By MICHAEL KELLY
Recorder Sports Staff
BROADALBIN -- After falling behind early in the teams' first meeting before being able to force a tie with a late goal, Broadalbin-Perth boys soccer head coach Brian Henry said Thursday that he needed his team ready to roll from the opening whistle of its Foothill Council game against the South Glens Falls Bulldogs.
"That was something we talked about before the match, to establish (ourselves) early ... to set the tone, and they did a great job," Henry said.
The Patriots picked up a 2-0 win, as B-P scored its pair of goals in the contest's first 28 minutes. Francesco Mastrocinque provided the first goal for the Patriots (7-2-1, 5-1-1) in the fifth minute, as he booted home a loose ball off of a shot from B-P's Ben Bellandi; then, in the 28th minute, Logan Ackley swerved through traffic with a series of crossover dribbles to put in the Patriots' second goal.
"They got the goals when they got their chances," said Bulldogs head coach Travis Birkholz, "and we didn't."
Ackley, a defender, started his move off a pass from A.J. Klemczak roughly 40 yards from the goal.
"I was just trying to create an opportunity to get somebody open," said Ackley, "and it turned out that I had the chance, so I just took it."
The junior defender looked more like a forward on the play, showing off a few dribbling moves as he skirted toward South Glens Falls (6-3-1, 4-2-1) goalie Josh Hay. Ackley has attacked up the field several times this season, something he rarely did a season ago.
"Confidence," was the reason Ackley listed for his improved offensive game this season. "Last year, it was my first year on varsity, so I wasn't as confident."
While Ackley and Mastrocinque provided the scoring for B-P, the duo of Pat Brown and Matt Myers in goal led the Patriots to their second shutout in a row -- and fifth of the season.
"Those guys have been working hard all year and there's been a couple of games where they haven't seen much action," said Henry. "So, they've just been sitting there ... (but), today, they were called upon, both of them, and they both stepped up."
Brown made a pair of nice saves, plus a solid play on a ball played in the box, before exiting with a leg injury in the contest's 29th minute. Brown's injury allowed Myers his first chance to play keeper -- his natural position -- for the first time in a few weeks, as the senior had exclusively seen time in the field for the Patriots in recent games.
Sitting on the bench when Brown got hurt, Myers said he was caught a little off guard by having to go play his old position.
"I wasn't warmed up or anything," he said. "I was freaking out a little bit."
South Glens Falls tested Myers throughout the remainder of the game, but the senior proved reliable and made five saves.
Heading into this season, the goalkeeping duo of Brown and Myers was the defending Class B state champions' question mark -- the two seniors replaced all-star goalie Madison Wilcox -- but Henry said efforts like the one had Thursday are making him more comfortable with his new batch of goalies.
"It's nice," he said. "It's one less thing we have to worry about."
Not having a lot to worry about is good for the Patriots, who have three games left before heading to rival Scotia-Glenville for a contest that could decide whether the Patriots capture a second consecutive Foothills Council crown.
Henry said he thought Thursday's win could help catapult B-P into a big second half of its league slate.
"I think it's going to give us a lot of momentum," Henry said.