BROADALBIN - The Broadalbin-Perth boys soccer team wrapped up its Foothills Council season in grand fashion Tuesday night at Patriot Field.
Led by senior Ben Bellandi's first-half hat trick, the Patriots defeated Gloversville 5-0 to secure a piece of the Foothills Council crown.
"We work all year to play for a league title and this is our third in the last four years," Broadalbin-Perth coach Brian Henry said. "Scotia has a league match left, so if they win we will share it with them."
Gloversville defender Alex Carver (17) clears the ball away from Broadalbin-Perth’s Matt Myers (6) and Joe Zarecki (3) during the second half of Tuesday’s Foothills Council game at Broadalbin-Perth High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Tartans (9-1-1 Foothills) defeated Johnstown, 3-1, on Tuesday to stay in the hunt a game behind of the Patriots (12-2-1 overall, 10-1-1 Foothills). Scotia-Glenville will wrap up its Foothills Council season Friday at Glens Falls. The Patriots and Tartans split their Foothills Council matches, while Scotia-Glenville won a non-league match between the two.
Bellandi set the tone for the match early, finishing off a pass from Tucker Wilcox for a 1-0 advantage 92 seconds into the match.
The Patriots immediately went to work to register a second goal, which they got with 18:43 remaining in the opening half.
Bellandi registered his second goal of the half, gaining control of the ball deep in the Gloversville penalty area to push it into the back of the net.
The senior completed his hat trick just over three minutes later when he finished off a cross from Ryan Dingman, giving the Patriots a 3-0 halftime lead.
Broadalbin-Perth opened the second half much the same way it did the first as Wilcox drove home the Patriots fourth goal 21 seconds after the second-half kick off.
With the four-goal lead, the Patriots appeared to get away from the style of play that brought them a state championship last season and a second-straight Foothills Council title.
"We take our skill level for granted," Henry said. "We play a possession-style game and that got away from us for a while. My job, animated as I may get sometimes, is to remind the guys when they are not doing things correctly that we have worked so hard to do.
At one point, the Patriots had only 10 players on the pitch as Henry pulled a player who he was displeased with to address the situation.
The Patriots got the message as they settled back into their possession-style game.
"I thought we played pretty well during that time," Henry said.
Gloversville best scoring opportunity of the match came with 3:45 left to play when Thomas Kirk drove a shot over the B-P defense and on goal that Patriots' goalkeeper Pat Brown gathered in for the save.
Broadalbin-Perth closed out its second 5-0 victory of the season over the Dragons when Joe Zarecki finished off an assist from Wilcox with 1:54 remaining in the match.
"They possess the ball very well and everyone knows where everyone else is," Gloversville coach Paul Ligon said. "That is how the game is supposed to be played. We did not play well tonight and you need to bring your 'A' game against them.""
Gloversville (3-11 overall, 2-9 Foothills) will wrap up its Foothills Council campaign Monday night by honoring its senior players before their game against Johnstown.
The Patriots will host Johnstown in a non-league contest Thursday night in the fourth annual Pink Out game.