GLOVERSVILLE — Brian Henry took another step towards his latest coaching milestone Thursday.
The Broadalbin-Perth boys’ soccer head coach has multiple Foothills Council titles and a 2011 state championship over his 17 seasons leading the Patriots. Now, after a 3-0 win at Gloversville, he sits on the cusp of 200 career victories.
“It’s certainly not about me. It’s a tribute to all the other teams,” Henry said. “It’s nice that I’m hopeful that we can get it on Saturday, and having these guys do it would be really nice. But, let’s face it, it’s all the teams back from 2002 to 2021 now that made this happen.”
Henry also credited the campus where he had just picked up win No. 199. A Gloversville graduate, he said a lot has changed since his day, but the school is the same and many great memories rush back when he returns.
He also got his coaching career started with the Dragons as an assistant to his varsity coach, Jim Flint. His assistant coach, Jason Hillabrandt, was a long-time coach on the other sideline before joining the Patriots. Henry said his staff are Patriots, but they’ve got some Dragon blood still running through them.
“I am who I am today as a soccer coach because of the soccer player I was here at Gloversville and the training I got here at Gloversville,” he said.
Broadalbin-Perth (5-2) would have been chasing history on Thursday if not for a 4-0 home loss to Scotia-Glenville on Tuesday. Henry said his team “laid an egg,” and that was a focal point of practice Wednesday heading into a tough matchup with the Dragons (2-2).
He was pleased with how his team played from the start.
“We possessed the ball very, very well. We were aggressive when we needed to be aggressive, and we scored some nice goals,” he said. “So, it was a nice rebound for us and what made me happy was our effort because we didn’t have much of it the other day.”
The Patriots commanded play through the middle of the field, limiting Gloversville to shots from tough angles and free kicks from distance.
Senior captain Cam Polikowski coordinated the defensive effort from a center defensive midfield position. He said they knew the dangers of letting the Dragons get the ball into central midfield often and keyed on them from the beginning.
“It was more about not letting these kids have time in the middle to play the floodgates,” Polikowski said. “We just didn’t want them getting time and space and then playing outside balls leading to crosses. I mean, they’re good in the air, so we didn’t want that at all. I thought we did a great job of that today.”
Broadalbin-Perth’s possession control kept the ball in their final third early and often, but shots on frame did not materialize into a lead until nearly halftime when the ball fell to Nick Bianco at the right post. His first effort was blocked by Dragons keeper Justin Kemmet, but Bianco got a second chance that he slotted home.
“It was pretty good,” Bianco said. “It was pretty lucky, too, because it bounced back to me and I finished it.
“It was really important because we got the momentum going into the second half.”
Bianco slid home his second of the game just before the water break midway through the second half on a well-paced feed from Carter Iannotti. Then, it was Sam Rogers, who had a match-high eight shots on goal, that blasted an insurance goal past Kemmet with roughly 10 to play.
Kemmet had 10 saves for the Dragons, while Ian Schwartz had three for the Patriots in his first start in net of the season.
Broadalbin-Perth now goes for Henry’s 200th win on Saturday at Johnstown. Polikowski described his head coach as always there, always working, just committed. The biology teacher, who also teaches a Star Wars course as a senior elective, is dedicated to his team.
“I have class with him, always talking about soccer,” the senior leader said. “He’ll call me in, text us all the time, call us. We have meetings, even if it’s not in the middle of practice, we’re always talking to him about soccer. The man’s dedication is ungodly. He’s always here.”
Halftime score: Broadalbin-Perth 1, Gloversville 0. Broadalbin-Perth scoring: N. Bianco 2-0, S. Rogers 1-1, Iannotti 0-1, A. D’aniello 0-1. Gloversville scoring: None. Goalies: Broadalbin-Perth, Schwartz, 3 saves. Gloversville, Kemmet, 10 saves.