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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 3, 2005

Guilderland boys' soccer vs. Bethlehem

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — With three minutes remaining, it looked like the upset of the year in boys’ soccer.

But with three minutes left in Monday’s Section II Class AA quarterfinal game, Bethlehem, the top-ranked team in the class, struck and avoided the titanic collapse. The Eagles won in overtime, 2-1.

"That was a pretty good effort," said Guilderland Coach Mike Kinnally of his team. "What more are you going to ask for" We scored our 40th goal of the year, which was a goal for us, and we were up with three minutes to go against the number-one team.

"They beat us 4-0 and 4-1 during the year," Kinnally added. "They are a great team, but beating them would be fun to watch."

With three minutes left, Erik Russo tied the game when he made an acrobatic, diving head shot after a pass by Rob Wexler.

Wexler kicked the ball low; Russo dove and directed the ball into the goal past Guilderland goalie Uriah Myrie.

Bethlehem won the game with 3:35 left in the first overtime period.

The Guilderland defense got caught flat. Bryan White got the ball and was in a foot race with Guilderland defender Greg Murphy. Without any help on defense, Murphy was just barely beaten and White got off a great shot that went into the upper right corner to give the Eagles the win and end the Dutchmen’s season.

Good start

Guilderland scored its goal in the first half.

Sophomore Frank Campagnano got the score with a hard-hit but well-placed shot in the upper right corner from just inside the penalty-area line. Havard Brustad, an exchange student from Norway, got the assist on the tally.

The Guilderland offense had some chances to ice the game in the second half but was mostly playing on its defensive end or in the midfield.

The Dutchmen took only two shots in the entire game. Bethlehem had 18 shots and six corner kicks in the contest.

The Guilderland defense was stellar for most of the contest.

Myrie came up big in the goal, making 12 saves in the game and taking control of loose balls and of his defense.

"Uriah was very good in goal," Kinnally said of his junior goalie. "We changed up our system. We were playing a 4-4-2, but today we played a 4-5-1."

The Dutch had five midfielders in Monday’s game instead of two forwards.

But Guilderland’s defense was the big factor in the game. Phil Cassidy, a junior, was big at sweeper, knocking a lot of balls away. Senior David Herkenham played well in the back as did juniors Kyle Tassone and Murphy.

"On the right track"

"It’s hard to be negative," Kinnally said. "We lost two games to them last year. I’d be greedy if I asked for more right now. Two years ago, we won four games [all season]. I think the program is on the right track. We have seven starters coming back.

"Murphy played White for the entire game," Kinnally said. "And he took the kid who is likely the number-one striker in the area and marked him for 87 minutes."

The Dutchmen do lose big contributors in Mike Camardo, Herkenham, Kousha Navidar, Nick Stark and Brustad.

"Unfortunately, we graduate our entire midfield," Kinnally said.

Guilderland had advanced to the quarterfinal with a 1-0 win over LaSalle Institute of the Big 10 on Friday night in South Troy.

The Dutch struggled in the first half but junior Kyle Klapp scored his first goal of the season with 11:27 to go in the game.

Klapp got a pass from the right flank by Campagnano and volleyed it into the goal for the score and the lead.

The Dutch held on with solid defense and advanced to Monday’s quarterfinal game.

"That was a good team," Kinnally said on Friday. "People talk about the Big 10 and Suburban Council. It is a bunch of garbage. That’s a good team...

"Klapp got his first goal," the coach added. "For 30 minutes, we played better than average."

The Dutch wrapped up the season with a 10-7-3 overall record and were 9-6-3 in the Suburban Council.

The Dutch also scored 17 more goals than they did last year, something Kinnally and the team wanted to do this season. The team will work in the off-season, mainly with the Dutchmen United Football Club and build off a good season.

"We’re starting to turn the corner," Kinnally said. "We are gaining respect in the community."

Guilderland boys' volleyball

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland boys’ volleyball team hosted the Suburban Council Tournament last week.

The Dutchmen served as gracious hosts for the three-day tournament as they played hard but fell in a quarterfinal match last Tuesday to Niskayuna in three sets, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20.

"We split with them this season," said Guilderland Coach Kim Buckley. "We took them in their last game. We thought our future was looking brighter. We were really psyched. We were looking for a match coming up with Bethlehem. We had a 3-2 loss to them last time."

The Dutchmen couldn’t beat Niskayuna to set up a semifinal match with Bethlehem. Bethlehem reached the finals on Friday but lost to Burnt Hills.

Burnt Hills now moves on to the Rochester area to compete in a regional tournament at Webster High School.

Guilderland trailed Niskayuna for most of the first set, but kept the pressure on the Silver Warriors.

The Dutch came back from 7-2 and 14-9 scores at points in the opening game, but then stayed within three or four points.

Guilderland had the difference down to one point at 23-22, but a block went out of bounds and gave the point to Niskayuna. The teams traded out-of-bounds serves, the Dutch serve gave the Silver Warriors the game.

The second set was just as close, with the Dutch holding a one-point lead at 13-12; later the game was tied at 20-20.

Guilderland had an early lead in the third set at 5-2 but the teams traded points and Niskayuna chipped away until the Warriors took the lead for good at 16-15.

Buckley said it was nice for Guilderland to host the tournament.

"The nice part of the facility is that we can have two games going at one time," the coach said on Tuesday. "The booster club has supported us for the whole season and will be for the entire tournament. It’s unprecedented what they do for us with donations, fund-raising, and drawings. The booster club is a big deal for us."

Buckley said that the tournament will rotate between the 10 schools that play volley ball in the Suburban Council.


The Guilderland team finished the season with a 7-11 record in the Suburban Council and was the sixth-seeded team at the tournament. The Dutchmen finished 9-11 overall.

There were five seniors on this year’s squad — Nick Adams, Colin Brunk, Dan Delehanty, Matt Caplan, and David Tang.

"The five seniors came in with me to the program," said Buckley, who is in her third year of coaching the varsity. "It’s bittersweet for me. I’m certainly looking forward to next year. Our numbers are growing."

Kaplan, Delehanty, and junior Greg Buzzard were the Dutch’s captains this season.

Buzzard and classmate Aaron Zakrewski were forces hitting the ball for the Dutchmen this season and in the Niskayuna match.

"Greg Buzzard provides a lot of offense with his hitting outside," Buckley said.

"Aaron Zakrewski has improved in the middle," Buckley added. "Other teams have to react to him wailing in the middle."

Delehanty set up the big hitters — Buzzard, Zakrewski, and Brunk. Tang was also a tough outside hitter as well as a solid defender.

Kaplan was the anchor of the defense from the back row.

Juniors Christian Bauer, Ian Benjamin, Chris Hannett, James Wilks, Ryan Yando, and Jimmy Munsie, along with sophomore Jeff Geisendorpher rounded out the varsity roster this season.

Eighth-grader Shawn Buzzard, ninth-grader James Faguet, and sophomores Billy Reed and John Driessen were moved up from the junior varsity for the tournament.

The junior-varsity team ended the season with a 14-4 record and were the second seed in the Suburban Council j.v. tournament.

"It’s a sign of years to come," Buckley said.

Buckley said that interest in the program has grown and that players are competing in other leagues and teams like the Capital District Selects during the off-season.

"We’re getting a little stronger," Buckley said. "We are just trying to keep up with Burnt Hills and Bethlehem. We’re in the middle of the pack. We were head-to-head with Colonie, but we lost the last two games."

Guilderland girls' soccer ends

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland girls’ soccer looked like it would escape unscathed from Wednesday’s Class AA Section II quarterfinal game.

But Columbia had different ideas.

The Blue Devils tied the game with 10 seconds remaining to force overtime and scored in the fourth extra session to pull an upset over the third-seeded Lady Dutch.

"We dominated the game," said Guilderland Coach Barb Newton after the game. "We had more shots. It was just a defensive mistake in the last 10 seconds. This is very disappointing."

Guilderland did dominate the second half and finally broke the scoreless deadlock with a goal from Devon Rosenberry with 18:50 left in the game.

Rosenberry hit a shot from outside the penalty area that went in the upper left corner of the goal.

The Dutch had other opportunities to score in the second half as they possessed the ball more than the Blue Devils but could not convert on the goal that would have sealed the victory.

And that came back to hurt them.

Columbia started pressuring the Guilderland net in the last two minutes and finally cracked the defense when Marissa Wing got to the ball in front of the goal and got past Dutch goalie Julie Malkowski to tie the game.

Guilderland had two good shots in the second overtime from Jackie DeLuise and Kayla Best.

Columbia had some quality chances in the first overtime but didn’t get a great shot off as the Dutch defense made big stops.

Junior Katie Murdock stopped one breakaway chance with stellar defense.

The game finally came to an end in the fourth overtime as Stephanie Caouete scored to end the game with about three minutes left.

"I thought we could go further," Newton said. "It’s frustating that we gave up a game like that."

The Dutch dominated with 21 shots to Columbia’s nine. They also had seven corner kicks to Columbia’s two.

Malkowski made eight saves for the Lady Dutch.

"We made some mistakes on defense," Newton said. "It’s not like we got outplayed."

"Quality season"

The loss ends a very good season for Guilderland. The Lady Dutch finished with a 12-4-2 record during the regular season; that included a tie with Shenendehowa, which was ranked number-one in the country going into that game.

Guilderland’s record was good enough to win the Gold Division of the Suburban Council and earn the number-three seed in the Class AA tournament and a bye into the quarterfinals.

The game also ended the high-school careers of nine seniors. Though some will continue to play in college.

"We had some quality seniors," Newton said. "Some of them will move on to the collegiate level. Christina Rodriguez is looking to play; Jen Mihok is looking and Kayla Best is looking to play soccer and lacrosse in college. It’s a reflection of the program, that we have girls that can play at the next level. That is one of the goals of the program."

The other seniors on the team were Taylor Stringer, Krystal Myers, Kaitlyn Gescedi, Bianca Germain, Carolyn Powers, and Sam Ruppenthal.

The way their season ended on a cold, windy day on Don Snyder Field was a shock to everyone in attendance — especially Newton and her players.

"There is no reason we should have lost this game," Newton said. "We had a quality season. We should be in the next round on Saturday night."

Voorheesville football ends

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville football team put itself in a hole it couldn’t get out of in Saturday’s Class C semifinal game.

The Schuylerville Black Horses came to Thomas Buckley Field and rolled to an early lead. Taking advantage of big plays, they beat the Blackbirds, 34-17, to end Voorheesville’s season.

"Offensively and defensively, I felt that we matched up," said Voorheesville Coach Joe Sapienza. "What Schuylerville has done all year has capitalized on turnovers and special teams. That’s the story of their season and why they have been successful."

Schuylerville wrote another chapter in that story as it got two punt returns for touchdowns from Mike DeGregory and an interception return for a touchdown.

"I told the kids I thought we played better than them," Sapienza said. "They pulled away at the end, but it was a game."

Despite the miscues, the Blackbirds only trailed by four points, 21-17 early in the third quarter.

P.J. Hognestad capped a drive with a three-yard run for a touchdown that cut the lead to four points.

The drive began when Nick Duncan intercepted a pass at the Voorheesville 43-yard line.

Justin Lupien had two long runs — the second put the ball on the 16-yard line. Quarterback Andy Catellier completed a pass to Duncan that moved the ball to the five-yard line.

Two plays later, Hognestad scored his touchdown.

But a blocked punt late in the third quarter led to Schuylerville’s next touchdown.

Duncan went to punt the ball but it was blocked and recovered at the 40-yard line.

Nine plays later, Zac Kozersky scored from 15 yards out. The snap on the extra point was fumbled but the Black Horses led, 27-17.

Punting problems

Voorheesville had more punting problems on its next possesion. This time DeGregory fielded the kick at his own 40-yard line and ran through the Voorheesville coverage for a touchdown. DeGregory kicked the extra point to give his team a 34-17 lead.

DeGregory returned a punt for a score in the first quarter. He caught the punt on his own 47-yard line and sprinted to the end zone for the score to give the Horses an early lead.

Voorheesville responded with a field goal with 20 seconds left in the first quarter.

Matt Miller connected on a 27-yard kick to cut the lead to four points, 7-3.

Voorheesville looked to catch a break on the ensuing kick-off.

DeGregory fielded the kick-off at his own 17 and returned it to the 40-yard line, but a hit by Charlie McGrail caused a fumble that was recovered by teammate Rob Selby.

But it took Schuylerville three plays to reverse the momentum.

Catellier was intercepted by Tim Case, who returned the ball 40 yards for a touchdown.

DeGregory added the extra point to put the Black Horses up by a score of 14-3 with 11:04 left in the second quarter.

Schuylerville built on its lead with a touchdown with 3:59 left in the first half.

DeGregory ran from 12 yards out and then added the extra point to make the score 21-3. The score came after a fumble by Voorheesville at the Schuylerville 30-yard line.

Voorheesville cut into the lead just before halftime.

Blackbird Stephen Cardinal intercepted a pass at the Schuylerville 35-yard line and returned it to the 16.

Catellier completed a pass to Tim Robinson for six yards and, two plays later, Catellier ran for three yards to set up a fourth down and one yard to go for a first down.

Catellier ran around the right side of the line and into the end zone for the score.

Catellier then completed a pass to Nick Klapp for the two-point conversion and the Birds trailed by just 10 points, 21-11, with 46 seconds left until halftime.

The Blackbirds would score on their first possession of the second half but not again as the Black Horses advanced to the Section II Class C title game.

Catellier finished the game with 11 completions on 26 attempts for 134 yards. Duncan made six catches for 102 yards.

Lupien, who left the game with a back injury late in the game, carried the ball four times for 50 yards.

McGrail had two fumble recoveries for the Birds and Duncan had two interceptions.

"I told them that this is one of the finest group of gentlemen that I’ve ever been associated with," Sapienza said. "Andy’s been on the varsity since the last game of his freshman year. There have been guys on the team since they were sophomores.

"When you are playing playoff football," he added, "you can’t go in a hole and then have to work on getting out of it. And we did."

The pads will be put away for another year, but Sapienza said he hopes the loss will resonate with his younger players as they will prepare for next fall.

"We’ll start back up soon," the coach said. "We’ll be in the gym real soon. "I think the kids learned how to win," Sapienza added. "We had success and they got excited by that."

Voorheesville boys' soccer

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville soccer team won an ugly game on Tuesday night. But, at this time of the year, the Blackbirds will take a win any way they can get it.

The boys continued their defense of the Class B Section II title with a semifinal win over Colonial Council rival Mechanicville, 2-0, at LaSalle Institute in South Troy.

Voorheesville will play Saturday at Colonie High School against Chatham. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Tuesday, both goals came in the second half, after the Blackbirds played a miserable first half.

"We played a little bit better," said Voorheesville Coach Mike Young. "Mechanicville had a great game plan and we were fortunate to get a two-to-nil win."

Senior Greg Klopfer scored both goals for the Blackbirds.

The first came with 36:05 left in the game. Dominic Venditti got the ball near the midfield and dribbled by some defenders and kicked a pass to Klopfer. He beat a pair of defenders down the left side of the field and blasted a shot high into the upper corner for the score.

Klopfer sealed the win with a tally with 5:53 left in the contest.

He got the ball near the penalty area and had a one-versus-one encounter with the Mechanicville goalie. The goalie came out and tried to play the ball. Klopfer lofted it over him and kicked it into the goal to make the score 2-0.

"Klopfer is amazing," Young said. "Kevin Klembczyk was marking Joe Mahoney and, as Mahoney goes, Mechanicville goes. Matt Belgiovine did a great job at sweeper."

Laid-back start

The Blackbirds played a lackadaisical first half, especially in the midfield, but were able to escape with 0-0 tie.

That was because the defense played well. Klembczyk marked Mahoney, one of the top strikers in the Colonial Council, and Belgiovine cleared anything that got near the goal.

Voorheesville goalie Tom Cavanaugh was also tough in net and took control of the defense.

"We haven’t been practicing because of some injuries," Young said. "We had Saturday and Sunday off. So we had one day to practice. Mechanicville is unbelievable. They work as hard as any team in any league..."

"It’s rare for our midfield to play like that," Young said of the first half. "They usually provide stability and Mechanicville’s midfield did a good job. I’m sure Klembczyk has a great future as a marking back in this league. Every game he is marking the other team’s best player."

The Blackbirds have only given up 12 goals in the Colonial Council this season and 15 all year.

The Birds also got strong play from a couple of younger players off the bench.

"Ryan Dimmitt played some strong minutes," Young said. "He gained a lot of experience. Rob DiBlasi on the right flank did an amazing job of stopping a lot of Mechanicville runs. It shows how much depth we have."

Voorheesville took four shots in the contest and Mechanicville took five. Mechanicville also took 10 corner kicks and Voorheesville had just one.

Quarterfinal victory

The Blackbirds won their quarterfinal game easily over Colonial Council rival Broadalbin-Perth.

Voorheesville scored six goals and shut out the Patriots in a game played in Voorheesville.

Greg Jones scored the first goal with an assist from Venditti. Klopfer scored the second goal on a penalty kick in the first half.

Klopfer’s second goal made the score 3-0 in the first half. Lee Fenner assisted on the tally.

Venditti scored the first goal of the second half with an assist from Jones.

Belgiovine scored his first goal of the year with a penalty kick with 21:36 left in the half to put the Birds up 5-0.

Matt Miller closed out the scoring with 19:12 left in the game. Miller was assisted by Jeff Bode.

The Birds took 12 shots in the game and had seven corner kicks. Cavanaugh made four saves in the game.

Broadalbin took just three shots and their goalie was forced to made seven saves.

"I totally did not expect this," Young said of the blow-out win. "For us to win 6-0 is surprising. But we are capable of doing this against these guys. We played a good game."

Up next

Voorheesville will face Chatham of the Patroon Conference. It will be the first time the Birds won’t face a Colonial Council team in the post-season.

Chatham beat Tamarac, 3-2, on Tuesday.

"They both have strong histories," Young said before knowing the outcome of Tuesday’s second semifinal game. "Tamarac dominated the CC’s the past few years. Outside of the double A’s, I think the C’s is the hardest Class. Chatham is always good. We played them in the semis last year. We’ll just have wait and see. I don’t know anything about these teams. That’s why I’ll stay and watch."

Voorheesville girls' tennis

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville girls’ tennis team threw a surprise party for their coach Tom Kurkjian.

The party took place at the Class B Section II tournament finals on Oct. 12 and the gift was the Blackbirds second consecutive championship.

"It was a total surprise," Kurkjian said. "Last year, we graduated two of our top three players and the other I had, her family moved to the state of Washington. I thought we were a year away from winning again."

Kurkjian had to re-work his starting line-up to fill all the empty slots.

Lexi Burtman was the number-one player for Voorheesville all season. But, after that, Kurkjian had to move players into unfamiliar roles.

Jackie Daley moved into the number-two position after being slotted for the fourth spot. Alex Childs was number five but moved up to the number-three singles-player spot. Allie McArdle had been the number-two player and Lauren Watson had the number-three position before injuries ended their seasons.

Nazaly Kurkjian, who had been a doubles player, moved to the number-four singles slot and Leanne Glaser moved into the number-five singles.

"My number two and three were injured," Coach Kurkjian said. "So, in sectionals, I was playing with my one, four, five, six, and seven players and four other girls, two of whom were not starters. It was interesting."

The young team — none of the players are seniors, brought home the repeat championship with a four-and-a-half to two-and-a-half win over Cobleskill-Richmondville in a match held at the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill.

Burtman lost her match, but Daley, Childs, and Kurkjian won their singles matches.

The doubles team of Jackie Lansbury, a first-year player, and Courtney Clark, a transfer from Cortland, won their doubles match to help clinch the win. Brittney Albright and Nell Pritchard split their doubles match.

Ciatta Genasari played on a doubles team in the sectional semifinals.

"A lot of the girls are close playing-wise," Kurkjian said. "I rotated three girls into the number-five and second doubles."

The Blackbirds beat Catskill, 6-1, in the semifinals. Cobleskill beat Chatham in the other semifinal match.

Looking ahead

The Voorheesville team will be going for its third straight title next year with most of the players returning.

McArdle and Watson are juniors and Burtman is a 10th-grader. Daley is a ninth-grader; Childs is a junior; Nazely Kurkjian is a ninth-grader; and Glaser is a junior.

"We have a lot of girls coming back and they will improve over the summer," Kurkjian said. "We’ll have a real battle for singles spots next year."

Though they won the Class B championship, the Blackbirds finished second in their own league.

Voorheesville came in second behind Holy Names, which handed the Birds their only loss this season.

"Holy Names was better than us," Kurkjian said. "But hopefully, we can win a league title and now a three-peat is in the cards."

Allie Glaser, Fanie Liu, Lara Lorman, and Kathleen McArdle were also on the team this year and made some improvements during the year, Kurkjian said.

"They can maybe have a slot in second doubles," Kurkjian said.

A handful of Voorheesville players took part in the individual sectionals that determined who played in the state tournament.

Burtman and Daley went as singles players and both lost early in the tournament. Burtman lost to the number-one player from Amsterdam and Daley lost to the number-one player from Colonie.

Lansbury and Childs went as a doubles team but lost to a team from Guilderland. Nazaly Kurkjian and Genasari lost to a team from Scotia in a doubles tournament.

Coach Kurkjian was helped again this season by Donna Russel, who had a couple of daughters who were top-notch players compete for Voorheesville.

"It’s nice to have her to help me out with the program," said Kurkjian.

Kurkjian said that his players will put in the time during the off-season to get better.

"Almost all of the girls will play over the summer and improve," the coach said. "That’s a testimony to the girls. You can’t just have seasonal players. You’re not going to win in tennis if you don’t have girls that play almost year-round."

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