QUEENSBURY – The Broadalbin-Perth Patriots were in shock early in Wednesday’s Section II Class B semifinal soccer match at Queensbury High School.
Just 18 seconds into the match Schalmont’s Chris Hamilton struck a solid shot from the left side that curled into the side netting for a quick 1-0 lead.
Despite a solid effort to recover by the Patriots, Schalmont found the back of the net two more times to claim the 3-1 victory and advance to Saturday’s title match against top-seeded Ichabod Crane.
“Obviously, it changes the way you play the game when you are down 1-0 less than 20 seconds into the game,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Brian Henry said. “The flip side of that is you have the entire game to get it back. We told the guys to just relax, we knew they came out fast but didn’t expect it to be that fast. We fought hard the whole game and despite the circumstances of going down a man late in the game, on what I consider to be a controversial card, we didn’t give up and that is why I am proud of these guys. They kept working hard and found a way to dig back into this game, just the soccer gods weren’t with us today and Schalmont is moving on.”
It didn’t take long for the Patriots to show second-seeded Schalmont they weren’t ready to concede the match as Justin Marek fired a hard shot on net less than two minutes later that narrowly missed its mark, hitting the crossbar instead. An aggressive battle between the 18-yard boxes limited the quality attempts on goal by both teams.
The Sabres managed to find the back of the net a second time in the first half when Hamilton again got off a hard shot that B-P goalkeeper Devin Page was able to deflect away. However, Aiden Frank was in position to knock the rebound over the line for a 2-0 halftime lead for the Sabres. The Patriots got into a playing rhythm early in the second half and the pressure paid off.
With just under 16 minutes left in regulation the Patriots’ Ryan Dingman put a corner kick in play that Connor Monks finished to cut Schalmont’s lead in half, 2-1. With momentum on their side the Patriots went to work on getting the equalizer but suffered a setback when Marek received a red card, leaving B-P a man down.
“It [the momentum] really had changed,” Henry said. “I thought we were all about pushing forward and after we scored that goal we obviously felt we had a lot of momentum then when we got that card. I feel sorry for Justin, that devastated him but yes that changed it for us because we had to change the way we attack and the guys fought hard to the very end it just didn’t happen for us today.”
Schalmont made the most of the man-iup situation to pressure the Patriots and came away with a third goal with 1:08 remaining when Gino Rossi intercepted a clearing pass near midfield, dribbled in and fired a low shot into the back of the net for the 3-1 final score.
Page collected six saves in goal for B-P, while Greg Musk made seven stops for Schalmont.
“If you look back at some of these guys on the team, some are walking out of the program with state championship rings and I hope a lot of good memories,” Henry said. “It didn’t happen for us today but if you look back on 12 of my seniors accomplished, they have a lot to be happy about.”
Broadalbin-Perth finishes the season with a 15-4-0 record, while Schalmont improved its record to 17-2-0.