BURNT HILLS — One of last season’s Section II field hockey champions turned in a display of offensive execution and defensive might at the expense of another 2019 area title holder Monday night.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake parlayed three penalty corners into goals, and continued its streak of shutouts in a 3-0 Suburban Council win over Guilderland at Centennial Field.
Molly Pochobradsky scored in the second quarter for the 6-0 Spartans, Paige Thowe and Isabel Adams notched fourth-quarter goals, and Senja Matson made just one save behind the league’s stingiest defensive group.
“We have a lot of continuity,” said Burnt Hills coach Kelly Vrooman, whose cast features many key performers from the 2019 Section II Class B title. “The girls have been playing together for a long time.”
That showed in the matchup of champions, while Guilderland (3-3) and its revamped lineup dropped its second consecutive 3-0 game after Saturday’s setback at Shenendehowa.
“We’re still looking for solutions on the forward line,” said Guilderland coach Jen Sykes, who guided her team to the 2019 Section II Class A crown. “Our lack of experience playing in tournaments outside of the league [due to COVID restrictions] is kind of nipping us.”
Guilderland’s best stretch came in the third quarter when it was awarded three penalty corners in quick succession, but was denied on each of its bids by a Burnt Hills defensive group that has yet to allow a goal in regulation or overtime.
Shenendehowa is the only team to generate anything against Burnt Hills, and that came in a shootout a week ago when the Spartans took the round 3-1 and the contest by an official 1-0 score.
“I thought our girls did a great job back there again,” Vrooman said. “Our goalie had one save back there.”
At the opposite end Pochobradsky got Burnt Hills on the board with 6:04 left in the second quarter when she deflected home a drive from Jocelyn Hild near the left post.
“Jocelyn is very consistent with that,” Pochobradsky said of her junior classmate’s rip. “She took a great hit, and it might have gone in without me.”
Pochobradsky initiated the penalty corner with the insert pass to Hild near the top of the circle, and Pochobradsky quickly found her way to the post.
“It’s a new position for me,” Pochobradsky said of her job to find the post after hitting the ball in. “I have been trying to get that down. I’ve been working on it in practice.”
Thowe was near the right post when she scored, deflecting a drive by Lianna Sullivan with 4:49 left in the game. Adams also scored from near the right post, deflecting a drive by Hild with 2:24 to go.
“We’ve practiced them enough,” Vrooman said of the penalty corners her team cashed in on. “We should be finishing.”
“In the second quarter and third quarter we weren’t getting enough of what we wanted,” Pochobradsky said. “In the fourth quarter we wanted to get as many penalty corners and as much circle play as we could.”
While Burnt Hills extended its Section II Class B title run to eight years in 2019, Guilderland started slow and then came on strong as the season progressed in winning its first area championship.
“It’s going to take a little extra time for us. Just like last year,” Sykes said. “We’re not going to give up.”
Burnt Hills has a rematch with Shenendehowa (5-1) Wednesday which will impact the regular season league title as well as seeding for the league tournament.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Pochobradsky said. “I feel like we’re getting it together. We’re clicking.”
Guilderland 0 0 0 0 – 0
Burnt Hills 0 1 0 2 – 3
Guilderland scoring: None. Burnt Hills scoring: Pochobradsky 1-0, Hild 0-2, Thowe 1-0, Sullivan 0-1, Adams 1-0. Goalkeepers: Guilderland, Simeone, 10 saves. Burnt Hills, Matson, 1 save.