NISKAYUNA — Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake field hockey coach Kelly Vrooman reminded her team of some tough issues the Spartans had been involved in at Niskayuna prior to Wednesday’s contest there.
The game that ensued wasn’t another one of those.
“Niskayuna has been very difficult for us in the past,” Vrooman said. “I knew that coming in. I told my team, ‘Let’s score some early goals so we can get some kids in there that are going to play next year.’ ”
Burnt Hills scored a goal in each of the first two quarters, and put the Suburban Council game away with a three-goal third that was part of a 6-0 victory.
Senior Isabel Adams led the charge with four goals, doubling her previous varsity best. Juniors Molly Pochobradsky and Jocelyn Hild, who will be among the leaders next year when the Spartans hope they’ll get a chance to go after their ninth straight Section II Class B title, both had a goal and an assist. Section II announced last month that it would not be sponsoring championships this shortened fall season and would be placing an emphasis on league play.
“I’m happy with the way the team kept up the intensity,” said Adams, a Cortland-bound forward. “We kept getting better each quarter.”
While Burnt Hills controlled the action in its season-starting 1-0 win at Saratoga Springs Friday night, it did that to an even greater extent at Niskayuna.
Niskayuna is a rebuilding team, with only four seniors on its roster and two returning starters from a year ago.
“We set a goal for each quarter and try to accomplish that,” said Adams, one of eight seniors on the Burnt Hills roster. “Like get a certain amount of corners or a certain amount of goals, or not let the ball get into our [defensive] half.”
Niskayuna rarely did that, and picked up its only penalty corner in the third quarter after Burnt Hills had built a 4-0 advantage.
“Sometimes we just teeter out after we build a pretty good lead. It’s easy to do,” Vrooman. “Today, we stayed hungry.”
Adams scored off a rebound in the first quarter, knocked in her second goal in the second frame, and sandwiched her last two around a Pochobradsky tally in the third quarter. Hild capped the scoring in the last quarter.
“It’s exciting,” Adams said of her four goals. “You have to keep working hard even when you’re tired.”
“She knew where to place the ball,” Niskayuna coach Alison Camarota said of Adams. “She’s a very good player. She’s a powerhouse.”
Burnt Hills earned 27 penalty corners and cashed in three times on goals by Adams.
“She [Vrooman] is going to want us to score more on penalty corners,” Adams said. “We’re working on it. It’s getting there.”
Niskayuna’s inexperienced cast, which included speedy sophomore Adelyn Farrell, aggressively charged out of the cage on those numerous corners to battle the Spartans.
“They definitely give their best,” Camarota said. “No matter how the situation is going, they stick together and don’t give up, but at the same time, we need to work on fundamentals and being confident with the ball.”
Niskayuna gained its only penalty corner on an offensive infraction by Burnt Hills, and wasn’t able to muster a shot on goal.
“That’s two games in a row where there were no penalty corners allowed by our defense,” Vrooman said.
Senior Paige Thowe was Burnt Hills’ fourth multi-point player with a pair of assists.
Burnt Hills 1 1 3 1 — 6
Niskayuna 0 0 0 0 — 0
Burnt Hills scoring: Adams 4-0, M. Pochobradsky 1-1, Hild 1-1, Thowe 0-2, Landry 0-1, H. Pochobradsky 0-1. Niskayuna scoring: Nine. Goalkeepers: Burnt Hills, Matson, 0 saves; Jensen, 0 saves. Niskayuna, Wilson, 7 saves.
Reach Jim Schiltz at [email protected] or
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