Queensbury spoils Johnstown’s season opener

Johnstown’s Abbey Hollister (21) looks to pass the ball while under pressure from Queensbury’s Claudia Pallare in a Foothills Council match at Knox Field. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

JOHNSTOWN — It was not the kind of start to the season they wanted, but the Johnstown girls lacrosse team did finish its season-opener on a good note.

When the Lady Bills trapped the ball deep in the Queensbury defense, Ally Queeney produced the lone goal of the match for Johnstown as it fell to Queensbury 26-1 in Foothills Council action Monday at Knox Field.

“This was the first time we have faced live action,” Johnstown coach Denise Benton said. “We knew it was going to be hard because they are the best in our section and we have only been on the turf twice. It is hard when you have only been in the gym. We didn’t have a play day or a scrimmage, so it is hard to assess what needs to be fixed if you can’t see it. We knew it was going to be this way.”

Coming off a 17-6 season-opening loss to Bethlehem on Wednesday, Queensbury found success early, pouring in six goals in the first four minutes of play.

Midway through the opening half, the Lady Bills produced an offensive surge with Amber Tesi, Sam Simons and Abbey Hollister moving the ball into the Spartans defense before being turned away.

The Lady Bills got their first shot of the game with 10 minutes left in the half when Kaitlyn Serpa put a shot on goal that was scooped up by Queensbury goalkeeper Jen Paszko to help put the halftime score at 17-0.

“We tried to switch it up a couple of times but decided we were just going to let everybody have field time and take the game as it came,” Benton said. “Things we have been working on in the preseason were what we were trying to implement today like on the draw, you have to get possession. Without possession your chances of shooting and scoring exponentially go down.”

The Spartans continued to work the ball in the Johnstown defensive zone only to have goalkeeper Emily Wheelis come through with stops but the Lady Bills could not control a persistent Queensbury attack.

With the clock winding down, Johnstown put together an offensive surge that finished with Queeney scooping up a deflected outlet pass by Paszko and putting it in the back of the net with just under a minute left to play to put the final score at 26-1.

“It’s tough. Our defense was tired, but they worked the whole game,” Benton said. “We are alright. We play in a tough league, and we know that, but we are not afraid of anybody. We are going to take one game at a time and it is going to get better.”

Caitlin Bolen led Queensbury with six goals and three assists, while Rachel Spaulding had four goals and six assists.

Natasha Rahall and Devon Bolen added four goals apiece to go with two goals each from Maddie Montgomery, Meghan O’Connor and Hailey Ballard a goal apiece from Jordan Bentley and Claudia Pallaro.

Johnstown (0-1, 0-1) takes to the road Wednesday for a Foothills Council match against Glens Falls at Glens Falls High School before traveling to Stillwater Friday for a match against Greenwich.

By Paul Wager

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