BURNT HILLS – The round was different, but the result was the same.
Last season, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake defeated Johnstown in the Section II Class B championship game.
The second-seeded Spartans ended the Lady Bills’ season for a second year, posting a 3-0 win in the Class B semifinals Tuesday.
Burnt Hills scored all three of its goals in the second half. Elise Zwicklbauer scored twice for the Spartans, while Nicole Beardsley scored once. Aubrey Kamppila had two assists for the Spartans, while Danielle Kempf finished with one.
After a scoreless first half, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake opened the scoring when it was awarded a penalty stroke with 21:57 left in the game. Zwicklbauer converted the opportunity, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
“It’s just hard to recover from that,” Johnstown coach Tracy Ringer said of the penalty stroke.
Burnt Hills continued its momentum, scoring just over a minute later on a penalty corner, when Zwicklbauer scored on assists from Kempf and Kamppila.
While the Spartans’ offense got rolling, Johnstown’s struggled throughout as the Lady Bills generated just two shots on goal.
“It’s harder to showcase your skills on grass than turf,” Ringer said. “It was an advantage to Burnt Hills because they play 90 percent of their games on grass. We play more of a finesse game, and [Burnt Hills] plays more of a big ball game.”
Burnt Hills added an insurance goal with 14:24 to play when Beardsley scored on Kamppila’s second assist of the game.
The three-goal second half for the Spartans was a stark contrast to the first half that saw both teams go scoreless.
Burnt Hills finished the first half with five penalty corners and four shots, while holding Johnstown without a shot or a corner.
“In the first half, we had chances, but we just couldn’t finish,” Vrooman said. “We had more shots and corners, but we just didn’t score.”
Brittany Ryan and Shauna Ryan combined to make one save to share the shutout win in goal for the Spartans. Kristin Wright made five saves for Johnstown.
“[Johnstown] is a very solid program,” Vrooman said. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy today.”
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (12-6 overall) will face top-seeded South Glens Falls in the championship game Sunday at Schuylerville High School at noon. South Glens Falls posted a 1-0 win over fourth-seeded Glens Falls in the semifinals Tuesday.
“We’re looking to win back-to-back titles,” Vrooman said. “If we play the game we can play, we should be right in it.”
Johnstown finished its season with a 12-6 overall record.
Class B Semifinals
South Glens Falls 1, Glens Falls 0
SOUTH GLENS FALLS – Emily Sharpe scored the game’s only goal, leading top-seeded South Glens Falls to a win over fourth-seeded Glens Falls in the Class B semifinals.
Lauren Yakush assisted on the goal for the Bulldogs, who are seeking their first sectional title. Michaela Regner made four saves to post the shutout win in goal for South Glens Falls (14-4 overall).
The Bulldogs will face second-seeded Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake on Sunday in the Class B championship game at Schuylerville High School at noon.