HOOSICK, N.Y. -- During last season's championship run, the Hoosick Falls Central School girls soccer team only lost two games -- one to interstate rival Burr and Burton Academy.
That loss was firmly in the minds of the Panthers, who began the season against the Bulldogs under the lights at Ken Baker Field on Tuesday night. Hoosick Falls started their title defense in a big way, scoring four first-half goals en route to a 5-1 win.
"Our goal was to really tear them apart, show them what we're made of, even though we lost so many players," said sophomore Jordan Haynes, who scored twice. "We wanted to score early and often."
Using their speed and an all-out attack, Hoosick Falls peppered the net right from the opening whistle. In the seventh minute, a precise through ball found the foot of junior Kolumbia Cook, who beat BBA netminder Joanna Jorgensen (7 saves) one-on-one for a 1-0 lead.
"Our center midfielders, Mackenzie [Hinchliffe] and Rachel [Pine], usually play to the flanks," Haynes said. "The flanks are fast and can play to the strikers."
BBA came back down the field, getting a shot on Hoosick Falls goalie Hannah Fricke that trickled toward the far post, but Fricke dove to corral it to keep the Bulldogs off the scoreboard. Fricke ended the night with 14 saves.
Moments later, senior Dana O'Malley snagged a loose ball outside of the box and curled it perfectly in the top corner to make it 2-0.
"All our goals were pretty nice, Kolumbia's right off the bat and Dana's," said Hoosick Falls coach Tom Husser.
Haynes scored her first goal of the season -- and 62nd of her career -- in the 21st minute, burying a loose ball in the box to make it 3-0.
"As a striker, our goal is to pick up the messy scraps of other players," Haynes said. "Two players [were] going for the same ball, and I just poked it in."
Sophomore Megan Flynn added to the lead next, scoring off a free kick just outside of the box.
BBA coach Dan DeForest said his team had chances to keep it close in the first half but were unable to connect.
"We could have had three goals and we didn't finish," DeForest said. "Hoosick Falls did a great job of finishing, they are terrific attacking the goal. They beat us to the ball early and that made a difference. They're a really strong team, and we can learn a lot from this."
After Haynes scored again 90 seconds into the second half, BBA continued to fight and got on the board with 29 minutes remaining. Tess Cottrell picked up a loose ball and finished in the far corner past Fricke to avert the shutout.
"We were trying something different things, we only had one scrimmage," said DeForest, starting his 31st season of coaching at BBA. "We played much better in the second half and I was pleased with what we did, especially in the second half."
Husser said the win felt good after last year's 2-1 defeat against the Bulldogs.
"We had a little momentum, we wanted to beat them because of last year," Husser said. "They got us early [last year when we were] looking for an undefeated season. We wanted this game pretty bad."
Hoosick Falls has a week-long break, then welcomes Granville to town on Sept. 11, diving right into the Wasaren League schedule.
Burr and Burton's next match will be against Brattleboro in the first game of the Lady Patriot tournament at Mount Anthony.