BROADALBIN - The Broadalbin-Perth girls soccer team was hoping that home field advantage might be enough to contain Queensbury's Brittany LaPlant.
The teams squared off in a battle of unbeatens Tuesday night on the artificial surface at Patriots' Field at Broadalbin-Perth High School, a place where Queensbury has been winless since 2008.
LaPlant delivered her 23 and 24th goals of the season, both in the first half, to end the Lady Spartans' losing streak at the field with a 2-0 Foothills Council win over Broadalbin-Perth.
Broadalbin-Perth’s Kelly Makarowsky (5) and Queensbury’s Lorissa Rodriguez (14) collide while battling for the ball during Tuesday’s Foothills Council match at Broadalbin-Perth High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
LaPlant, a sophomore, now has 98 career goals.
"We finally broke the curse of this field," Queensbury coach Jason Tenner said. "They are so strong at home so it was real nice to come away with a victory tonight."
Broadalbin-Perth coach Rob Klug said, "I don't know if it is the turf or just that the girls are pumped up to play at home. It has been tough for anyone to come here and play or us to go elsewhere and play. It is a mental thing."
LaPlant delivered her first goal of the match by converting on a penalty kick 5:15 into the match.
Just under 10 minutes later the sophomore won a 50-50 ball, maneuvered her way through the Lady Patriots defense to slot a close-range shot just out of the reach of B-P goalkeeper Rachel Orapello.
"It is tough to combine and connect on this field so we knew there had to be more individual effort tonight," Tenner said. "They pulled through tonight and did very well with that."
The Lady Patriots' defense tightened up and withstood three corner kick attempts in less than a minute.
"[Orapello] had a great effort along with everyone else," Klug said. "She had some big stops tonight and she has done that the last two years. That is what she is in there for, to make big saves when we need her to."
The momentum swung in B-P's favor shortly after as the offense began to build a rhythm with passing through the midfield.
Katie Herba came within inches of making it a 2-1 game with 14:05 left in the opening half.
Herba struck a hard shot just inside the penalty area that hit the cross bar and bounced down, where Queensbury goalkeeper Sarah O'Brien gained control in front of a crashing front line.
The Lady Patriots kept the pressure on resulting in a pair of corner kicks. The B-P shooters were able to direct attempts on net out of a packed penalty area but O'Brien was able to make the stops.
LaPlant pushed for her third goal of the game late in the first half but was denied by Orapello as she slid out to take the shot away, leaving the game 2-0 at the half.
"The crowd got into it and they started building momentum so we made a few changes to try to slow things down a bit," Tenner said. "Luckily after about 10 to 15 minutes it kind of ebbed a little bit but that was certainly a dangerous time."
The Lady Patriots defense continued to contain LaPlant early in the second half, so she opted to set up her teammates. LaPlant set up plays in front of the goal intended for Claire Hubbs that were snuffed out by Orapello and the defense.
Both defenses remained solid in the final 40 minutes to give Queensbury the 2-0 victory and sole possession of first place in the Foothills Council standings with a 5-0 league record and 6-0 overall.
Broadalbin-Perth drops into a tie for second with Scotia-Glenville with a 4-1 league mark.
"We have a young line back there and we talked about how to slow her [LaPlant] down," Klug said. "Overall, I thought they did a very good job against a very good player. I was pleased with their effort in the back. No one should walk out of here with their heads hanging low tonight."