Spartans return to state tournament

It's becoming a familiar story for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls soccer team.

For the third time in the last four years, the Spartans are heading to the state semifinals after beating Section X champion Massena 2-0 in last Saturday's class A regional final at SUNY Potsdam.

Our goal was to win a Sectional title. That was our achieveable goal, said BH-BL coach Brian Bold. "Then, we set some goals that were above the bar, and going back to the final four was one of them."

BH-BL (15-7-1) faces Section V champion Victor in Friday's state semifinal at SUNY Cortland. Vic-tor advanced to its first state semifinal appearance with a 2-1 win against Section VI champion Williamsville East last weekend.

"Right now, they're playing with a lot of confidence," said Bold. "So, we have the utmost repsect for them."

BH-BL punched its ticket to states with a dominating performance against Massena. The Spartans put consistent pressure on Massena's defense, which paid off with goals by Georgina Far-row and Kelly O'Rourke.

"We're getting (goals) from some of the girls who are not necessarily the headliners," said Bold.

Meanwhile, there was little the Red Raiders could do to pull even. BH-BL's defense allowed Massena only four shots.

"We take a lot of pride in our defense, and it shows," said Bold, whose Spartans have allowed two goals in postseason play.

BH-BL is one of four Section II girls soccer teams going on to the state tournament. Niskayuna (class AA), Schalmont (class B) and Stillwater (class C) also advanced with regional victories last Saturday.

The winner of Friday's class A semifinal game between BH-BL and Victor goes to Saturday's state championship game against either Section VIII champion South Side or Section I champ Somers. The Spartans reached last year's state finals before losing to South Side, and several players are back from that squad, which Bold said will help his team.

"In these tight games, experience matters a little bit," he said.""

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