By PAUL WAGER
JOHNSTOWN - In its final regular-season home game, the Johnstown field hockey team gave its fans a memorable win over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake at Knox Field on Tuesday.
Johnstown’s Lindsay?Brandt, left, attempts to dribble past Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s Rose Carr during Tuesday’s game at Knox Field in?Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
The Lady Bills scored once in each half to post a 2-1 win over the Spartans.
Fittingly on senior night, it was a pair of Johnstown seniors, Ashley Dona and Cody Cooper, who scored the goals.
The Lady Bills got out of the gates quickly, pushing forward in the opening minutes.
Cooper nearly cashed in from point-blank range for Johnstown but Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake goalie Shauna Ryan made the save. In the process, she fell on the ball and Johnstown was awarded a penalty stroke.
Dona converted the opportunity for the Lady Bills with 25:26 to play in the first half.
"We came out with intensity," Ringer said. "We pushed them back on their heels early."
However, the Spartans regrouped and turned the tables on Johnstown over the final minutes of the first half.
Rose Carr nearly scored the equalizer for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake with 6:45 left in the first half, sending a shot on goal that was stopped by Johnstown netminder Courtney Ponte.
The Lady Bills maintained their 1-0 lead into the half, the same margin they held in their 2-1 loss to Glens Falls on Oct. 6.
"After we scored the first goal, we had a letdown," Ringer said. "At halftime, I told the team that they had to pick it up. I didn't want to have this be another Glens Falls game."
Ringer's concerns were realized as the Spartans controlled the action early in the second half.
Amy LeBel pulled Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake even, ripping a shot just inside the right post to knot the game at 1-1 with 16:11 to play.
"We let [Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake] back in the game," Ringer said. "It was another classic reality check for us. Our tempo changed immediately after they scored. We need to carry our intensity through the whole game and avoid letdowns."
The Lady Bills got back on track over the final 15 minutes, pushing forward as they had in the early stages of the first half.
Emma Heroth and Kelsi Barnholt sent shots wide right for Johnstown, which looked to regain the lead.
Cooper finally cashed in for Johnstown with 7:19, scoring from just inside the circle to make it 2-1.
From there, the Lady Bills hung on for the win over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (8-4 overall), which had won four straight games coming into Tuesday's contest.
Ponte finished with three saves for Johnstown, while Ryan made four stops for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
"We'll take the win and move on. It is what it is," Ringer said. "I'm happy for the seniors and I'll take a 2-1 win over a loss any time. We've still got some work to do, though."
Johnstown (10-2 overall) will travel to Hudson Falls on Thursday and Queensbury on Saturday to wrap up the regular season. Pairings for the Section II Class B Tournament will be announced Sunday morning.