BROADALBIN - The Broadalbin-Perth Patriots started the week riding a 28-game unbeaten streak dating back to last season.
Now, after Wednesday's Foothills Council game, the Patriots have lost two straight following their 3-2 loss to the Scotia-Glenville Tartans at Patriot Field. Both losses came to the Tartans, who also were 2-1 victors in a non-league contest.
"We're definitely going to bounce back," forward A.J. Klemczak said. "This is just going to give us fuel for farther on in the season and sectionals. We're going to think about this feeling every time we get into a tough situation. Do we want to feel this feeling again? Definitely not."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Tucker Wilcox tries to play the ball past Scotia-Glenville’s Peter Marola as Owen Fingar (12) looks on during Wednesday’s Foothills Council game at Patriot Field in Broadalbin. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
There was a feeling of deadlock for most of the second half as both teams entered the game, finding it difficult to break a 1-1 tie. Both teams had chances early in the second half, but were taking better quality shots during the game's final 20 minutes.
The Tartans (8-0-0 overall, 4-0-0 Foothills Council) nearly broke the tie with 17:43 remaining when Eric Denny had an open shot on the goal, but his shot slammed off the football crossbar, mere feet above the soccer goal's crossbar for a goal kick. About a minute later, the Patriots' Ben Bellandi had a chance to break the tie when he fired a shot that also sailed high of the goal.
However, it was a goal kick that turned out to be the Patriots' undoing.
The kick never got off the ground and slammed into Scotia-Glenville's Country Moran, who sent the ball back past Broadalbin-Perth goalkeeper Pat Brown for a 2-1 lead.
"You don't know what he's going to do with the ball," Scotia-Glenville coach Chris Bailey said. "A lot of the times I don't know. Sometimes the guys out of desperation will get him the ball and let him work his magic."
The Patriots, however, still had some magic left in them, when Scott Everson converted a pass from Ben Bellandi into a game-tying goal, giving both teams some extra life for the final seven minutes.
"We love to feed off that type of energy and these guys definitely have a tendency to do that off of goals," Broadalbin-Perth coach Brian Henry said. "I thought we carried a good portion of play during the game. Give them credit. They kept fighting and fighting and found a way to knock that game-winner in. We'll be fine."
That game-winner came with about a minute to go when Denny scored on a kick that deflected off Klemczak. The collision changed the course of the ball just enough to get past Brown.
"We had all the momentum," Klemczak said. "What happened was they got a counter attack on us and off my deflection, freaky goal."
Goalkeeper Pat Brown kept the Patriots in the game, making six saves.
"Pat's been outstanding," Henry said. "He's never played before. He's a senior. He came out for the team because he knew there was an opportunity for him to play with Madison graduating. He's a smart game. He's learned the game very quickly. Obviously, he's very athletic."
The Patriots (5-2-1 overall, 3-1-1 Foothills Council) jumped on the scoreboard early when Mark Sylvia headed a pass from Tucker Wilcox into the goal, giving them a 1-0 lead.
The Tartans tied the game later in the half when Aaron Keegan scored off an assist from Owen Fingar.
"I think both teams deserved to win," Bailey said. "Honestly, for a high-school soccer match, to be able to go back and forth like that, nobody deserves to lose."
Wednesday's game was the ninth straight one-goal decision between the two teams.
"That is unbelievable," Henry said. "That's what we can expect whenever they come to town or whenever we go to their place. Whoever gets the last opportunity is who walks away with the victory. Unfortunately, it's them."