BURNT HILLS — Rhyan Lorenc went into Saturday’s soccer game against Colonie with the idea of helping his Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake team score some goals.
He never envisioned the key role he’d play in stopping the Garnet Raiders from doing the same thing.
“I was kind of nervous when I went in,” said the Spartans’ reserve goalkeeper. “In practice, it’s fine playing with your teammates. This was different. I had to make my team proud.”
Called on in the opening half after a collision took out starting goalie Ryan Clute, Lorenc gave up nothing in a 0-0 Suburban Council draw that left both teams unbeaten through three games.
Lorenc had seen action as an outside midfielder in Burnt Hills’ first two contests, but not a moment as its last-line defender.
“I expected to play the field today,” the junior said.
Lorenc made six saves and also caught a few breaks, with Colonie drives nailing the crossbar late in the first half and early in the second.
“Our overall play was really good,” Colonie coach Tony Greene said. “We attacked really good. We defended well. We just couldn’t put the ball in the cage.”
Lorenc’s biggest save came with 11:30 left on a close-range, on-on-one attempt by Stilian Mile. Mile had an opening left or right, but fired straight waist-high, and Lorenc sucked the ball in.
“Stilian came down and it got away from him off his foot,” Greene said.
“It felt good,” Lorenc said of his clutch stop. “It was coming down to the end. It felt good to get it in my arms.”
Clute made his only save just before he collided with Colonie’s Franklin Emuchay on a corner kick play soon after the first-half, 20-minute mask break. Clute was kept out as a precaution, and Lorenc threw his gray goalie shirt on over his maroon and black jersey and joined the fray.
“He stepped up really big for us,” Burnt Hills coach Adam Cohen said of the first-year varsity player. “He was cool under pressure. He was all business.”
“It feels good,” Lorenc said. “I didn’t let anything in. That’s what I was hoping for.”
Though outplayed for the most part, Burnt Hills, the 2019 Section II Class A champion, had an opportunity to grab a victory in the final minute when it took two corner kicks. Colonie goalkeeper Tyler Schwank, who made two saves in the game, stopped the second of those amid a pack of players.
“I thought we controlled the game,” Greene said. “At the end we held strong.”
The Suburban Council opted this fall season not to conduct overtime when games were tied after regulation.
Colonie opened its season with a 1-0 win against Averill Park and a 2-0 victory over Columbia. Saturday’s game was the first of a back-to-back against 2019 Section II titlists, with last year’s Class AA winner, Shenendehowa, on Tuesday’s agenda.
“This was our third straight shutout,” Greene said. “We’ll try to build off this.”
Burnt Hills tied Saratoga Springs 1-1 and beat Troy 4-1 before Saturday.
“We weren’t playing our game as much as we needed to,” Cohen said.
Colonie 0 0 — 0
Burnt Hills 0 0 — 0
Colonie scoring: None. Burnt Hills scoring: None. Goalkeepers: Colonie, Schwank, 1 save. Burnt Hills, Clute, 2 saves; Lorenc, 6 saves.
Reach Jim Schiltz at [email protected] or
@jim_schiltz on Twitter.