GLOVERSVILLE - Being able to adjust their style of play proved to be the key the South Glens Falls Bulldogs needed Tuesday against the Gloversville Lady Dragons.
Even when trailing by two goals, the Lady Dragons consistently broke through the Bulldogs' defense to create scoring opportunities, but they could not cash in.
After Chanel Thomas did finish off a breakaway, the South High defense adjusted to take away the threat and went on to wear down Gloversville and take home a 5-1 Foothills Council victory.
Gloversville defender Natasha Simon (19) pulls the ball away from South Glens Falls' Lauren Vetter (4) during Tuesday's Foothills Council match at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"The first half we had them on their heels," Gloversville coach Mike Hallenbeck said. "They were playing flat in the back and we caused the all kinds of problems. We had four breakaways and it could have easily have been 4-2 us at the half. But we have to have composure going to goal and finish."
The Lady Dragons created early opportunities but had breakaways by Thomas and Caroline Bakyta turned aside by South High goalkeeper Elyse Green.
The Bulldogs picked up the first goal of the match with just under six minutes off the clock. Shannon Curley found an opening in the Gloversville defense and fired a 15-yard shot on goal that sailed under the crossbar for a 1-0 lead.
Just over 11 minutes later, South High was awarded a direct kick from 30-yards out. Felicia Buser put the kick on goal that Gloversville goalkeeper Emily Washburn knocked down, but Elizabeth Spada was in position to slot the rebound home for a 2-0 advantage.
Gloversville got a goal back with just under 17 minutes left in the opening half.
Washburn punted the ball out of the penalty area and Thomas gathered it in, split through the defense and slipped the ball past Green to cut South High's lead to one, 2-1.
Both Washburn and Green came through with stops on solid attempts to keep it a one-goal game at the break.
The Bulldogs' defense switched from a flat-back to a sweeper-style and was able to slow down the speedy Gloversville front line.
Creating opportunities out of the counterattack, the Bulldogs' persistent pressure wore on the Gloversville defense as Gabrielle Kreppein knocked home three second-half scores to lock up the 5-1 victory.
"We seemed to run out of gas," Hallenbeck said. "We play with teams for the first 40 to 60 minutes, then we seem to run out of gas and it is a noticeable difference. We are going to work on getting into soccer shape here so we can compete for the full 80 minutes."
For the match, South High outshot Gloversville 27-12 and held a 4-0 edge in corner kicks.
Washburn pulled down 18 saves in goal for Gloversville, while Greene finished with five.
The Lady Dragons will take to the road for the next game, a Foothills Council match at 7 p.m. Friday at Johnstown.