changed,” Burnt Hills coach Kelly Vrooman said. “Queensbury picked it up a notch. We saw more physicality.”

Burnt Hills also saw its shutout extended for 30 more minutes in a 2-0 win on the Glens Falls turf that left the Spartans with eight straight championships.

Juniors Lianna Sullivan and Paige Thowe scored first-half goals, and juniors Senja Matson and Erin McClernan anchored the defense in the second half as Burnt Hills recorded the sixth title-game shutout during its eight-year area reign.

“Erin saved a lot of balls from getting to Senja,” Vrooman said. “I think Erin and Senja were our second-half stars.”

Matson made five of her eight saves in the second half, and posted her second shutout in three postseason games. She preferred to talk up her teammates rather than herself, though Sunday’s sterling effort was just one of many she’s delivered this fall.

“As soon as they [Queensbury] started to come down, all of them [Burnt Hills defenders] were thinking the same thing, ‘Gotta’ stop to the ball.'” Matson said. “They all did a great job in front of me.”

Burnt Hills (No. 2 seed, 16-3) had a lead to protect after Sullivan’s goal just 2:39 into the contest. Thowe doubled it 9:19 into the game. Junior Hanna Pochobradsky assisted on both of those tallies.

“Even though we watched film and felt we were prepared, I think the whole team was really nervous in the beginning,” Matson said after logging her 14th shutout. “When we got that first goal, that was good for our confidence. It was, ‘We’re good now.'”

Burnt Hills set the Section II record for consecutive title games won last year when it beat South Glens Falls 3-0 for its seventh in a row. In 2017 when Burnt Hills beat Queensbury 4-2, it tied the record of six straight, a feat also accomplished by Germantown (1982-87) and Hoosick Falls (1986-91).

“This whole thing is a team effort,” Matson said of Burnt Hills extending its title streak.

Queensbury (No. 1, 14-4) defeated Scotia-Glenville 4-0 before losing to Burnt Hills, and was denied its first title since 2005.

A winner of nine consecutive games, Burnt Hills will play Section III’s Holland Patent in a sub-regional Wednesday at Gloversville at 4 p.m. Holland Patent beat East Syracuse-Minoa 4-0 Sunday.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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