No chemistry in Dutch soccer, coach says
The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael
Tango: Guilderland and Shaker played a tough soccer match in the rain on Monday with the Blue Bison coming out on top at home, 3 to 2. Here, Keagan Ciaschetti, left, battles for possession with Shaker’s Drew Bailey. Sean Larkin scored twice for the Bison, and Kevin Lindsay had the other. Ciaschetti scored both goals for the Dutchmen.
NORTH COLONIE — The Guilderland soccer team has a lack of chemistry right now, according to coach Mike Kinnally, and it’s costing the Dutch some games.
After a harsh 3-to-2 loss on the road at Shaker on Monday, Kinnally said that Guilderland might continue to lose games as it tries to figure out where the puzzle pieces fit. The Dutchmen players are individually talented, but, together, far from a cohesive team.
Kinnally told The Enterprise that Guilderland (2-2) has some “internal issues” that need to be “straightened out,” and that the team will lose more games while “we figure it out.”
Shaker (3-1), a solid Suburban Council foe, wasn’t going to help the Dutchmen’s concerns. Just like the rain that showered the field, the Blue Bison’s scoring attack came quick, and without warning.
“We have some behavioral issues, and some egos that need to be addressed,” said Kinnally after the loss. “We’ll lose some games, but there’s things we can do to prevent that…it’s just their age and personality, and it is what it is; they are who they are.”
Dealing with a similar situation in his first year as Guilderland’s coach in 2003, Kinnally said the team that season never meshed. However, he said that there’s always hope for a team to turn its outlook around.
“We might go through this whole year and never be a tight team,” said Kinnally on Monday, noting that the high school soccer season is short. “They’re a unique group of kids, and, if they don’t learn to gel, then it’ll be a long season.”
Shaker had an excellent first half, possessing the ball, making quick passes, and serving the long ball. After Kledis Cappollari sent a corner kick too wide for Guilderland, a drive for Shaker started the other way. Mina Kodsi served a cross into the Dutch’s penalty box, and the deflection came right to Sean Larkin, who pounded it home for the Bison just three minutes into the game.
Then, 15 minutes later, Guilderland’s Matt Schiller was called for obstruction near his own end line, giving Shaker a corner-kick opportunity. Kevin Lindsay headed in the corner kick for a 2-to-0 Bison lead.
With rain pouring from the sky, Cappollari had two free-kick chances for the Dutchmen, but Blue Bison keeper Tommy Macutek saved both. Macutek slipped on the second chance for Guilderland, the ball rolling slowly past the goal post and out of bounds.
Macutek, clearly having no fear throughout the contest, charged out of the box with 15 minutes left in the first half to break up a lead pass to Cappollari. Macutek, the last defender, kicked the ball out from under Cappollari while sliding, and play was stopped as Cappollari was checked for an injury. Macutek was given a yellow card for a dangerous play.
At halftime, the referee said that Macutek deserved a red card on the play, but he didn’t make the call at the time. The rules state that, if the last defender makes a dangerous play to break up a scoring chance, and no goal is scored, the defender should receive a red card.
A red card brings a more severe penalty — expulsion from the current game and suspension from the following game. Yellow cards are given for lesser infractions; the player is taken temporarily out if the current game.
“We stayed strong and did what we had to do for the win,” Macutek said. “A few times, our defense broke down, but I was there.”
Also in the first half, Connor O’Brien kicked a free kick too wide, slamming his fist to the ground twice afterwards. Then, Macutek came out to steal another chance away from a streaking Cappollari, who was now in disbelief, muttering words to himself.
“We got a little frustrated today,” said Guilderland senior Noah Scott. “We had our chances to score, but some days you’ll find the net, and some days you won’t. There are good days and bad days.”
Kinnally said he wasn’t thinking of any blown calls by the referee or anything like that. “We just have to play better,” he said. “I’m not thinking about anything except what we did right or what we did wrong.”
Guilderland played a better second half, possessing the ball more and getting more scoring opportunities. However, the ball wouldn’t find the net.
Keagan Ciaschetti shot a ball that made Macutek dive, and Guilderland’s Connor Rubin was there for the rebound, but a defender made him pass the ball back to O’Brien, who sent his shot over the crossbar. Later, Cappollari struck a corner kick, but it landed on top of the goal.
Next, Schiller made an admirable shot to the far post, but Macutek again leapt to make the save. Cappollari placed the ensuing corner kick on top of the goal, again, prompting Scott to yell across the field, insisting Cappollari not take anymore corner kicks.
“It was a hard game,” Scott said. “We played hard, but caught a couple of bad breaks. It was tough.”
After Scott had called out Cappollari for his bad corner kicks, Cappollari asked out of the game. He did not return.
Guilderland was able to get back into the game when Shaker’s David Riccio was called for an illegal touch in the box during two separate occasions inside of nine minutes remaining in regulation play. Ciaschetti buried both penalty-kick goals, placing each score in the same corner to Macutek’s right.
However, when the game was 2 to 1, Larkin notched his second goal of the day. Making a run to the right, Larkin hit a difficult shot to the far side of the goal, beating a sprawled-out Kedrick Weeden. Larkin slid on the wet grass as his Shaker teammates celebrated around him.
The Blue Bison didn’t have many scoring chances, but capitalized on most of them. The Dutchmen needed penalty kicks to get on the scoreboard.
Kinnally said that Guilderland has a challenging group of players, although the players have tremendous experience, so talent and skill aren’t the issues.
“We’re not sold on where some of them should be, so we’re still working on that puzzle,” said Kinnally. “Where some of them think they should be versus the way they play and what they demonstrate doesn’t exactly fit together.”
When Guilderland hosts Burnt Hills today, the starting line-up may be a little different, Kinnally said.
“The pieces aren’t fitting together very well right now, but all is not lost,” he concluded. “There’s lot’s of stuff to work on, and, unfortunately, not all of it has to do with soccer.”