Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake field hockey wins first state title since 1987

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Maddy Connelie scored a goal in the Spartans' 2-1 win over Garden City in the state field hcokey Class B championship game Sunday. 
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Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Maddy Connelie scored a goal in the Spartans' 2-1 win over Garden City in the state field hcokey Class B championship game Sunday. 

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake finished off another championship field hockey season Sunday, but this time with the biggest prize in its grasp.

The Spartans scored twice in the second quarter and stiffened defensively after a second-half goal by Garden City in a 2-1 state Class B title-game win at Centereach High School on Long Island.

Burnt Hills had reached the state tournament in each of the eight previous seasons it was held, but never made it to the last contest, losing in state semifinals in 2013, 2015 and again in 2017.

“Out of all the Burnt Hills teams, we had one of the least likely to win,” said Spartans sophomore Caroline Kogut, who scored the Spartans’ first goal on a penalty stroke. “It feels great. We did it for all the teams before us.”

This Burnt Hills team won its last 12 games, including five in the postseason, after a 2-0 setback against Shenendehowa. The Spartans (18-3) captured the Suburban Council title before securing Section II, regional and state semifinal wins.

“Every single player got better every single practice and every single game,” Burnt Hills coach Kelly Vrooman said after the program‘s first New York championship since 1987.

“It was a team. We didn’t rely on one player. Everyone played their best today.”

Vrooman was among the standout players on the 1987 edition that beat Centereach 3-0 for the state Class A flag.

“It’s like a dream, “ Vrooman said. “For 10 years we’ve been working on it.”

Burnt Hills kept Garden City (Section VIII, 16-1) at bay after Anastasia Menoudakos scored early in the third quarter.

“That gave them a little fire. They thought they could have a run,” Vrooman said. “Our girls held their composure. They played like champions”

Burnt Hills made that lead stand up as Garden City pressed hard for the tying goal n the waning minutes.

“I couldn’t believe how veteran they were killing the clock in the fourth quarter,” Vrooman said. “We only had four seniors out there. They were poised and calm. I was amazed considering what was on the line.”

“It was a close game. We we not shocked when they scored but a little taken back,” Kogut said. “We continued to play well. We had to keep pushing for it.”

Burnt Hills collected both of its goals late int the second quarter when Kogut scored on a penalty stroke and Maddy Connelie connected with no time left to finish off a penalty corner, assisted by Grace Todd.

“That gave us a sense that we’ve got this,” Kogut said of her goal. “It gave us a boost of confidence. It’s only going on from here.”

Burnt Hills beat Rondout Valley in a semifinal shootout Saturday. Jocelyn Hild and Allie O’Rourke —one of four freshmen on the roster — scored the shootout goals before Katherine Jensen sealed the win with a save.

Burnt Hills 0 2 0 0 — 2
Garden City 0 0 1 0 — 1
Burnt Hills scoring: Kogut 1-0, Connelie 1-0, Todd 0-1. Garden City scoring: Menoudakos 1-0, Trapan 0-1. Goalies: Burnt Hills, Jensen, 2 saves. Garden City, Wehaum, 7 saves.

SHEN DENIED
Shenendehowa (18-3) saw it’s hopes for a third state Class A title dashed when Northport (Section XI, 21-0) scored a first-quarter goal and made it stand up in a 1-0 victory.

Shenendehowa reversed roles Saturday in the semifinals against Mamaroneck when Lauren Shanahan delivered in the first period and the Plainsmen hung on for a 1-0 wiin, and earned a chance to add to the New York titles it earned in 2013 and 2016.

“We dominated the second and third quarters and had some great shots. One was a couple inches wide,” first-year Shenendehowa coach Shawn Eggleston said. “We kept putting the pressure on but couldn’t get one. That’s field hockey sometimes.”

Northport got its goal from Olivia McKenna late in the opening stanza. It was only the seventh goal Shenendehowa allowed this season.

“It started on a corner and we got the ball out,” Eggleston said. “She had it at the top of the circle and did a little move and took a beautiful shot on goal.”

Shenendehowa had the upper hand as far as goals in a 13-game win streak leading up to the title to tilt.

“It was just an amazing run,” Eggleston said. “We knew today would be a grind and it was. They beat all their opponents by four. five, six goals.”

Brianna Anslow made five saves for the Plainsmen.

HOOSICK FALLS LOSES
Whitney Point (Section IV, 19-0) capped a dominant postseason run by beating Hoosick Falls (20-2) in the Class C championship game 6-1. Whitney Point topped Pierson in the semis 11-0, before capturing its sixth state banner since 2014.

Emma McCart scored for the Panthers Sunday after knocking in both goals in a 2-0 semifinal win over North Salem.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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