BROADALBIN - It didn't take long for the tone of the championship match of the Fulton County Stop DWI Cup boys soccer tournament to be set.
A tripping penalty in the box led to a penalty kick in the opening minute of Monday night's title match between host and defending champion Broadalbin-Perth and Amsterdam.
Tucker Wilcox converted on the penalty kick with 47 seconds off the clock for the first of his three goals to lead Broadalbin-Perth to a 6-0 victory at Patriot Field.
The Broadalbin-Perth boys soccer team poses with its trophy after winning the Fulton County Stop DWI Cup on Monday with a 6-0 win over Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"They [Amsterdam] were pressing really hard in the first half," Broadalbin-Perth coach Brian Henry said. "I give them a lot of credit. We weren't really prepared for them to press as hard as they did. It kind of threw us off our match a little bit because, traditionally, we are a possession-style team. We switched gears, went to the counterattack, and scored a goal. The second half we settled down and started knocking the ball around and generating some nice goals."
Amsterdam (1-1 overall) tested the Broadalbin-Perth midfield and defense early with a strong, physical attack in the middle of the field, trying to spring its speedy front line attackers.
However, the Patriots closed down the passing lanes and strung passes together on the counter attack that led to the early foul, penalty kick and score by Wilcox.
The Rams shook off the early mistake and stayed on their game plan, attacking up the middle, which led to a corner kick less than a minute after the score.
Broadalbin-Perth (2-0 overall) picked up its second goal of the match, again off a counterattack, when Ben Bellandi gained control of the ball and fired a long shot from the right side into the side netting for a 2-0 advantage just over 14 minutes into the match.
The Patriots began taking control of the tempo of the match late in the opening half and establishing their trademark possession game moving the ball sideline-to-sideline to create opportunities. However, the Rams defense and goalkeeper Jared Weissman kept the Patriots from extending their first-half advantage.
Broadalbin-Perth carried the momentum it built late in the first half over into the second and immediately put pressure on the Rams' backline.
Scoring off set plays was a strength of B-P's state championship team last year and the 2012 Patriots look to be carrying on the tradition.
With 4:10 off the clock, Wilcox put a corner kick in play to A.J. Klemczak, who returned the ball to him. Wilcox fired a low shot that deflected off a defender and into the net to open the score to 3-0.
Wilcox and Klemczak hooked up on a second corner play 18 minutes later, only this time it was Klemczak who put the ball past Weissman's diving effort.
"We are trying to get creative with these guys," Henry said. "Last year, we had some set plays with those guys that were creative. This year, we have a few new ones and that corner kick caught them off guard and we put a couple in the back of the net."
Two minutes later, Klemczak picked up his second goal of the match when he lined a shot from the top of the box off the far post and into the net for a 5-0 edge.
Wilcox closed out the scoring with 14:28 left on the clock when he received a long ball out of the midfield and beat Weissman as he charged the play.
"It's a great way to start the season with nine goals in the first two games," Henry said. "I think it is giving the goalies [Matt Myers and Pat Brown] confidence, too, that they have a strong defense in front of them and we can put balls in the back of the net for them."
Wilcox and Klemczak were named to the all-tournament team for Broadalbin-Perth along with fellow Patriots Bellandi and Scott Everson, while Andrew Disalvi, John Hardies and Harpreet Singh were honored from the Rams.
The Patriots will now turn their attention to defending their 2011 Foothills Council championship and extending their 24-game unbeaten streak when they travel to play rival South Glens Falls Wednesday.
"This is definitely a confidence builder going into South High on Wednesday," Henry said. "That is the Devil's Den right there. It is something we are going to need to discuss tomorrow in practice and get prepared to move on from the Cup and start focusing on league play. And what a place to do it, too."
Fort Plain 1, Mechanicville 0
BROADALBIN - The Fort Plain Hilltoppers rebounded from a 1-0 loss to Amsterdam on Saturday to defeat Mechanicville and claim the consolation match of the Fulton County Stop DWI Tournament Monday at Broadalbin-Perth High School.
Darrel Diffin centered a pass to John Stever who headed the ball past Mechanicville goalkeeper Caleb Foard with 33:26 left in the match for the winning goal.
The Hilltoppers withstood a late-game rally by the Red Raiders to pick up the victory.
"The last 20 minutes of the first half was very good," Fort Plain coach Casey Russo said. "We had some good opportunities, but scored on what was kind of an ugly goal. But if that is what it takes. I thought we attacked a little more directly today and didn't turn the ball over as much."
Chris Hanifin and Joe Ray earned all-tournament team honors for the Hilltoppers (1-1), while Foard and Isaac Haner earned the honor for Mechanicville (0-2).
Henry said the annual tournament "is a great way to start the year off. What the Fulton County Cup means to the community members and us is fantastic. The Stop DWI coordinator Dave Wiltey, who is now retired, has always been very generous funding this and we look forward to doing it many more years to come. It is a great message."