Girls soccer regionals: Quick start propels Burnt Hills past J-D

Lady Spartans strike for two goals in first 1:02

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls soccer team wasted no time in establishing control of Tuesday’s Class A regional against Section III champion Jamesville-DeWitt.

The Lady Spartans (16-4-0) scored twice in the first 62 seconds of the game on their way to beating the Rams 3-0 at Stillwater High School.

“I’ve been coaching for 17 years, and I told the girls that I’d never seen a flurry like that,” said BH-BL coach Brian Bold.

BH-BL caught Jamesville-DeWitt (18-1-1) flat-footed on both goals. Morgan Burchhardt scored the first goal 39 seconds into the game when she rushed down the left sideline and slotted the ball past a drawn-out Abbey Smith in goal. Then 23 seconds later, Jessica Lyden chipped a long shot over Smith’s head into the net to give the Lady Spartans a quick two-goal advantage.

“Our scouting report was that defensively they were unbalanced, so we wanted to go at them early,” said Bold.

“It was unfortunate. We had a bad minute and two seconds,” said J-D coach Hayley Nies. “We might not have been ready to play, but that’s soccer for you.”

To J-D’s credit, it recovered from the early onslaught and generated some scoring chances with its trio of Jessica Holmes and sisters Tessa and Madde Devereaux. But BH-BL’s defense made it difficult for the Rams to get quality shots on goal.

“Those three [J-D] kids -- no doubt about it -- are talented players,” said Bold. “But my four defenders and my goalie, Florie Comley, all played great back there tonight.”

“We had a hard time getting through there,” said Nies.

BH-BL extended its lead to three goals late in the second half. Burchhardt struck a corner kick that Skye Kaler knocked into the net in traffic to seal the Lady Spartans’ victory.

“We talked [at halftime] about needing that third goal, and that Morgan-Skye combination on corner kicks has been great all season for us,” said Bold. “Skye’s not the biggest player, but she can get up there and head the ball.”

Comley preserved the shutout with eight saves for BH-BL, while Smith made five saves for J-D.

The BH-BL Spartans advance to Saturday’s regional final against Section X champion Franklin Academy of Malone at Stillwater High School, while the J-D Rams look ahead to next year when they return several starters from this year’s squad.

“We graduate six [seniors], but we have a very talented junior class,” said Nies.

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