They took turns ending one type of streak or another in their three meetings this season.
After Broadalbin-Perth’s 2-1 win at Scotia-Glenville on Friday, it looks like the rivals will end up sharing the Foothills Council boys’ soccer title.
Central defender Mark Sylvia came forward to score a pair of second-half goals that left the Patriots 9-1-1 with one league game (against 2-8-0 Gloversville). The loss was the first of the season for the 8-1-1, 12-1-1 Tartans, who were coming off a 1-1 draw with third-place South Glens Falls.
Scotia has a pair of league games remaining, at Johnstown and Glens Falls. Those teams began Friday’s play with one league win each.
“There’s still a couple of games to play, but with that win, it pretty much guarantees us a share of the title,” said Broadalbin-Perth coach Brian Henry, whose reigning state Class B champions went to 11-2-1 overall. “When you look at the caliber of teams in the league, and being a Class B school, to get where we are speaks a lot about the character of the boys.”
Sylvia knew the importance of his final game in what has become a strong rivalry. The last 10 meetings between Broadalbin-Perth and Scotia have been decided by one goal.
“It’s a big deal for me, because it’s my last time playing Scotia,” said Sylvia. “I knew we wanted to beat them if we wanted to get a share of the league championship. Hopefully, we win our next game, and we can share the title.”
Broadalbin-Perth and Scotia split their two Foothills games this season, winning on each other’s field. The Tartans also beat the Patriots in a non-league game, one that was scheduled to fill an open date when Hudson Falls elected not to play at the varsity level this year.
In that game, Scotia ended Broadalbin-Perth’s unbeaten run at 28 games (24-0-4), while the Pats became the first team to score on the Tartans, who opened the season with six shutout wins.
“I think the second half showed the kind of character my team has,” said Henry. “They had quite a gut-check in the first half, and they responded very well and managed to find a way to win. I’m very proud of them.”
“We’re going to get better from it. It’s good competition. We’re going to get better by playing each other,” said Scotia coach Chris Bailey, whose team can win at least part of a league title for the second time in three years and third in five years since he came took over the program after a successful run at Schalmont.
Scotia took a 1-0 lead when Dennis Turner got his head to an Owen Fingar corner kick and snuck the redirect just inside the right post in the 30th minute. It was the Tartans’ only corner kick of the half, as they played with the wind at their backs. The Pats got nothing from four such chances in the first 40 minutes.
Sylvia got his team even when he scored from the top of the penalty area after a direct kick 6:30 into the second half. He got the winner with 7:04 to play, the first player to get to a loose ball in the Scotia penalty area.
“He knows when to push forward. He’s a smart player, a big guy and he’s hard to knock off the ball. When he has the ball at his feet, we’re always holding our breath, because we know something good is going to happen.”
“We had to keep playing our game and try to get one on the board,” said Sylvia, who has free reign to join the attack. “He’s always let me do that since 10th grade. It’s nice. I like to score goals.”
“They’re not completely disappointed because they know they played pretty good soccer,” said Bailey of his team. “I know they want to be league champions, but the ultimate goal is to see how far you can go into the postseason.”