BROADALBIN - Thursday night's non-league game at Patriot Field served two purposes for the Broadalbin-Perth boys soccer team.
First and foremost, the Patriots were decked out in the pink uniforms for their fourth annual Pink Out game, which raises money for the American Cancer Society. The second was to tune up for the upcoming Section II Class B tournament, which will begin next week.
"This is great," senior midfielder Tucker Wilcox said. "We were going to try to get as many people out as we can and raise as much money as we can. That's what it's for. It's not even about the soccer game anymore. It's about raising money for the cause."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Ben Bellandi battles Johnstown’s Joe Henderson for the ball during Thursday’s Pink Out game at Patriot Field in Broadalbin. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
The soccer game was mostly a one-sided affair as Wilcox scored a hat trick in the Patriots' 7-0 rout of the Johnstown Sir Bills.
"This was our warmup for the sectionals," Wilcox said. "This is what they said. We ended up playing down a man just to get us ready. This was a warmup and we have a long week before we play. We're going to practice hard, but this is a great warmup for us."
The Patriots (13-2-1 overall) got on the board in the second minute when Justin Marek brought the ball down the field along the right goalpost. He passed the ball off to Joe Zarecki, who banged the ball past Johnstown goalkeeper Andy Camarra for a 1-0 lead.
"We certainly had some things to work on," Broadalbin-Perth coach Brian Henry said. "We had to build on our possession better than we did the other night against Gloversville. We did that. We achieved that. We had some guys attack the goal that typically aren't in that position to attack the goal and we were very successful at it. This was a great tune-up for us. We'll wait until Tuesday to hear what our seed is and then we'll go from there."
Wilcox put his first goal on the board in the ninth minute as he let loose a curving kick that seemed to curl around Camarra. The ball hit the far post and bounced into the goal for 2-0 lead.
"My original intent was to cross the ball there," Wilcox said. "I hit it too hard down toward the goal more and it happened. It wasn't really planned that way, but it worked out as a goal."
The Patriots' extended their lead in the 34th minute when sophomore midfielder Ryan Dingman scored his first varsity goal.
Mark Sylvia scored and Wilcox added his second goals of the game in the 53rd and 54th minutes, giving the Patriots a 5-0 lead. Then after Sylvia scored two minutes later to run the lead to 6-0, Johnstown coach Mike Hill walked toward midfield and complained to Henry about the direction the game was going.
"We had to play them a third time," Hill said. "We had to come here. Nobody wants to come here and play them. We did them a favor to come here. That's why I was complaining."
After the exchange, Henry told his team to possess.
"It was a little contentious at times, but our guys did a nice job possessing the ball and getting open when they needed to get open," Henry said. "I'm happy with the way we handled ourselves."
There was, however, one more goal to be scored. Wilcox still wanted his hat trick and picked it up in the 73rd minute.
Now the Patriots will wait for the result of today's game between the Glens Falls Indians and the Scotia-Glenville Tartans. The Patriots have clinched at least a share of the Foothills Council title after beating the Tartans, 2-1, on Oct. 12. If Scotia-Glenville loses or ties, the Patriots will have the title to themselves. A Scotia-Glenville win will result in co-champions.
"We know that we're going to get at least a share of it," Henry said. "Of course, we're going to root for Glens Falls and coach [Mike] Shaver to pull one out of the hat for us. But it is what it is. We went undefeated in the league in the second half of the season and we put ourselves in position to get at least a share of the title and we've done that."