If there is one thing that the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls soccer team is familiar with, it's being the team with the big target on its back.
The Lady Spartans earned the target when they received the top seed for the upcoming Section II, Class A playoffs.
It's a familiar [position], but it's not one we take for granted, said BH-BL coach Brian Bold. "The soccer that is coming out of Section II this year is phenomenal. There's several [Class A] teams that are ranked in the state."
As four-time defending Class A champions, the Lady Spartans could have staked a claim to the top seed based on reputation. But a 9-4-3 Suburban Council record and a second-place finish in the North Division solidified that position.
"The record that we have deserves kudos to the kids and the level that they play at," said Bold. "They're very competitive, and to finish 9-4-3 is a credit to the kids."
Bold said BH-BL should be close to full health when the team begins its pursuit of a fifth straight Sectional title Friday at home against either Glens Falls or Catholic Central. The Lady Spartans recently went through a bout with flu-like ailments.
"We had it, and as far as I'm concerned, the kids have been exposed to it and are over it," said Bold.
Friday's quarterfinal game will be the first contest for BH-BL since it defeated Shaker 2-0 in last Thursday's Suburban Council finale.
"As I've told the girls every year, our record is now 0-0-0, and so is every team in the section," said Bold.
Shen hosts quarterfinal
The Class AA playoffs don't start until Monday, but the Shenenedehowa girls soccer team won't begin playing until next Wednesday's quarterfinals.
The Plainsmen (13-3) earned a first-round bye after receiving the No. 2 seed. They will face the winner of Monday's Albany-Colonie first-round game.
Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs both have first-round home games Monday. Ballston Spa (No. 3, 8-6-2) host Columbia, while Saratoga (No. 4, 9-5-2) meet Queensbury.