ROTTERDAM — Even after winning a championship, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls’ lacrosse squad knows its best days are ahead of it.
“Once our [current] sophomores become seniors,” Burnt Hills eighth-grader MK Lescault said, “I feel like that’s going to be our time to shine.”
These Spartans, though, aren’t waiting around.
At present, Burnt Hills is already a force.
Despite its 21-deep roster only including two seniors and two juniors, Burnt Hills cruised to a 13-5 win Wednesday against Averill Park in the Section II Class C girls’ lacrosse championship game at Mohonasen. In leading the Burnt Hills program to its third area championship victory in as many years, sophomore Isabell Adams served as the Spartans’ top star with five goals and two assists.
“Amazing,” Adams said of the win, which sets Burnt Hills up for a state tournament run that starts June 1 back at Mohonasen. “It feels great to accomplish this. Our team has worked really hard, and we’ve definitely gotten better throughout the whole season.”
“They really grew up,” said Burnt Hills head coach John Battaglino, who is in his first season leading the Spartans.
Burnt Hills (No. 1, 11-6) took control against Averill Park (No. 2, 7-11) right away, as Adams scored four of her team’s first six goals on the Spartans’ way to building an 8-4 halftime lead. After the teams started the second half trading goals, Lescault scored back-to-back goals to start Burnt Hills’ game-ending 4-0 run.
“We definitely got out our jitters and played how we normally play,” Adams said.
“We really built up momentum and, as a team, we brought the energy after those [early] goals,” Burnt Hills eighth-grader Ella Blesi said. “It was a team effort, and we carried it into the second half.”
Besides Adams’ big day, Lescault finished with three goals and three assists for Burnt Hills, while Carly Szczepaniak registered two goals and two assists, and Blesi added two goals.
“It feels really good,” Lescault said. “I’m very proud of us and I think that we really deserved it. We worked hard as a team to get it.”
Battaglino — whose most-recent head coaching role before he took over the Burnt Hills program was with the University at Albany women’s lacrosse team for eight seasons — credited his youthful team for how it matured throughout the 2019 campaign.
“I’m stoked for them,” Battaglino said. “I thought we got better as the year went on. We tightened up some things. I’m just really proud of them.”
The Spartans continue to have the opportunity to keep improving.
“We’ve got a week to try some new things, too,” Battaglino said of his team’s break before its first state playoff game. “To me, this is the fun part. I love practice.”
Averill Park 4 1 — 5
Burnt Hills 8 5 — 13
Averill Park scoring: Reitano 2-0, Tessitore 0-1, Foster 1-1, VanDerKar 2-0, Lapinski 0-1. Burnt Hills scoring: Blesi 2-0, Fitzgerald 1-0, Szczepaniak 2-2, Lescault 3-3, Adams 5-2.
Goalies: Averill Park, Taylor, 2 saves. Burnt Hills, Stone, 4 saves.