BROADALBIN - The last 10 times the Broadalbin-Perth and Scotia-Glenville boys soccer teams have played there has been a one-goal difference.
Monday was no exception.
The Adam Ashcroft-led Tartans defense turned back multiple first-half opportunities by the Broadalbin-Perth shooters.
Broadalbin-Perth’s Joe Zarecki, left, and Scotia-Glenville’s Zachary Musto, center, battle for the ball during second-half action Monday at Broadalbin-Perth High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
However, the Patriots found a wrinkle in the second-half defense.
With just over 12 minutes left in regulation, Logan Ackley pushed a long ball through the Scotia defense that put Joe Zarecki in a one-on-one breakaway with Ashcroft. Zarecki pushed the ball past Ashcroft as he charged off his line to challenge the play and into the back of the net for the lone goal of the game as the Patriots came away with the 1-0 Foothills Council victory.
"Go figure, another one-goal game between us," Broadalbin-Perth coach Brian Henry said. "I think we have had line nine or 10 consecutive one-goal games between us and I know that this is the first time we have ever shut them out in school history."
The Tartans (2-2-0 overall, 2-1-0 Foothills) opened the game on the attack and fired a pair of quick shots on net that Broadalbin-Perth goalkeeper Devin Page alertly turned away.
Then the Patriots' offense began to click.
Using its traditional possession-style game, B-P created opportunities but could not find the finishing touch as the Scotia defenders did not allow unchallenged plays, and Ashcroft successfully handled the shots hit at him.
Scotia again pushed forward after the second-half kick off and put pressure on B-P's defense.
The best opportunity for the Tartans came midway through the second half when Owen Fingar broke through on a long pass out of the midfield but was chased down by senior defender Monks, who used a slide tackle to knock the ball clear as Fingar attempted his shot.
"I can't say enough about Connor," Henry said. "He knows and plays the game so well. He took the perfect angle on the play and got to the ball just before he was able to take the shot."
Moments later the Patriots turned the Tartans attack into their advantage.
With the Scotia players pushed forward on an offensive throw-in, the Patriots gained control of the ball. Ackley set up a counter attack with a long through ball that Zarecki ran onto and controlled. Ashcroft broke off his line to challenge the play just inside the penalty area, but Zarecki timed his shot perfectly, pushing the ball under Ashcroft as he slid. The ball rolled into the open net for a 1-0 advantage with 12:07 left to play.
"We were going a little more with the counterattack," Henry said. "Scotia did a really nice job of adjusting in the second half. They pushed guys a little more forward into the space that we weren't occupying and forced us to do things a little different. It paid off with that ball. Logan put a nice diagonal ball through and Joe did what doe does . . . finish."
The Tartans went on the offensive, pushing a player forward out of their defense in order to put more offensive pressure on the Patriots, but the B-P defense was up to the task as they turned back all of the challenges to record the Patriots third shut out in as many games.
For the match, Broadalbin-Perth outshot Scotia-Glenville 20-10 and held a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Ashcroft recorded 14 saves in net for the Tartans, while Page collected five saves for the Patriots.
Broadalbin-Perth will put its early-season win streak on the line Thursday when it welcomes South Glens Falls to Patriot Field for a Foothills Council match at 7 p.m.
"There is no rest," Henry said. "It it just one good team after another in the Foothills."