Ballston Spa outlasts Johnstown in frigid girls’ lacrosse opener


Ballston Spa’s Alejsandra Layer splits two Johnstown defenders, Caroline Krempa, left, and Jena Barker during a non-league girls’ lacrosse contest at Knox Field in Johnstown Monday.

On an afternoon better suited for slinging snowballs than lacrosse balls, the Johnstown and Ballston Spa girls’ lacrosse teams met in a frigid non-league contest at Knox Field on Monday.

The Scotties emerged with a 9-5 victory over the Lady Bills in a game that saw players dodge snowflakes as well as defenders.

“The conditions certainly made it difficult for both teams,” Ballston Spa coach Don Nowc said. “It’s hard to hold on to a metal stick when the real feel temperature is only 8 degrees.”

Nora Manion scored three goals to lead the Scotties, while Alessandra Layer and Kate Fletcher each scored twice. Mackenzie Dolan and Bri Bonds also scored for Ballston Spa, while Kelly DuBois added an assist.

Roslyn Chapin scored twice for Johnstown, while Nicole Simon, Molly Sweeney and Jena Barker also scored.

“I thought for our first time out, we did well,” Johnstown coach Denise Benton said. “We’ve only been on the field four times this spring. Today’s conditions certainly weren’t ideal either.”

Ballston Spa opened the scoring when Layer made it 1-0, putting home a rebound with 21:35 remaining in the first half.

Simon answered for Johnstown just 56 seconds later to knot the score at 1-1.

The Scotties regained the lead with 14:56 left in the first half when Fletcher scored to make it 2-1.

It was the start of a 6-1 surge by Ballston Spa to close the first half.

Manion scored twice during the run, while Dolan, Bonds and Layer also scored for the Scotties, who led 7-2 at the break.

“We showed that we still need to work on our stick skills,” Nowc said. “For our first time out, we did pretty well though.”

Sweeney scored the only other goal of the first half for the Lady Bills with 13:37 remaining.

In the second half, Johnstown outscored Ballston Spa, 3-2, but it was never able to get closer than three goals in the final 25 minutes.

“I know we didn’t win on the scoreboard, but to keep a bigger school that plays in the Suburban Council to less than 10 goals is a win for us,” Benton said.

Chapin scored twice in the second half for the Lady Bills, while Barker scored once.

Fletcher and Manion scored in the second half for the Scotties.

“Any day is a good day to play lacrosse,” Nowc said. “It’s just good to get back out there, even when the weather isn’t the greatest.”

Ballston Spa (1-0 overall) is scheduled to travel to Averill Park on Thursday for its Suburban Council opener at 4 p.m.

“We’re a really young team,” Nowc said. “We’re coming off basically a two-year hiatus because of COVID, so it’s going to be a learning process.”

Johnstown (0-1 overall) is slated to host Greenwich on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in its Foothills Council opener.

“We were just a hot ball of mess today,” Benton said. “We only had two subs. We had girls that were feeling sick and girls who couldn’t feel their hands. I think by the time Wednesday rolls around, we’ll be ready to go, and hopefully, the weather will be better.”

Ballston Spa 9, Johnstown 5

Ballston Spa       7 2 – 9

Johnstown         2 3 – 5

Ballston Spa scoring: Layer 2-0, Fletcher 2-0, Dolan 1-0, Manion 3-0, Bonds 1-1, DuBois 0-1. Johnstown scoring: Chapin 2-0, Simon 1-0, Sweeney 1-0, Barker 1-0. Goalies: Ballston Spa, Josie Hostetter, 4 saves. Johnstown, Nicole Wendolski, 11 saves.

By Paul Wager

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