There’s no place like home for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls’ soccer coach Brian Bold.
But the turf field at Broadalbin-Perth is becoming the next best thing.
“It’s like our home away from home. We’ve never lost here in four years — sectionals, regionals, we’ve never lost at Broadalbin-Perth,” said Bold after the Spartans beat Averill Park, 1-0, Friday for their fourth consecutive Section II girls’ Class A title.
While Bold and the veterans on the team were used to the surroundings, the player who scored the game’s only goal certainly wasn’t.
Jamie Chernesky, a senior in her first year on varsity, got her first goal 13:35 into the game, tapping in a ball at the far post.
Eighth-grader Jillian Beatty had gained possession and taken a shot from the left side, and Chernesky got to the far post to guide the ball home.
The goal puts the Spartans into a 3 p.m. Tuesday regional semifinal at Chittenago against Section III champion Cortland.
“I was so happy. I never thought I would do that,” said Chernesky, whose goal made Bold 4-for-4 in sectional finals since taking over from veteran coach Kevin Fitzpatrick.
“Jillian hit the ball to the far post. I was just there.”
Bold had substituted Chernesky to get more size up front.
“We put her up there to add something different, some more size,” said Bold. “And we got what we wanted out of her.”
Bold credited Chernesky with having the presence of mind to track Beatty’s shot.
“It’s a kid who put herself in the right spot at the right time. I’m happy for her,” said Bold.
“I’m more used to playing defense,” said Chernesky. “Scoring a goal isn’t something I expected. Jillian and Georgina [Farrow], people like that usually get the goals.”
Burnt Hills withstood early pressure from its Suburban Council rival before settling in. The 14-5-2 Spartans finished with a 17-3 edge in shots, and just missed adding to their lead on several occassions in the second half.
“They played us tough. They have a senior-laden team, and that worried me,” said Bold. “We knew they were going to come after us.
“Our seniors wanted to get back to the state tournament. That’s a pretty high goal, but now, we’re one step closer.”
After coming up a game short the past three years, Northville
finally grabbed a Class D title, beating
“This is so nice, finally. I’m so happy for the seniors,” said Falcons coach Shelly Murphy. “This is such a better feeling this time.”
Sophomore Francesca Robinson scored both goals for the Falcons, the first coming with 12 seconds remaining in the first half.
Salem, the seventh seed, had eliminated four-time defending champ New Lebanon in the first round in making its first trip to a sectional final.
Northville goalie Chelsea Paul had been on the other end of the decision the past three seasons. Now, she and her teammates are one win away from the state semifinals.
Northville doesn’t play again until a week from today, when it meets the Section I champ here.
“I’ve been on the team since my freshman year,” said Paul, who had little to do in the second half as her teammates pinned the Generals in their own end of the field. “We’ve lost in this game every year, and every year, I always wanted to win it for the seniors.
“I’m so proud of this team. It’s such a great feeling.
“I’ve never even thought about going to the state finals. For me, it was always about beating New Lebanon in the sectional finals. To know that goal is possible, we’re
going to work so much harder.”
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk also grabbed a sectional title, holding off Greenville, 3-2, in the Class B championship game.
The Indians spotted the Spartans a one-goal lead, scored the next three goals and withstood late Greenville pressure.
“They have a tendency to hang back, hang back, and then they get mad,” said Ravena coach Danielle Wolfe, who has gotten her teams to the semis three times and the finals twice in her six years as head coach. “This is the school’s first sectional title in a long, long time.”
Senior Ashley Wilson scored to give Ravena a two-goal lead, and was on the bench when Greenville cut the margin to a goal in the final three minutes.
“I was like, ‘Please don’t let this happen.’ We’ve been waiting for this since losing in the finals last year,” she said. “We didn’t want to feel that feeling again.”
Ravena also plays Tuesday at Chittenango, playing at 5 against the Section III champion.