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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 13, 2006

Guilderland girl's lacrosse team

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland lacrosse team has gone unbeaten in its first four games including wins over a couple of rivals.

The Lady Dutch beat long-time nemesis Bethlehem, 12-11, last Thursday to bump their record to 4-0. Guilderland was the first Section II team to beat Bethlehem since 2001.

Guilderland beat Niskayuna, 11-3, to continue their unbeaten mark.

The Lady Dutch opened the season with wins over Queensbury, Baldwinsville of Section III, and another Suburban Council rival, Saratoga.

"We’re doing okay," said Guilderland Coach Gary Chatnik. "We’ve had a real good start. Hopefully we can keep it going. Baldwinsville and Saratoga are good teams. I’m happy with the start right now."

In Thursday’s game against Bethlehem, senior Jen Mihok scored the game-winning goal with 38 seconds left in regulation. Val Feldman assisted on the tally.

Guilderland was up 7-1 at halftime, but Chatnik watched Bethlehem roar back and take the lead in the second half.

"It was great we jumped out to a big lead," Chatnik said. "But they came back and took the lead twice. The last three minutes, we scored three goals to tie, tie, tie, and then go ahead.

"We played an excellent first half," Chatnik added. "They took us in the second half and we lost the lead. But the kids responded by coming back. They really showed a lot of grit."

Bethlehem outscored the Lady Dutch, 10-5, in the second half.

Seniors Kayla Best, Molly Daley, and Feldman each had three goals to lead the Lady Dutch.

Best also had two assists and Feldman had one. Nikki Branchini and Abbey Fashouer also scored for Guilderland.

Tee Ladauceur led Bethlehem with five goals. Kayleigh Hynes and Halley Quillinan each added three goals.

Jen Kaye made nine saves for Guilderland and Emily Szelest made four for Bethlehem.

What has pushed the Lady Dutch over the top against their rivals is experience.

"We return 16 varsity players," Chatnik said. "And that has made a big difference. They have meshed with the new kids and they are playing well as a team."

"No waltzing"

Chatnik credited his newcomers — especially Branchine, Fashouer, Danielle Tetreault, and Amanda Best — for stepping into their roles.

But the seniors are providing leadership to help along their younger counterparts.

"We have a good core group of returners," Chatnik said. "They have a lot of talent. Kayla Best, Molly Daley, Val Feldman, Kaitlyn Vennard, and Jen Mihok have done a good job of teaching the younger players. They’ve come out and showed a lot. The juniors have played excellent. Devon Rosenberry, Ashley Buck, and Lynn Tran have been excellent on defense."

The win over a team like Bethlehem will give his team confidence for the season, Chatnik said.

"It’s good but at this time is hard to gauge," he went on. "These are steps in a long process and you don’t know what will end up happening. Every game is a real challenge and we have to push through. We beat two really good teams but there are a lot of teams of the same caliber. We have to show up each time and play each game up to our ability. And I think the kids realize they have to do it. There is no waltzing through anybody."

Beating Bethlehem gives the Dutch confidence that the mighty Eagles can be beat.

"They are on top until somebody beats them," Chatnik said. "It’s been what seems like 10 years. No one has beaten them in that long. You don’t know if you can until you do it."

The Dutch will play Saratoga again on April 25 at home and will travel to Bethlehem on May 2. Until then, Guilderland will play at Shenendehowa on Thursday and at Fayetteville-Manlius of the Syracuse area on Saturday. The Lady Dutch then host Colonie on Wednesday.

"We’ll see them in a couple of weeks and probably somewhere in the sectionals." Chatnik said of Bethlehem. "We want to keep ourselves going. We’ve got some momentum and we don’t want to lose it. We want to be consistently improving. I think we will and we’re going to be real good. This group has a lot of potential.

"The kids know they can do it," Chatnik said. "But they also know it won’t be given to them. We are confident enough to get us where we want to go, but we are not overconfident."

Guilderland boy's lacrosse

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — As time was winding down, Guilderland lacrosse teammates Bob McIver and Ron Buck made eye contact.

Just a couple seconds later McIver fired a low underhand shot from 12 yards out that sparked a big celebration.

McIver scored with no time left on the clock to give the Dutchmen a 6-5 win over rival Shenendehowa in Clifton Park on Tuesday afternoon.

"I looked at Ronnie with four seconds left," McIver said after the game. "I thought, ‘Why not"’ That goalie owned me up high all day. I wanted to keep the ball low and see what happens."

"I was excited to see a sophomore attackman not throw the ball away and come through at a big time," said Guilderland Coach Sean McConaghy of the winning goal. "Obviously, we wanted to get the ball to either Bob or Mike [Camardo]. Bob got a lefty shot and he put it in the net."

The last five minutes of the game made up for a very sloppy game played by both teams and especially by the Guilderland offense.

"I felt that we didn’t get off the bus until the third quarter," said McIver, who is bound for Binghamton University in the fall. "The offense didn’t play well until the third quarter. We had lead legs in the first half."

"The last five minutes were a positive," McConaghy said. "They were tough kids and we were not in the first half. They beat us to groundballs and beat us on face-offs. They beat us up.

"In the second half, the defense stepped up," McConaghy added. "And in the last five minutes the offense decided it wanted to play."

Slow start

Neither team could get any offense in the first half as sloppy play ruled the day.

The first quarter ended in a 2-2 deadlock.

Guilderland scored first on a goal by Camardo. The senior, who is headed to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County to play Division I lacrosse, ripped a shot that found the upper corner.

Shen tied the game with 6:46 left in the opening stanza on a tally by Will Riddervold. His low shot was assisted by John Olsen.

Guilderland scored again just 45 seconds later as McIver scored on a strong move to the goal. He came around from behind the cage and fired a shot into the upper-left corner.

Greg Hitchko tied the game for Shen with 4:59 left. He was assisted by Ryan Desalvatore.

Shen took the lead in the second quarter on a tally by Olsen. Shen added another with 1:20 to go before halftime.

Hitchko got his second goal of the game with an assist by Riddervold to put the Plainsmen up by two at halftime.

Shen then built onto the lead with 10:42 left in the third stanza.

Olsen scored again, this time with an assist from Adam Hitchko.

Comeback trail

The Dutchmen started their comeback with 6:26 left in the third quarter.

Sophomore Aaron Cahill scored on a bounce shot from the outside.

Junior Uriah Myrie pulled the Dutch within one with a goal with 4:52 left in the fourth quarter. Myrie got a pass from Buck and dodged a couple of defenders to fire a shot past Shen goalie T.J. Costigan.

Senior Sean Davis tied the game with 4:11 left in the final stanza.

After a Shen penalty, the Dutch worked the ball around until Davis was able to get open and take a pass from Myrie and fire an outside shot for the tying tally.

A Shenendehowa penalty set up the winning goal.

"It’s important to take advantage of penalties," McIver said. "We work hard on our man-up and our man-down. They have gelled as a unit. We don’t want the other team to score on penalties. I’m proud of our defense and our goalie is our MVP."

Judd Robinson is that most valuable player as he stopped 12 shots, including some key ones in the fourth quarter.

Costigan made 15 saves for the Plainsmen.

The win bumps the Dutchmen to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Suburban Council.

"Five and 0 is a good start," McIver said. "Last year, we didn’t have consecutive wins until late in the season. I’m happy to have that zero in the loss column."

But the Dutch will have some challenges coming up in the next week. The Dutch played LaSalle on Wednesday. Guilderland then plays at Lakeland of Section I on Saturday and then travels to defending sectional champion Niskayuna on Monday for a vacation-time start of noon.

"We’re a 5-0 lacrosse team but we have Lakeland on Saturday," McConaghy said. "We have two tough non-league games and obviously Niskayuna on Monday is marked on all of our calendars."

Guilderland baseball

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland baseball team was in a battle on Wednesday afternoon and came away with the victory.

The Dutchmen scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and held off Burnt Hills for a 6-4 win.

"It wasn’t easy," said Guilderland Coach Doug LaValley. "The wind didn’t help us. It almost hurt us."

The usually blustery Fred Field Field was even moreso on Wednesday as gusts blew in from the outfield.

Guilderland held a 1-0 lead after the first inning as Bill Rafferty scored after leading off the inning with a walk.

But Burnt Hills scored four runs in the top half of the third inning to take the lead.

With one out, Billy Wikolski hit a single to the left side of the infield between third base and shortstop. Matt Fish followed with a single to the left side of the infield. After a groundout to Guilderland pitcher Drew Zanotta, Burnt Hills got a single by James Walton that was just over the head of the shortstop but drove in two runs.

Jordan Pennings followed with a hard-hit groundball that was gloved by third baseman Jake Colavito but he couldn’t get a throw off and another run was scored.

Two more singles led to another run but the inning finally ended with a ground out to shortstop Reid Moreland.

"Some of their hits were just in between third and short," LaValley said. "And then they got a flare over shortstop."

Comeback kids

The Dutchmen battled back in the bottom half of the third frame.

Joe Lima led off the inning with a single and then stole second base. After a flyout by Rafferty, Moreland singled to advance Lima to third. However, Moreland was picked off trying to steal second base.

But Ben Henderson’s single drove in Lima and cut the Dutch’s deficit in half.

Colavito followed with a single and Henderson advanced all the way to third base. A wild pitch allowed Henderson to score and make the score 4-3.

Guilderland took the lead in the fifth inning, scoring three runs in the frame.

Rafferty led off the stanza with an infield single, just beating out the throw.

Moreland grounded out to the first baseman but Rafferty moved on to second.

A ground out to short by Henderson kept Rafferty on second. A walk to Colavito put another runner on for the Dutch.

Then, the next Guilderland batter, Andrew Simpson, hit a single to leftfield to drive in Rafferty and tie the game.

Kevin Doherty, who was up next, broke the tie with a triple hit to centerfield that drove in Nick Stark, who was running for Colavito and Simpson.

"He needed it," LaValley said. "We’ve been working on it and he came through."

Doherty’s hit made a winner of Zanotta. Zanotta threw five innings, and was solid except for the third inning.

"He threw 93 pitches," LaValley said. "He did a good job."

Zanotta struck out three batters and worked his way out of trouble in the second and fifth innings to keep the game close.

C.J. Sohl came on in relief for the Dutchmen in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings. He struck out two batters and did not give up a hit.

"That was a gutsy performance by a sophomore," LaValley said.

But it was the bats that came through when the Dutch needed them to.

"It was just the wind conditions made it hard to score runs." LaValley said. "Not knowing how many runs we would’ve scored, but if the wind was blowing out, we would’ve gotten a lot more."

"A work in progress"

The win was the second of the season for the Dutch and the first against a Suburban Council squad. The Dutch are 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the league.

The Dutch dropped a 10-1 decision to Shenendehowa on Monday.

"Shen is the best team I’ve seen since I’ve been here," LaValley said. "But we were in it. It was just 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth. They are a solid team. We play them again sometime."

The Dutch opened the season with a 10-5 win over Bishop Maginn last Saturday.

"I think we have a pretty good team," LaValley said. "It’s going to come down to pitching. We’ll get better as we go. We threw the ball over the plate against Shen; they just hit it."

The coach has been pleased with what he has seen in the first week of the season and thinks his team will keep improving.

"I like what I am seeing," LaValley said. "We are a work in progress that’s getting better."

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