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Section II field hockey tournament set

Section II field hockey tournament set

Shenendehowa. Queensbury and Johnstown are top seeds
Section II field hockey tournament set
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake won its seventh straight title in 2018.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Seeds and game dates for the 2019 Section II field hockey tournament have been released.

Shenendehowa (Class A, 13-3), Queensbury (Class B, 13-3) and Johnstown (Class C, 15-0) are the top seeds for this year's event, which begins with quarterfinals Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Here are a few things to know.

SEEDING PROCESS

Last year, Section II introduced a new formula to seed teams in Class B and Class C, those being classification where multiple leagues are represented. The idea, according to Section II field hockey coordinator Michele Venditto, is to eliminate "personal opinion" during the seeding process. The formula includes all games played, both league and non-league, and goes as follows: 1. Compute winning percentage of each team in Section II by dividing the number of wins by the total number of games. 2. Award 4 points for every game a team won. 3. A team receives two bonus points for every team it played with a .750 or above win percentage, regardless if it won or lost. 4. A team receives one bonus point for every team it played with a .500-.749 win percentage, regardless if it won or lost. 5. Combine the number of win points with bonus points. Divide by the number of games played to create a seeding index. Ties are broken by bonus points awarded.

Class A, which includes only Suburban Council teams, is seeded by league record.

HOT TEAMS

Class B No. 2 seed Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (11-3, 13-3) closed the regular season with a five-game winning streak that began and ended with 1-0 victories over Shenendehowa, and secured the Suburban Council title by virtue of that sweep of the Plainsmen. Earlier in the season Burnt Hills knocked off 2018 Section III Class A champ Cicero-North Syracuse 2-0. Goalkeeper Senja Matson has been among the Spartans season-long standouts.

Class C No. 1 Johnstown (12-0, 15-0) completed its second straight sweep through the Foothills Council, while its signature non-league win came against 2018 Section II Class B champ Holland Patent 1-0. Johnstown outscored its opponents 73-6, and is led by two-time all-state selections Taryn Ringer and Emily Fleming at the offensive end and Sarah Pratt and Abby VanValkenburgh at the defensive end.

CLASS A MONOPOLY

Shenendehowa and Saratoga Springs squared off in each of the last five Class A title games, with the Blue Streaks winning the last two as well as in 2014.

Going back even further, some combination of Shenendehowa, Saratoga Springs and Niskayuna have met in every Class A championship game since the 2006 season. In 2005, Queensbury beat Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake for the Class A crown.

Guilderland, which has never appeared in a Section II final, and Bethlehem, which has never won one, both have designs on a breakthrough. Guilderland owns signature wins against Saratoga Springs, Shenendehowa and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, while Bethlehem has beaten Saratoga Springs and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

2018 FINALS RECAP

Lindsey Frank scored on an overtime breakaway to give Saratoga Springs a 2-1 win over Shenendehowa and its second consecutive Section II Class A championship. Rachel Sterle scored early in the second half for the Plainsmen, and Hunter Yorch scored late in the second half for the Blue Streaks, who had lost twice to Shenendehowa in the regular season.

Hannah Pochobradsky scored two goals, Paige Thowe knocked in another, and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake defended its Class B title with a 3-0 win over South Glens Falls.

Emma McCart's first-half goal and a 14-save effort by Zoe Gress lifted Hoosick Falls to a 1-0 Class C title-game win over Johnstown. Both teams entered the final with 18-0 records, and Hoosick Falls captured its fourth championship since 2013.

Saratoga Springs and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake both lost in state quarterfinal games in 2018, and Hoosick Falls bowed out in the state semifinals. Shenendehowa was Section II's last state champion in 2016.

TOURNAMENT STREAKS

Each of the last 11 Section II Class A title games has been decided by a single goal. The last final that wasn't, in 2007, saw Saratoga Springs beat Niskayuna 4-0.

Shenendehowa has appeared in every Class A final since 2010, going 5-4 in those title tilts.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake set a Section II tournament record last year when it captured its seventh consecutive championship. All of them have come at the Class B level, and five of those victories were by shutout.

Hoosick Falls made its seventh straight Class C title-game appearance in 2018, and went 4-3 in those games.

LOOKING AHEAD

Semifinals are Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 29-31, at the highest remaining seeds. The title games are Nov. 3 at Glens Falls High School. The Section II champions will host those from Section III in regional semifinal games Nov. 6, at Gloversville High School. Section IV (Southern Tier) will host the regional title games, or state quarterfinals, on Nov. 9.

QUARTERFINALS

CLASS A

Wednesday

No.1 Shenendehowa, bye; No. 5 Shaker vs. No. 4 Saratoga Springs at Adirondack Sports Complex, 3 p.m.; No. 7 Columbia at No. 2 Bethlehem, 3 p.m.; No. 6 Niskayuna vs. No. 3 Guilderland at Afrim's Sports Park, 3 p.m.

CLASS B

Thursday

No. 1 Queensbury, bye; No. 5 Gloversville at No. 4 Scotia-Glenville, 3 p.m.; No. 7 Emma Willard at No. 2 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 3 p.m.; No. 6 Glens Falls at No. 3 South Glens Falls, 3 p.m.

CLASS C

Tuesday

No. 1 Johnstown, bye; No. 5 Corinth at No. 4 Granville, 3 p.m.; No. 7 Greenwich at No. 2 Schuylerville, 3 p.m; No. 6 Salem at No. 3 Hoosick Falls, 3 p.m.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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