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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 22, 2005

Tawsentha race a success

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — For 35 years, the Guilderland Invitational has grown from its roots.

The seeds for the event were planted at Tawasentha Park in 1970 as a junior-high-school race was held there. The race was the brainchild of freshmen boys coach Dale Westcott; six schools competed in the first race.

The race has survived growth, coaching changes, rain, and a change in the course to become one of the most recognized in Section II, drawing teams from New York, other states, and other countries.

In 1971, the meet developed into a high-school run. Eight schools from the area took part and the event was run by Bill Drake.

"There was a need to have an invitational that was challenging," said Drake, who was making a rare local appearence this weekend. "There was another race in the area that is still going. But we wanted to get the kids off the roads, so we decided to have a little meet in here."

Drake began coaching at Guilderland in 1961. He started teaching and coaching in Ilion and was there for four years before moving to Guilderland.

Drake was a Spanish teacher at the high school and coached track-and-field as well as cross-country.

Drake left for North Carolina in 1995 and continues to coach cross-country and track, at a school in Concord, N.C.

"I started the program," Drake said of his current team. "It’s a small school with about 320 kids in grades nine through 12. We have 37 come out for cross-country and about 44 for track and field. For a small school, that is okay."

But, Drake said, that this is his last year coaching.

Drake was making his second visit to Guilderland since he moved and he was impressed with the meet; he said it is in capable hands — those of Bob Oates.

"It’s evolved over time," he said. "Bob Oates and his coaches have done a wonderful job. It’s phenomenal what they have achieved. The spirit is still here."

Drake also credited Sandy Morley and John Wagner with helping him during his tenure as coach and taking over when he moved on.

Morley and Wagner still help out with the race as do former Farnsworth Middle School physical education teachers Dan DePersis and Joe Torre.

But they are all quick to point out Drake’s accomplishments.

"It’s so great to have him here," Morley said on Saturday. "John Wagner, Bill Drake, and I have worked together for so long. Kids I coached and teached are now coaches or have kids that are running. It’s fun."

Morley still helps out every year, even though she is the assistant principal at Bethlehem Middle School. Wagner, was a former house principal at Farnsworth Middle School.

The course has had only one change. In 1995, Drake’s son, Dieter, was the new varsity coach and designed a course that is still used. The 5,000-meter course is 95-percent grass.

The meet also went international in 1984 as a team from Canada, Georgetown Secondary School, participated. This year, Thousand Islands of Ontario won the team championship in the large-school race.

The race has continued because of effort put in by Oates and the other coaches in the program. Dave Kosier, the varsity girls’ coach, and coaches Dana Doak and Alison Dollar were all directors of the meet. In the past, Marc Burg was involved but left Guilderland to take an administrative job at Averill Park.

"I’m proud of Bob Oates," Morley said. "He improved the level of competition."

Drake and Morley have reached legendary status. The large-school race for boys’ is named after Drake and the large-school race for the girls is named after Morley.

"I’m honored and embarrassed," Morley said. "I don’t know if most of them know who I am. It’s kind of neat."

Drake and Morley and the other founders of the race and cross-country programs will also be remembered.

"It’s great to have Bill back," Oates said. "He was back for the 30th and now for the 35th. We have shirts for the race with his and Sandy’s caricature on the back. You have to explain who they are and what they did for the program. Bill came to practice on Friday and the kids were like, ‘Wow! You’re the guy on the back of our shirts.’

"The kids have a connection. We talk about the long red line and we have an alumni race. We’re passing on the message of the program."

Guilderland football vs. CBA

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland football team was holding its own against a tough physical team from Christian Brothers Academy on Friday night.

The Dutchmen trailed, 7-0, late in the fourth quarter, but could not hold on in the final minutes.

A safety and two touchdowns by CBA opened up a close contest and gave the Brothers a 23-0 win over Guilderland.

The loss dropped Guilderland’s record to 0-3.

"We had talked about the first three games would be the most physical all season," said Guilderland Coach Dan Penna. "This was the most physical of the three. We did not back down. I’m proud of the resiliance of this team. We lost Donovan Lloyd who is our tackle and nose guard," he said of a player who was injured last week.

"We lost two more key players tonight in James Ramson and Chris Wolfe. But no one quit and that is the one thing I’m proud of."

Ransom and Wolfe were injured in the first half.

The Guilderland defense came up big for most of the game on Friday as CBA controlled the time of possession. The Guilderland offense struggled to move the ball and a mistake on special teams led to the first CBA touchdown.

The Brothers scored with 7:52 left in the second quarter.

Guilderland attempted to punt on fourth down from deep in its own territory. The punt was blocked and recovered at the 12-yard line.

The Dutch looked to have caught a break when a seven-yard run by CBA’s Tom Lamb was negated by a pair of penalties. The penalties — for a block in the back and a personal foul — moved the ball back to the 29-yard line.

But a run by Michael Chaires picked up 15 yards and moved the ball to the 14-yard line. And, on the next play, Steve Scaringe completed the short drive with a touchdown run that broke the scoreless tie.


Guilderland continued to struggle on offense and could not move the ball for most of the first half. But the defense continued to hold and shut out CBA in the third quarter.

CBA didn’t score again until the last four minutes of the game.

Guilderland was forced to punt from its own end zone. Dutch punter Nick Zanotta tried to field the ball after a low snap but was declared down by an official for a safety.

The Dutch then had to kick the football and it was caught at the Guilderland 46-yard line.

Two plays later, Scaringe scored his second touchdown of the contest on a 43-yard run.

The extra-point kick was good and the Brothers led, 16-0, with 3:26 left in the game.

The final CBA score came with 45 seconds left against Guilderland’s second-string defense.

Joe Zappone made a 65-yard run for a touchdown and the extra point gave CBA a 23-0 lead.

"I told them at the end that I’m not satisfied with the effort we put in," Penna said. "We need to win games and, in order to do that, we have to play great football. We have to stop turning the ball over."

Guilderland quarterbacks had two interceptions in the game but couldn’t move the offense. The Dutch had three quarterbacks — Greg Buck, Bill Rafferty, and Greg Barcomb — who tried to run the offense.

"We’re trying to find the best players at the best positions," Penna said. "We’ve been practicing hard. There’s a lot of football left."

The Dutchmen made a couple of big plays on defense in the second half. They recovered a fumble at their own eight-yard line to stop a CBA drive and defensive back Tim Montgomery intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter that ended another good drive by the Brothers.

The best opportunity the Dutch had to score came late in the game after CBA had gone up 16-0.

Joe Lima took the ensuing kick-off at the 15-yard line and ran with the ball — breaking tackles along the way — to return the kick to the CBA 21-yard line.

But the Dutch could not convert on the great field position as a sack and a pair of incompletions lost yardage.

"CBA is a tremendous team," Penna said. "They have the best defensive line in Section II. Their front four is as good as any at the high-school level."

The Guilderland defense played well but were tired on Scaringe’s second touchdown run.

"We’ve got to play better on offense," Penna said. "We have to give the defense a rest and get better field position."

Guilderland returns home on Friday to take on Columbia. It will be the first of three consecutive home dates for the Dutchmen.

Guilderland boys' cross-country

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Coached by a man who just overcame a heart attack, Brian Rhodes-Devey broke the course record at Tawasentha Park Saturday — he finished well under his goal of 14 minutes.

With one of the top runners in the section, the Guilderland boys’ team looks to continue its rise in the Suburban Council.

Rhodes-Devey, a junior, was the Section II champion last year. On Saturday, he won the Division II varsity boys’ race at the Guilderland Invitational at Tawasentha with a record time of 13:58.3.

Rhodes-Devey bested Matt Leeder of Thousand Islands of Ontario, Canada. Leeder finished in 14:10.1.

Guilderland, as a team, finished third with 98 points. Thousand Islands won with 29 points.

"It was fairly close between the schools," Oates said. "Thousand Islands won easily but the next four teams were all close. We had 31 out of 38 runners get their best times ever. So I’m very pleased. Some had major jumps up to 45 seconds. It was an incredible leap."

Rhodes-Devey also made a jump in his time. He was hoping to get under 14 minutes and accomplished that feat.

"He was so intent on beating 14 minutes and he ran 14:00.3 the other day," Oates said. "He couldn’t find the four-tenths and, when you run that fast, improving two seconds is like improving 20 seconds for a slower runner. He had a little competition from guys from Thousand Islands and Collegiate. They were pushing him. They were powerful and very strong."

Justin Wager was the second finisher for the Dutch, coming in eighth overall with a time of 14:36.3.

He filled in for senior Seth Dubois who was injured but returned for a meet on Tuesday.

"We need to get healthy," Oates said. "We haven’t run with a full team in the three races we’ve been in. Last Tuesday, our two, three, four, and five runners were out with either leg pain or sickness."

Oates missed some time this season as well after having a heart attack and having a stent put in to clear blockage in one of his arteries. He is unable to run with the team during practices like he has in the past.

The Dutch are ranked 12th in the state, but there is still a lot left to the season.

"I don’t put much credence about that stuff in September," Oates said. "We have the potential. We have to get all the pistons firing on the same day. We’ll come to find out how good we are on Saturday at the Queensbury Invitational. It’s a prelude to the state meet that will also be held there."

Roland Graves finished 28th overall at the Guilderland Invitational and Tony Martini finished 30th.

Greg Masto was 31st and Jared Moriarty was 39th. Eric Dornbush was the seventh finisher for the Dutchmen, coming in 55th overall.

Justin Veldhaus has run for the junior varsity, but has moved up to run with the varsity.

"We’re at the point we need to make some leaps," Oates said. "We’ve not had a hard workout. We’re still looking ahead. It’s hard to get a workout with two meets and two off days. We don’t have a lot of time to get ready."

The Section II meet will be on Nov. 4 at Saratoga State Park and the state meet will be the following week in Queensbury.

Guilderland girls’ cross-country

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Coming into the season, Guilderland girls’ varsity cross-country Coach Dave Kosier didn’t know what to expect.

Kosier had been coaching in the cross-country program for a number of years, but mostly with the boys’ team under Bob Oates.

Kosier replaces Marc Burg, who left the Guilderland district for an administrative position at Averill Park.

"When I was offered the job, I did my homework," Kosier said. "It’s been awhile since we’ve been .500 in the Suburban Council. I think since 2000. They’ve been 5-5 or under since. The girls’ team used to be a cross-country powerhouse and used to battle for the Suburban Council championship."

Kosier also checked and found out that his runners did not have a lot of varsity experience.

"We lost four out of the top seven girls," Kosier said. "That made me a little nervous. We were 5-6 in the Suburban last year."

The Lady Dutch lost top runner Samantha Dow who moved to Virginia.

"She was a solid number one," Kosier said. "She could compete with anybody in the league."

Megan Lynch, who was out for most of last season, graduated.

"When Megan was back at the end of the year," Kosier said, "they made a great one-two punch. We also lost our number-four and seven runners in Corrine Salada and Erin Grosso."


Kosier decided to make some changes and talked it over with his captains.

"We’ve worked awfully hard this year," Kosier said. "I’m pretty excited about that. They are putting forth a great effort and it’s starting to pay off."

Guilderland finished fifth out of 10 teams at the Shaker Invitational on Sept. 10.

"I’m happy with that," Kosier said. "I wanted to finish in the upper half."

The Lady Dutch finished third at their own invitational on Saturday. The top Guilderland runner was Jen Madsen, who ran a time of 17:33.

"She’s a returner and a freshman," Kosier said. "I’m excited for her future."

Courtney DeLorenzo, a junior, finished 12th at the invitational with a time of 17:58.8.

"She is a newcomer and a pleasant surprise," Kosier said. "She did track but was a soccer player. She did Bob Oates’s running camp. We did not know what to expcect."

Emily Cure was the third Guilderland finisher on Saturday. The ninth-grader had a time of 18:24 to come in 19th overall.

"She was in the top seven last year," Kosier said. "She changed positions a couple of times."

Sophomore Shannon Doherty was 20th at the Guilderland Invitational.

"She set a personal record by 43 seconds on Saturday," Kosier said. "She ran an 18:27. There were great jumps made."

Amanda Boccio was the fifth Guilderland runner to finish and 21st overall.

"She had one of her worst times this year at 18:35," Kosier said. "But she ran 18:24 right on the same course on Tuesday."

Boccio is a senior and one of the captains of the team this season.

Brittany Wachtel is another senior captain for the Lady Dutch this season. She finished 24th at the Guilderland Invitational.

"She’s cut down her times," Kosier said. "She hadn’t run in a couple of years. This season will be a big challenge. She is getting her confidence back. I expect her to be in the top five during the season."

Lauren Aziz, a junior, is the seventh runner for the Dutch and finished 28th on Saturday.

"She had a big PR," Kosier said of her personal record. "She set it by 32 seconds. To have your varsity seven all under 19 minutes is beyond expectations. All seven are in the top 25 of all-time runners at Tawasentha."

Katie Rossitini is another senior captain for the Lady Dutch and sophomore Lilly Rowan is fighting for a varsity position.

"She won the junior-varsity race," Kosier said. "That was pretty impressive. And Katie, all year long, will be working to get a varsity position."

"Huge jumps"

Kosier has seen improvement from all his runners so far this season and that is because of the work they put into the sport.

"On Saturday all of them made huge jumps again," Kosier said. "We had 38 girls have PR’s on Tuesday. Combined, they improved by 21 minutes and that’s impressive."

The Lady Dutch are currently ranked 18th in the state, but will have a tough time in one of the toughest leagues in the state and country. The Dutch want to finish at least .500 in that league.

"The section is the best in the state if not the country," Kosier said. "It’s unbelieveable on the girls’ and boys’ side. Saratoga is nationally ranked and has been number one. Shenendehowa, Bethlehem, and Columbia, and Colonie are right there. It’s a lofty goal, but everybody is working hard to achieve it."

BKW cross-country

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — Travis DeRusso crossed the finish line alone on Saturday.

DeRusso won the varsity boys’ Division I race at the Guilderland Cross-Country Invitational at Tawasentha Park. He finished with a time of 14:22.1. His closest competitor finished in 15:15.7.

"It’s a very tough course," DeRusso said after the race. "Especially with no one to push you. My time surprised me quite a bit."

DeRusso beat Chris Castellano of Wantagh to lead the Bulldogs. Jared Fink was the next BKW finisher, coming in seventh with a time of 15:57.5.

However, Wantagh won the team title with 57 points. BKW was second with 83 to edge out Dover-Sherborn of Massachusetts by two points.

"I’m thrilled," said BKW Coach Bill Tindale. "Our first two meets we were at we did very well. We have a lot of young guys and girls and a couple experienced kids. Our seniors are doing well and have a lot of running ability."

The Bulldogs competed in the Fonda Invitational the week before and DeRusso also won that meet.

"He set a course record," Tindale said. "He’s running very well. We’ll see how he’ll do with the competition we have coming up. We’ll be up in Queensbury and the whole state will be there."

The Queensbury Invitational will be a prelude to the state meet that will be held on the same site later this fall.

"It’s a good start," DeRusso said on Saturday. "They stepped up today. We had three guys in the top 10."

Tyler Messick finished 10th for the Bulldogs with a time of 16:09.8. Aaron Giebitz was the next BKW finisher, coming in 31st overall. Dave Haverly came in 34th and Tom DellaRocco came in 36th. Tyler Merrill rounded out the top seven for the Bulldogs, coming in 57th overall.

DeRusso is the only senior among the top runners. Messick is a junior; Finke and Giebitz are sophomores; Haverly is a freshman; and DellaRocco is an eighth-grader.

Also on the team are junior Rich Geist and freshman Josh Glick.

"Most of the guys are freshmen and sophomores," Tindale said. "That bodes well for the future."

"They will be really good next year and the year after that," DeRusso said.

The Bulldogs move up from Class D to Class C this year. The Bulldogs have won the Class D Section II championship for the last four years.

"I’m not really sure how that will work out," Tindale said. "I think we’ll have a strong year and will place in sectionals. We’ll be competitive in the long run. The big difference will be that we’ll go against Fonda at sectionals. They are an extremely strong team. But we run in the big-school races and the only difference will the the sectional race."

There is a lot of enthusiasm to try to build on the streak of championships the Bulldogs have garnered in the sport — including a state championship last year.

"We have a great group of young guys," Tindale said. "They’ll take a year to develop, but they are excited about the sport."

Girls’ team

The varsity girls’ team finished sixth at the Guilderland invitational with 138 points. Broadalbin-Perth won with 70 points.

"We are very young," said Tindale. "We have two seniors."

Sarah Furman and Katie Shoiniere are the only seniors on the team.

"They’ve been with the program since the ninth grade," Tindale said. "We have a solid top five. Katie is coming off an injury."

Ada Lauterbach is the top runner for the Lady Bulldogs. She went to the state meet last year and finished sixth at the Guilderland meet on Saturday. The sophomore had a time of 18:41.5.

"She is much stronger than last year," Tindale said. "She’ll be one of the top runners in Class C.

Junior Michelle Raymond and sophomore Katrina Yakel will be contributors to the team and in the top five all season. Raymond was 26th on Saturday and Yakel was 31st.

"Those two girls have improved drastically," Tindale said. "We have a solid top four. We have a lot of younger girls that are going for the fifth spot."

Christina Bartonicek, a ninth-grader, holds that spot right now.

"She has a lot of talent and potential," Tindale said. "She’s a steady runner and getting better everyday."

Tindale sees a lot of potential for this team down the road.

"We’ll be very strong in two or three more years," Tindale said. "We’ll be competitive every year."

Voorheesville football vs. chatham

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville Blackbirds were flying in the second half of Saturday’s game against Chatham.

The Voorheesville football team broke a scoreless tie in the third quarter and added two more touchdowns to beat Chatham, 21-7.

"We felt pretty good," said Voorheesville Coach Joe Sapienza. "We didn’t adjust in the first series; it took until the second series to adjust."

The Blackbirds scored on their second possession of the third quarter, taking advantage of a Chatham mistake.

The Panthers attempted to punt the ball, but the punter mishandled the snap and was tackled by Voorheesville’s Eric Dickson at the eight-yard line before he could get rid of the ball.

After two runs by P.J. Hogenstad and an incomplete pass, quarterback Andy Catellier scored on a run from the one-yard line. Matt Miller kicked the extra point and the Blackbirds led, 7-0, with 4:40 left in the third quarter.

Chatham responded with a touchdown on its next possession.

A little screen pass on third down and 25 yards to go from Zach Kraham to Aaron Demars went for a long touchdown and tied the game with 1:46 left in the third quarter.

But Voorheesville took the lead for good on its next possession.

The Blackbirds got the ball on their own 35-yard line to start their drive. On the first play of the quarter, Catellier connected on a long pass to Nick Duncan that went for 45 yards and moved the ball to the Chatham 20-yard line.

More score

Hognestad picked up five yards on a run and then two plays later, Catellier and Duncan hooked up again — this time for 12 yards — to move the ball to the three-yard line.

After the teams switched ends of the field for the fourth quarter, it took Voorheesville three plays to score.

Hognestad bowled over from the one-yard line for the score to give the Birds the lead.

Miller added the extra point and the score was 14-7 with 11:08 left in the final stanza.

After forcing Chatham to punt on its next possession, Voorheesville got the ball back and scored again for added insurance.

Kurt Hoffart returned the kick to the 37-yard line to give the Birds good field position.

Catellier completed a pass to Duncan for seven yards and Catellier, on the next play, ran to the Chatham 48-yard line.

Catellier found his favorite receiver, Duncan, on the next play and this time the Birds got six points out of it.

Duncan made the catch over the defender and sprinted down the home-team’s sideline to the end zone for the touchdown.

Again, Miller kicked the extra point and the Blackbirds led 21-7 with just over seven minutes left in the contest.

"Executed nicely"

Offensive balance led to Catellier being able to get the ball to Duncan.

"P.J. running the ball for four or five yards a clip is really what set that up," Sapienza said. "They felt they had to put another defender on the run and that let us get the ball to Nick Duncan."

Duncan finished the game with six catches for 154 yards and the one touchdown. Catellier finished with 183 passing yards after completing eight passes out of 20 attempts. He did throw two interceptions, though the second one was on the Birds’ last possession of the game with just seconds remaining.

Hognestad ran for 70 yards on 19 attempts to help the offense.

"We started to move the chains," Sapienza said. "We adjusted and we’ve done that all season. We get sloppy at times, but I’m really proud of the kids. We settled in and executed nicely."

The Blackbirds’ defense allowed the team to stay close in the game until the adjustments could be made.

"Our defense was settled in," Sapienza said. "Their one big play was a screen. Our defensive front four wore them down all day.

"We put a lot of pressure on them," Sapienza added. "Sam Pelham must have had two or three sacks."

Pelham, a defensive end, had two sacks on the day for the Blackbirds.

Catellier also made a big play on defense. Chatham had the ball inside Voorheesville’s 10-yard line when Catellier caused a fumble and recovered the ball himself to put a halt to the drive.

"That was one of the plays of the game," Sapienza said. "It was just a great aggressive play."

The win bumps Voorheesville’s record to 2-1 in the Southern Division of Class C. The Birds bounced back from a tough 21-20 loss to Catholic Central.

Next week will bring homecoming and with it comes Voorheesville’s long-time rival Watervliet. Both teams will be battling for first place in the division.

"Watervliet has one loss and it’s non-divisional," Sapienza said. "That puts them up top. Everyone else has one loss in the division. We are playing for a share of first next week."

Voorheesville boys' vs. Cohoes

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville boys’ soccer team scored early but not often in a 1-0 win over Cohoes on Tuesday.

The Blackbirds got a goal early in the first half but couldn’t connect on 25 other shots.

"We have a tendancy to play at the pace our opponents play," said Voorheesville’s first-year coach, Michael Young. "Cohoes wanted to play slow. The pace of the game will come. It’s so early. We have a lot of people that can score."

The win improves Voorheesville’s record to 2-1-1 in the Colonial Council and the Birds are 3-2-1 overall.

The lone goal came in the first five minutes of the contest as senior Greg Klopfer, who has been the top scorer in the league the past two seasons, finished a shot after getting a pass from Josh Handen.

Handen chipped the ball over the defense and Klopfer ran it down and had a one-versus-one with the Cohoes goalie, Matt Nolin.

Voorheesville couldn’t connect on another scoring opportunity. Shots either went wide of the goal, over the goal, or were saved by Nolin.

Nolin finished with 19 saves for the Tigers.

Voorheesville senior Greg Jones missed some headers off corner kicks and classmate Kyle Hatch missed some shots wide in the first half.

Cohoes did not have as many scoring opportunities as they were credited with only five shots.

Joe Cioffi had some opportunities for the Tigers in the game but blasted a few shots over the goal.

Voorheesville goalies Tom Cavanaugh and Lee Fenner combined to make just three saves in the game to get the shutout.

"A lot of it was Cohoes," Young said. "They played well and didn’t give up. You take something away from the game when the other team plays as hard as they did."

Voorheesville gave Cohoes some opportunities to score with fouls deep in their territory.

"We have to adjust our play and adjust how we play," Young said. "Because we are physical, sometimes we get calls against us. We have to adjust, because the officials will call what they want to call."

The Blackbirds were missing two players — Jeff Bode and Matt Miller — due to injuries.

"We have injuries to key players," Young said. "It’s giving an opportunity to the young guys. We played a couple of freshmen and sophomores and they are learning the pace of varsity."

The Blackbirds are coming off a pair of losses in their last two games.

The Birds lost to Mayfield, coached by Voorheesville’s former coach, Bob Crandall, in the championship game of Mayfield’s tournament.

"We lost 1-0 on penalty kicks," Young said. "I give all the credit to Bob and his kids. They slowed the game down on us. We had our opportunities."

The Blackbirds also lost to Schalmont last Wednesday by a goal and tied Albany Academy in the first game of the year. The Birds beat Gloversville in the first game of the Mayfield Tournament and Ravena in a league contest.

"You can’t argue with the results," Young said. "It is just as close as last year and all the teams are still good. Against Schalmont we had the same number of shots and we lost by a goal. We can take that from that game and continue to get better."

The Blackbirds don’t play again until Saturday morning when they host Mechanicville as part of homecoming weekend. Voorheesville then will play at Broadalbin-Perth on Monday and then host Lansingburgh on Wednesday.

Voorheesville girls' soccer vs. Cohoes

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville girls’ soccer team beat a less talented team on Monday afternoon.

But, in order to compete with the top teams in the Colonial Council, the Lady Blackbirds will have to play a lot better.

Voorheesville had an offensive surge in beating Cohoes, 5-3, Monday afternoon in Voorheesville.

"We sleep walked through this game," said Voorheesville Coach Joe Santos on Monday. "It is very disconcerting. I saw this before the game. And it happened two games ago against Schalmont and we got thrashed."

Voorheesville lost to Schalmont, 9-0, on Friday in Rotterdam.

"We have a lack of mental acuity," Santos added. "It’s not the physical ability not running and kicking. It’s mental; they are not ready to play."

The Lady Blackbirds did have some good moments as they scored three goals in the first half.

Jessica Giglio scored the first goal of the contest for the Blackbirds just two minutes into the opening half.

Giglio battled a couple of Cohoes players for the ball in front of the goal; she was able to get to it and kick it into the goal for the score.

Monique Bidell scored at the 27:03 mark of the first half. Bidell got a pass in front of the goal, through a couple of defenders, from Hayley George.

The third goal of the contest came from a penalty kick by George.

Giglio dribbled the ball into the penalty box in front of the goal and was taken down from behind by a Cohoes defender. A foul was called and George took the kick — any player on the field is allowed to — from the penalty mark eight yards away.

Sealing the win

The second half was much sloppier for the Blackbirds.

Cohoes scored with 31:32 left in the game on a goal by Courtney Hahn. Hahn beat the defense to the ball and had an easy shot on goal.

George’s second goal of the game for Voorheesville gave the Birds some cushion. George got a pass from Bidell and fired a hard, high shot into the upper part of the goal.

But Cohoes continued to battle. Its second goal came off the foot of Courtney Galuski with 20:37 left in the game. She got a rebound off a shot that was saved by Voorheesville goalie Brittney Holcomb.

Hahn scored her second goal of the game for Cohoes to cut the lead to one point with 9:11 left in the contest.

She got to a loose ball that rebounded after Holcomb made a save.

The pressure was on Voorheesville for the next few minutes but the Birds were able to hold off Cohoes and finally put the game away in the final minute.

Meghan Inglis scored with 42 seconds left to seal the win.

George had a direct kick deep into Cohoes territory. She kicked the ball and it bounced off Blackbird Emily Clark. Inglis got to the loose ball and blasted it into the goal to give her team a 5-3 lead.

"The offense did well," Santos said. "The goals we got were good goals."

The Lady Blackbirds had more scoring opportunities than Cohoes but couldn’t connect on most of them. Santos was not pleased that his players tried to dribble through the Cohoes defense instead of passing the ball.

Visual aid

"We’re going to plan B," Santos said on Monday. "We’re going to look at the video on Wednesday and I told them we’ll see what it is instead of me just talking about it. I don’t think at times they understand what I’m telling them. It’ll be a visual aid. We don’t play until Friday; we can learn from this and perhaps understand."

The Blackbirds are 2-3 overall and all five games were league contests. They play Mechanicville at home on Friday then travel to Colonial Council newcomer Broadalbin-Perth on Tuesday.

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