The Ballston Spa Scotties varsity girls lacrosse team looked to avenge an earlier loss to rival Saratoga Springs Tuesday afternoon, but found the result much the same in a 16-3 loss.
On Opening Day back on March 29, the Scotties fell to Saratoga 17-1. Saratoga’s talent proved to be too much then, and too much now.
Saratoga’s Hanna Wise scored five goals, and Briana Sirianni scored three and added two assists to lead their team. From the opening whistle, it was an unrelenting barrage of offense.
“We came out completely flat and against a good team like them you can’t come out flat,” said Don Nowc, Ballston Spa’s head coach. “They have so many good players and they’re young, so that’s scary.”
“All the pieces we have been working on in practice came together,” said Leanne Lofink, Saratoga’s head coach. “Our transition, I thought we were patient with the ball and composed on offense. Our defense started to communicate better on cutters and doubles.”
Saratoga scored two minutes and 10 seconds into the game when Sirianni carried the ball the length of the field and fed Wise on a rope. Wise then buried her shot past Ballston Spa’s Emilee Conroe.
Saratoga then scored four more goals in a span of 3:01.
The Blue Streaks moved the ball down the field at will, set up their cutters and buried their shots with tight efficiency, scoring 13 goals in the first half to Ballston Spa’s one. Ballston Spa’s Kassie Purcell scored that goal at the 15:07 mark.
“We had to cut more,” Purcell said. “We needed to see the opening for the cut. On offense we did great getting big and passing it around and seeing cutters when we did have them.”
Ballston Spa doubled its output in the second half getting a goal apiece from Sarah Chandler and Hannah Curtiss.
“The idea in the second half was to play much better,” Nowc said, whose team dropped to 1-11 overall and 0-10 in the Suburban Council.
What Nowc and Purcell saw in the second half, where Ballston Spa was outscored just 3-2, was the silver lining to an otherwise lopsided affair.
“I was ecstatic, that was awesome,” Purcell said. “Emilee [Conroe], our goalie, really stepped it up. Our whole team stepped it up. I was so proud our team was able to do it.”
“For us, it was knowing that in the second half we tightened up the defense,” Nowc said. “We actually started forcing some things in the midfield and we showed we could play tough with them, which was good. They’re a Class A school we’re a Class B school.”
The Scotties pushed the ball up the field and ran their offense with better cohesion in the second half. It was a simple yet significant tweak.
“We straightened up our stick skills in the second half,” Nowc said. “We weren’t catching in the first half. We were able to straighten up, control the ball and we managed to score.”
And given that this game was quickly out of reach—the score was already 6-1 in the first 10 minutes—the Scotties kept their heads and kept their eyes on the big picture.
“You have to work on staying together and not let it demoralize you as a team,” Purcell. “I think the second half we did that.”
The Blue Streaks (4-6, 5-6) put an end to a two-game skid and enter a tilt with unbeaten Guilderland.
Saratoga also got goals from Amanda Flemming (two), Marisa Larkin, Lizzie DeLorenzo, Ann Mahoney (two), Leah Reidy and Olivia Lehane.
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