Here is my story on Somers’ loss to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in Class B regional final Saturday.
HILLBURN The opportunities were there for Somers in its Class B regional final against Section 2’s Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Saturday at Torne Valley, but so was Spartans’ goalie Lexie Ball.
The sophomore, who is committed to Louisville, always seemed to get in the way of the Tuskers shots, making 12 stops total, in Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s 12-11 win over Somers, snapping the Tuskers’ 18-game unbeaten streak and ending their first appearance in the state tournament.
“As an offense, it’s very frustrating, and I think it was starting to get to us in the second half,” said Somers junior Nicole DeMase, who had five goals. “She played on her head all game.”
In addition to Ball’s strong play in goal, the Spartans (14-5) went on a five-goal run in the second half to take an 11-7 lead with 15:04 remaining that proved to be the difference. Northwestern-bound Nicole Beardsley, who finished with a game-high six goals, had a hand in four of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s goals during the run.
“I think our defense kind of stopped talking a little bit,” DeMase said. “We broke down, and then we were having trouble getting the draws, so it was kind of a bad cycle that we were stuck in we had to break out of.”
The Tuskers (17-1-1) eventually were able to get their offense going, scoring four of the games final five goals. Ball came up big when it mattered, though, making a stop in the final ten seconds to preserve the win.
“We didn’t play our best and can’t make excuses,” Somers coach Jaime Irving said. “We have 50 minutes to get it done and today we weren’t the better team.”
As tough as Saturday’s result was, DeMase can still see the bigger picture of what was accomplished this season by the Tuskers, who won their first sectional title in program history.
“We’re really proud of the season that we had and everything that we did,” DeMase said. “We’re all so happy to be a part of making history at Somers. It stinks it had to end like this, but we’re still really proud of what we did.”
Photo courtesy of Frank Becerra/Journal News.