GLOVERSVILLE - The Johnstown Lady Bills put an end to a losing streak Tuesday, shutting out the Gloversville Lady Dragons 1-0 on a chilly night at Gloversville High School.
While the Lady Dragons outshot the Lady Bills 13-10 in the first half, it was a softly tapped goal by Johnstown's Megan Anagnostopulos 20 minutes in that gave Johnstown a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
"I think we came out and we were the better team in the first half," said Gloversville head coach Mike Hallenbeck. "We had more dangerous chances, but they finished their chance and we didn't."
Johnstown’s Sara Kosowicz (11) tracks Gloversville’s Amanda Bakyta (16) as she moves the ball upfield Tuesday. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
The Lady Bills looked poised to overpower Gloversville early on, putting six shots on goal in the first 10 minutes while playing mainly at their offensive end of the field. One of Johnstown's best early chances to score came when Morganne Dick made a run at the goal, only to be turned away by Natasha Simon. Anagnostopulos redirected a second chance shot past Gloversville goalkeeper Emily Washburn to break the scoreless tie midway through.
The Dragons opened up their offense with about 25 minutes remaining in the half as Caroline Bakyta and Chanel Thomas made furious runs down the field, putting pressure on the Johnstown defense and goalkeeper Briana Esposito.
"I think Caroline Bakyta and Chanel Thomas played very well up top," said Hallenbeck. "We had a lot of chances. [We were] just unlucky that one of them didn't find the back of the net."
Thomas' first shot on goal didn't come until there were 23 minutes remaining in the half, but she made up for lost time by sending seven more balls toward Esposito in the final 20 minutes.
The second half began with more of a defensive feel.
"We didn't change anything," said Johnstown head coach Colleen Froschauer. "The girls just played harder, and they did a great job."
Washburn and Esposito exchanged back-to-back diving saves midway through the half, with Washburn saving a shot off the foot of Kendra McCoy and Esposito stopping a strike by Thomas. Overall, the Dragons were less effective in the second half.
"I don't know if we ran out of steam or what, but credit to them," said Hallenbeck. "They're a good team - they made their adjustments, and they kept a shutout, which is all they needed tonight."
The Lady Bills possessed the ball with great success as the half progressed, getting shots off periodically but with little accuracy. Washburn made four saves in the game compared to Esposito's 12.
"It's Johnstown/Gloversville. No matter how good or bad both teams are, it's always going to be a battle," said Froschauer. "It was tonight. Both teams played great."
Gloversville's game plan heading in was to improve on its performance against Johnstown on September 13. The Lady Bills won that game 7-3.
"I just wanted the girls to play hard and have a better showing than the last time they played them, and I think they did," said Hallenbeck.
Both teams will be in action Friday as the Lady Bills travel to South Glens Falls and the Lady Dragons host Scotia-Glenville.