BURNT HILLS — As much as they’ve dominated Section II Class B field hockey — winning the last eight area championships — the Suburban Council regular-season title has rarely been a major goal for coach Kelly Vrooman’s Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake program.
It’s simply the reality for a Spartans squad that competes in a league filled with larger, Class A teams all regular season long.
This season, however, was different.
“You know, we’ve never had it [the league title] as our goal,” Vrooman said. “But, as it was getting closer and it looked a little bit possible, we started reaching for that goal.”
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, which fell in the Suburban Council championship game last fall — and didn’t have a chance to defend its Section II title with the area playoffs canceled — capped off their regular season Friday by clinching the Suburban title outright with a 6-0 victory over Bethlehem to finish a 13-1 league campaign.
“Me and the four other seniors, we’ve been here since we were freshmen, and we’ve worked our way up,” Spartans senior Grace Todd said. “We don’t have the numbers that these schools like Saratoga and [Shenendehowa] do. We really work for everything that we have. We put in a ton of effort. It’s just kind of our little ragtag group, and we pulled it off.”
“Every game mattered towards the end,” Vrooman said. “The girls put their best foot forward, and here we are with a Suburban championship.”
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (13-3 overall) got a hat trick from Jocelyn Hild, two goals from Todd and a goal and an assist from Molly Pochobradsky. The Spartans scored two goals in each of the first three quarters as they efficiently took care of business to wrap up their title.
“We definitely needed to finish what we started,” Vrooman said, “and then prepare for sectionals.”
The Spartans will learn their path for the Class B tournament when seeds are released on Saturday, with themselves and South Glens Falls expected to lead the field.
“We’ve got the eight-peat,” Todd said. “Going on nine.”
Bethlehem 0 0 0 0 — 0
BH-BL 2 2 2 0 — 6
Bethlehem scoring: None. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake scoring: Todd 2-0, Hild 3-0, Pochobradsky 1-1, Connelie 0-2, Mastrella 0-2, Kogut 0-1. Goalies: Bethlehem, Rosencranse, 9 saves. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Jensen, 2 saves.