JOHNSTOWN - After splitting their two regular-season contests, the Johnstown and Queensbury field hockey teams battled each other once again Tuesday, meeting in the quarterfinals of the Section II Class B Tournament at Knox Field.
The third-seeded Lady Bills emerged victorious, 3-2, after the sixth-seeded Spartans battled them to the wire and beyond.
"It's always hard when you play a team three times," Johnstown coach Tracy Ringer said. "You get to know each other's strengths and weaknesses. You still need to play your game, though."
Johnstown’s Mackenzie Rogers (11) pushes the ball past Queensbury’s Amanda Guido (12) and Maddie Nelson (15) during Tuesday’s Section II Class B quarterfinal game at Knox Field in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
In the regular season, the Lady Bills lost at Queensbury on Oct. 3, 2-1, before avenging the loss at home with a 2-0 win on Oct. 5.
The third meeting was a battle from the opening whistle.
"This was a heck of a game," Queensbury coach Jaime Robinson said.
Queensbury struck first when Christie Raymond scored just 2:10 into the game on an assist from Aisling McAllister.
Johnstown pulled even with 24:43 remaining in the first half when Mikaela Etherton scored on an assist from Hope Cerasuolo.
The Lady Bills took the lead for the first time when Bridgia Valk scored on an assist from Kelsi Barnholt with 21:03 to play in the first half.
"It's been a learning process for our team all season," Ringer said. "We've been scored on this year, and we've had to dig ourselves out of holes all year long. This team never quits and keeps fighting right to the end."
However, the Spartans tied the game a 2-2 with 5:51 left in the opening half when Stephanie Hand scored on an assist from Raymond.
"It was a just a solid effort by my whole team," Robinson said. "The girls wanted it and came ready to play today."
Johnstown scored the only goal of the second half, with 22:53 to play when Nicole Bentley scored on an assist from Barnholt.
From there, the Lady Bills were forced to hold off a furious rally by the Spartans, who finished the second half with a 7-2 advantage in penalty corners, with four of those coming in the final minute and after time had expired. To win the game, Johnstown was forced to clear the ball from the penalty circle, as Queensbury continued to earn penalty corners.
"We didn't give up and fought all the way through the very last seconds and beyond," Robinson said.
Kristin Wright made two saves to post the win in goal for Johnstown, while Christina Galatioto and Lauren DeLor combined to make eight saves for Queensbury.
"It wasn't the prettiest game, but we'll take the win and move on," Ringer said.
Johnstown (12-5 overall) advances to face No. 2 seed Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake next Tuesday in a rematch of last year's Class B championship game. Burnt Hills won the title last year with a 3-1 win over the Lady Bills. The Spartans advanced to the semifinals with a 4-0 win over No. 7 seed Scotia-Glenville on Tuesday.
"This win gives us another seven days to the season," Ringer said. "We get to play another game."
Queensbury ended its season with an 8-7 overall record.
"We wanted the win and we wanted it bad," Robinson said. "This was an intense game and we gave it everything we had. The girls played well and we had a solid effort. I just wish the outcome was a little different."
Class B Quarterfinals
South Glens Falls 5, Ichabod Crane 0
SOUTH GLENS FALLS - Kelsey Baldwin, Emily Sharpe, Olivia Higgins and Katie Washburn each had a goal and an assist as top-seeded South Glens Falls posted a shutout win over No. 8 seed Ichabod Crane.
Nicole Crawford also scored for the Bulldogs (13-4 overall), who won their first Foothills Council title since 1989 this season.
South Glens Falls advances to the semifinals, where it will host No. 4 seed Glens Falls next Tuesday. Glens Falls advanced with a 2-0 win over No. 5 seed Emma Willard on Tuesday.
Ichabod Crane ended its season with a 5-10 overall record.