Gloversville’s Damian Bruce (3) tries to control the ball between Broadalbin-Perth’s Kyle Denman (9) and Will Austin during Tuesday’s Patriot Pink Out game at Broadalbin-Perth High School. (Adam Shinder/Recorder staff)
By ADAM SHINDER
BROADALBIN — After 79-and-a-half minutes of controlling the game, the Broadalbin-Perth boys soccer team needed one moment of brilliance from senior goalie Ian Halloran to prevent a disastrous ending to Tuesday’s night’s Robin Blowers Patriot Pink Out game against Gloversville.
B-P had dominated possession throughout the scoreless contest, but Gloversville got a golden chance in the final minute of regulation when Raymond Strauser slipped behind the Patriots defense. Halloran, B-P’s veteran keeper, made a sliding challenge to deflect Strauser’s toe-poke shot, and the B-P defense eventually cleared things from trouble.
“It was a chase condition, (Strauser) had the step on us, and it was a phenomenal save by Ian,” B-P coach Billy Eipp said. “He stopped him cold, then got to the next loose ball. That’s totally senior leadership.”
Seven minutes into overtime, B-P got the golden goal it was looking for as Zach Monks’ free kick went in and out of the hands of Gloversville goalie Jacob Katanecksza before trickling over the goal line as B-P captured a 1-0 win.
“I’m very happy for the team,” Eipp said. “That was a well-fought battle. I think we outplayed them again, and we earned the win.”
The win avenged B-P’s 3-1 loss to Gloversville on Sept. 18, and prevented the Dragons from clinching at least a share of the Foothills Council South Division title. Gloversville needs a B-P win or tie Friday when the Patriots host Scotia-Glenville to share the division crown with the Spartans.
“We’re Broadalbin fans right now, mainly for our (sectional) seeding,” Gloversville coach Jay Hillabrandt said. “There’s so much parity in Class A, where we knew that this was the difference between a three or four seed and a six or seven seed.”
It was an especially satisfying win for the Patriots as it came in Eipp’s first Patriot Pink Out as head coach. The ninth annual event, dedicated to the late Margaret “Robin” Blowers — a former B-P High School principal — saw all proceeds raised from the night’s raffles, concessions and t-shirt sales donated to the American Cancer Society.
“It’s my first Pink Out, I’m thrilled,” Eipp said. “It was not a small event in any way, shape or form. As a first year coach, we had committees that helped, the whole nine yards. It was very nice, I think it was a great event. The community loves it.”
B-P dominated possession throughout the night, but was largely unable to break down the Gloversville defense. The Patriots’ best chance during regulation came just before the midway point of the first half, when Jonathan Murphy’s low cross from the right wing was directed on goal by Devon Holz, but Katanecksza was able to make the save.
Though the goal didn’t come during regulation, Eipp saw plenty of positive signs from his team’s attack.
“We couldn’t get that final connection, but we’re getting there,” he said. “We’re closing that gap, little by little.”
Gloversville’s attack didn’t give much trouble to the B-P defense throughout the night, but when Strauser broke free in the final minute of regulation, the Dragons came within feet of snatching the win just before the final whistle.
“(Strauser) got a good touch on it to try and toe-poke it, which got us a deflection, but it just pinballed around there for a little bit and couldn’t put it away,” Hillabrandt said.
Seven minutes into overtime, Brady Goodemote was pushed in the back when launching a run through the midfield, earning a free kick from about 25 yards out. Monks’ free kick was initially saved by Katanecksza, but as the Gloversville goalie rolled on top of the ball, it slipped free and popped over the goal line.
“Unfortunately, that’s not the first time we’ve lost a game like that this year,” Hillabrandt said. “It’s unfortunate for the game to end like that.”
It was an unfortunate final result for Gloversville, but set off a raucous celebration for the Patriots, who will look to close out a solid end to what’s been an up-and-down regular season when they host Scotia-Glenville on Friday.
“We’re gearing up, trying to run the table and get ready for sectionals,” Eipp said. “Our loss to Queensbury (last week), even though we lost, was a great momentum builder for us because it was a good game against a great team. We’ve been slingshotting off of that.”