Young Voorheesville lacrosse players not up to varsity pace; Haugen makes 19 saves

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Keeping composure: Dylan Haugen, the goalie for the Voorheesville lacrosse team, is in deep conversation with his coach, Tom Gladd, on Tuesday during a timeout after Lansingburgh had just scored a goal to go up, 10 to 0, in the third quarter. Haugen had slammed his goal stick to the ground, prompting Gladd to call the timeout. The Blackbirds lost, 13 to 0, but Haugen made 19 saves.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Suspense: A suspended ball hovers over the Voorheesville lacrosse team, playing in its third season of varsity; it dropped to 0-4 on Tuesday with a 13-to-0 home loss to Lansingburgh. Here, Dustin Kent, second from left, goes for the loose ball for the Birds as Luke Pondillo, left, and Shergil Zahid pursue for Lansingburgh as well. 

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Cradling the lacrosse ball in his stick is Voorheesville’s Christian Tomlin during Tuesday’s home game against Lansingburgh. The Blackbirds lost, 13 to 0, and have scored only three goals in four games this season.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Plant and dig: The Voorheesville lacrosse team struggled to keep possession of the ball on Tuesday against Lansingburgh, losing, 13 to 0. Here, Spencer LedDuke battles the Knights’ Matthew Kent for a ground ball.

VOORHEESVILLE — Amid all the dropped lacrosse balls, lack of speed, and missed defensive assignments for Voorheesville on Tuesday, there were maybe a few positives to take away from the 13-to-0 loss to Lansingburgh.

First, with 11 sophomores and five freshmen on the roster, and plenty of more games to play, the Blackbirds can only improve.

Second, sophomore goalie Dylan Haugen is fearless and full of passion, and could probably carry Voorheesville’s entire team on his shoulders.

It’s the Blackbirds’ third full season as a varsity team, and it’s a rebuilding year after 14 players graduated in 2013. For all intents and purposes, Head Coach Tom Gladd told The Enterprise, Voorheesville is a junior-varsity squad playing varsity competition.

“We’re very young, and it shows,” said Gladd after being shut out at home on Tuesday. “We’re out here playing hard, trying to be a varsity team, and, actually, we’re doing a pretty good job.”

When Lansingburgh’s Cameron Delisle assisted Ryan Ouimet’s goal with a nice, long pass, putting the Knights ahead, 12 to 0, with 4:13 left in the third quarter, the mercy rule no longer allowed for clock stoppages. It was the second straight game that Voorheesville was forced into running time.

Earlier in the third quarter, Coach Gladd yelled out to Gabe Shlomo, telling him to “touch it in” to the attack area, but Shlomo didn’t follow suit, and the referee blew his whistle. To an outsider, it may have seemed like Voorheesville was allergic to Lansingburgh’s goal; the Birds never got close.

“We’re playing at our practice speed, which isn’t as fast as it could be,” Gladd said. “I’ve been harping on them to pick up the pace, go quicker. We need to work on that.”

Voorheesville is 0-4, scoring just three goals so far, but Gladd hopes that the Birds will start finding the net more often if the team minimizes its mistakes. “There’s a win in this group,” he said, “but, one thing at a time.”

Haugen, who made 19 saves on Tuesday, is doing everything he can to keep Voorheesville afloat. After four years of playing goalie, he no longer thinks; he just reacts.

“I just get in front of the ball, and deal with the pain after,” said Haugen. “Honestly, it doesn’t even hurt anymore.”

Against Lansingburgh, if Haugen’s teammates were taking too long to get open for a pass, he would just take the ball up field himself. At times, Haugen wasn’t getting much support.

“You can tell when guys aren’t putting in their 100 percent, but I feel like I’m always giving 100 percent,” said Haugen. “As a young team, that’s something we can work on.”

Haugen hopes that, by the time he’s a senior, everyone on Voorheesville will be giving 110 percent. He said that he tries to motivate his team because “words can really make a difference.”

Gladd said that Haugen was one of only a few players who started every game for the Blackbirds last year; he’s the only goalie on the roster. “He’s doing a super job,” said Gladd.

Voorheesville has never won a sectional game, and Haugen expects that to happen at some point within the next two years. When he is not getting peppered with shots, he wants to see the Blackbirds moving the ball around quickly with no pauses in between each pass.

“If we can get it, like, boom, boom, boom, then that’s the best thing to see,” Haugen said. “It shows who is dedicated here, and who is not.”

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