QUEENSBURY — When the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls’ lacrosse team dropped the ball Monday night, Queensbury was there to pick it up.
Queensbury earned its third straight Section II Class B title with a 17-11 win on its home field, handing Burnt Hills just its second loss this season — both at the hands of Queensbury.
“It really just came down to little mistakes that we made today, and they capitalized on all of them,” Burnt Hills coach Katie Kerner said. “Take out five or six turnovers that we had; it could have been a different game.”
A month ago, Queensbury defeated Burnt Hills 13-11 in a non-league, back-and-forth affair. In the title game Monday, Queensbury opened with four unanswered goals, first from tallies by Meredith Montgomery and Brigid Ann Duffy before Meghan Chase found the back of the net twice in the first six minutes.
“We’re typically a slow-start team, and that was one of the emphasis’ today — let’s not start slow today, let’s hammer right away and get on top of it very quickly,” Queensbury coach David Huth said.
Burnt Hills stopped the run with Isabel Adams’ first goal of the game nine minutes in.
“One of the lessons we learned, especially from playing them last time, was that you can’t go down on a 5-0 run against a team that is as talented as they are,” Kerner said.
In the championship loss, Burnt Hills only scored consecutive goals on two occasions. Meanwhile, Queensbury scored at least two consecutive goals on five separate occasions.
“It seems like we were having those bad plays at just the wrong times,” said Kerner, whose club received a team-high four goals from MK Lescault. “We would get momentum, and they would score one right back and pick up on a play that we messed up on.”
A strength for Queensbury is its quick, speedy transition game. Its ability to create those fast breaks from ground balls was highlighted Monday.
“Bridgid Duffy is really good at ground balls; she’s really after every ball,” Queensbury senior Katie Johnson said. “Kelsey [Zehr] is there any time the ball hits the ground. . . . They did a really good job capitalizing on that and we’re good at fast breaks, so making something out of that was really important.”
Duffy led Queensbury with five goals in the title game, while Montgomery and Chase each had three goals.
After winning championships in 2018 and 2019, Queensbury needed to wait until this year to chase after its third consecutive championships since all spring sports in New York were canceled last year because of restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“There were nine seniors from last year and they all made such an impact on our program,” Johnson said. “Last year would have been one of our best seasons in program history. They were in our hearts, so we wanted to play for them the whole game.”
Kerner, who graduated from Shenendehowa in 2015 and won a national championship while playing at Le Moyne, had her first season coaching Burnt Hills not include any games last year because of the pandemic. This season’s club put together an 11-0 Suburban Council season and made a run to the championship game, both accomplishments that Kerner wants her program to build off.
“Anytime you have a ceremony at the end of the game and you’re the losing team, that picture stays painted in your head. It’s going to motivate them,” Kerner said. “We have more time to work together as a unit and we’ll take advantage of the time we have. We graduate a big senior class [eight players] with some talent in there, but our underclassmen have a lot of talent, too. We’ll be good.”
Halftime score: Queensbury led 8-5. Burnt Hills scoring: Adams 2-0, Lescault 4-0, Biesi 2-0, Connally 2-0, Fizgerald 1-0. Queensbury scoring: Montgomery 3-0, Duffy 5-0, Chase 3-0, Johnson 2-0, Ballard 2-0, Barton 1-0, Donohue 1-0. Goalies: Burnt Hills, Morrison, 6 saves. Queensbury, Bauer, 7 saves.