STILLWATER — Between injuries and girls leaving the program, the Peru girls’ soccer team has overcome plenty of adversity this season.
However, only having two substitutes proved to be the Indians’ demise as Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake wore down the undermanned Indians en route to a 5-0 win in the New York State Class A quarterfinals Saturday night.
“Passing the ball the way they did, they wore us out,” Peru coach Tom Harrigan said. “We only have two subs and one of those was injured. They’re a great passing team and they just wore us down.”
After surrendering a goal to Elle Muller in the game’s sixth minute, Peru (7-8-1) held tough for the remainder of the first half. The Indians’ back line of Maddy Flynn, Anna Hogan and Emily Lawliss managed to thwart off the Spartans’ relentless attack with the help of goalie Kara Barber, who made a couple of spectacular saves early on.
Offensively, Peru had a handful of opportunities to knot the game at one. Sam Spear missed a shot just over the crossbar in the 17th minute. Then 15 minutes later, some creative passing between Spear and Rachel Sheldrick led to a ball across the middle. However, Lidia Greselin was a half-step slow as the Burnt Hills keeper smothered the ball before a play could be made.
The biggest call of the game came with 26 seconds remaining in the first half. A tripping violation inside Peru’s box led to a penalty kick, which Burnt Hills’ Morgan Burchhardt promptly placed in the corner on the net, allowing the Spartans to take a commanding 2-0 advantage into the half.
“All (Peru) would have needed is one shot to tie it back up,” Burnt Hills coach Brian Bold said. “So to get that goal with 26 seconds left was huge for us to go into the half with a bit of a cushion and momentum on our side.”