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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 25, 2007

Soccer players wanted by BKW’s coach

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — What Jim Gillis has on his soccer team at Berne-Knox-Westerlo is a group of good athletes. What he needs is a true soccer player.

The Bulldog players have used their athleticism to win a few games and stay close in a lot of them.

But the results are not as great as one might expect. BKW has a 4-12-2 overall record and a 2-10-2 record in the Western Athletic Conference.

BKW finished the regular season with a 4-1 loss to Schenectady Christian on Friday. Then Gillis decided to bring his to team to play in the Class CC Section II tournament. The Bulldogs played a first-round game against Greenwich on Wednesday. The Bulldogs were seeded 11th and had to travel to the village in Washington County to take on the sixth-seeded Witches.

"We’ve stayed in some games," said BKW Coach Jim Gillis. "Lots of times we’ve been out in the beginning. And we have a couple of losses that shouldn’t be losses if we get one break here or there. We were up on Schoharie, 2-0, with 14 minutes left, and we end up tying. We lost in overtime to [Saratoga] Spa Catholic."

"We played with them"

Last Friday, the Bulldogs fell behind, 3-0, in the first half. BKW missed a couple of great opportunities to score in the opening half. The best was a head ball by Curtis Clark, which went wide of the goal.

"We had a golden chance early to go up 1-0," Gillis said. "That has been our problem all year long. We don’t score and then we do something stupid."

BKW was holding the Falcons out of the goal, until late in the 40-minute half.

A handball near the BKW goal gave Schenectady Christian a penalty shot, which Magnus Balters easily converted for a goal with 12 minutes left until halftime.

R.J. Gallup made the score 2-0 with 9:48 left in the half and Balters scored later in the half to give the Falcons a 3-0 lead.

Balters got the hat trick early in the second half. He scored with 28:03 left to give Schenectady Christian a 4-0 lead.

BKW finally got on the scoreboard with 23:35 left in the game. Justin Coon scored with an assist from Ben Burton.

But BKW could not get any closer.

"The penalty kick was unlucky," Gillis said. "It hits him in the hands. And their third goal was on a great shot. He stuck it in the inside post. But I think we played with them. Last time, we didn’t even play with them."

Junior goalie Greg Hannay made 11 saves for the Bulldogs. Schenectady Christian goalie Bryan Bishop made nine saves.

The Bulldogs out-shot the Falcons, 17-16, in the contest and the corner kick opportunities were even, 6-6.

"A struggle to score"

Even though the Bulldogs had opportunities, they still couldn’t score, and that has been a problem for BKW all season.

"It’s been a struggle to score goals," Gillis said. "We hang in there for awhile and, when we get a shot, we put it wide or right at the keeper."

But Gillis has seen improvement in his team and the athleticism went up when three players joined the team late. Matt Lounsbury, Josh Skinner, and Burton all joined the team a few games into the season.

"They asked to play," Gillis said. "They have given athleticism to our play, but they don’t score goals. I would take someone that can score goals like Schenectady Christian has.

"They are not soccer players," Gillis added. "We don’t have any kids playing travel soccer [during the off-season]. I know if I have to have a kid take a free throw, I want a basketball player who has been in that position before."

"Working harder"

The Bulldogs will lose the three newcomers at the end of the season as they are all seniors. The other seniors on the team are Joey Conklin, Keith Cunningham, Greg Mulson, Brazilian exchange student Igor Silva, Sam Viscio, Dave White, and Pat Whitney.

Cunningham, and Mulson along with Hannay, a junior, are the captains of the team.

"The kids are working harder than in the past," Gillis said. "They are athletes, and they need to transfer that into scoring goals. It’s hard to do."

And because of that hard work, Gillis decided to take the team to sectionals.

"The kids are working hard again and we had some shots at games," Gillis said on Monday. "We’ll have to travel somewhere."

Sectional play will also help some of his younger players — again BKW did not have a junior varsity team — gain experience.

Gillis starts a bunch of young kids in the back on defense.

"Brandon Galgay has been great for a freshman," the coach said. "He’s been my sweeper. He’s a tough kid.

"Jacob Tambasco has been starting as outside defender," Gillis added. "He’s been playing well. We get Hannay back, and Michael Galgay has also gotten a number of starts and has played good at times. And Curtis Clark is playing well."

The defense looks to be strong in the future, but Gillis will still be looking for some goal-scorers.

"We’ll try to improve in the middle and up top," Gillis said. "We should be good in the middle to the back."

Blackbirds shot down by Indians

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville Blackbirds fell behind early and couldn’t catch up to Cambridge in their first-round playoff football contest last Saturday.

The Blackbirds, seeded fourth from the South Division of Class C, fell behind, 14-0, after the first quarter and 21-7 at halftime and ran out of time in a 28-21 loss to the top-seeded Indians from the North Division.

Cambridge ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter to take the early lead. But Voorheesville got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter to cut the lead in half.

Senior quarterback Jay Conde connected with classmate Jordan Murphy for a 26-yard touchdown pass.

But Cambridge used a long drive and went 83 yards to take a 14-point lead. Adam Lajara scored on a two-yard run for the Indians to cap the drive.

Cambridge took a 28-7 lead in the third quarter on a touchdown run by Greg Westcott.

Voorheesville answered on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Conde to Jimmy Carroll. The score came 30 seconds after Cambridge’s tally.

Pat Jones cut the lead to one touchdown on an 18-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Though they held the Indians on defense, Voorheesville could not catch Cambridge in the fourth quarter. Shea Bromirski and Cameron Herrington intercepted two of Conde’s passes in the stanza to seal the win for Cambridge.

Conde had a good day for the Blackbirds. He finished the game with 227 yards passing in the contest.

Jones rushed for 108 yards to lead the Blackbirds on the ground. Lajara had 143 yards for the Indians in the contest.

Evan Christner caught six passes for 102 yards to lead the Blackbird receivers.

Voorheesville will look to finish the season on a winning note on Saturday as they host Hoosick Falls in a crossover game.

Dutch volleyball having a good season

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland boys’ varsity volleyball team is near the end of the season and has been winning some big matches.

As of last Monday, the Dutchmen have an overall record of 11-5. Besides solid league play, Guilderland has performed well in several tournaments.

At the Central Square Men’s Tournament, the team finished third out of nine teams. Most recently, the team finished second at the Burnt Hills Tournament. The Dutchmen lost in the finals to the host team, a perennial power in the Suburban Council.

During both tournaments, Jeff Geisendorfer and John Driessen were named to the all-tournament team.

The team will graduate seven seniors at the end of the season. Those upperclassmen are Wang Sheng, Driessen, Billy Reed, Malcolm Munoz, Mike Hilson, Joey Millstein, and Geisendorfer.

The team will have several younger players returning to next year’s varsity team. The junior varsity team is also having a strong season and many of those players will also contribute to the varsity team next fall.

The regular season is winding down and sectionals are on the way.

Dutchmen win gold, get ready for sectionals

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — What rebuilding year"

All the wins were supposed to happen next year for the Guilderland boys’ soccer team. Well, the Dutchmen won 14 games this year and they won the Gold Division of the Suburban Council. Guilderland did so with a 3-1 win over Saratoga on Monday in a make-up game from last Tuesday night.

"We won the division and got 14 wins," Coach Mike Kinnally said after the game. "We also scored more goals than last year. We beat Niskayuna, Colonie, Saratoga, and we tied Bethlehem. That’s a good year."

The good year continues for the Dutchmen as the seeding for the Class AA Section II tournament was announced on Tuesday and Guilderland is the number-two seed from the Suburban Council. The sectionals are split into large-school league seeds. The Big 10 is the other large-school league.

The Dutchmen will host Troy of Big 10 on Friday at 3 p.m. With a victory, Guilderland will host a quarterfinal game against the winner of the Niskayuna-Amsterdam contest, which will also be played on Friday.

"We should have two home games," Kinally said on Monday. "We have one of the top fields in the Suburban Council so that should give us an advantage."

Bounced shots

On Monday, the Dutchmen dominated Saratoga, but did not have much to show for it on the scoreboard. Guilderland led, 1-0, at halftime but had five shots bounce off the cross-bar or goal post.

The Dutchmen finally got in the goal in the 28th minute.

Junior Tony Campagnano scored after getting a pass from his brother, Frank. Tony Campagnano ripped a shot that found the upper part of the goal over the Saratoga goalie.

The Dutch could not add to its lead in the first half, even though they had great shots.

Guilderland finally added to their lead early in the second half.

Sahr Nyuma, an exchange student from Africa, scored after getting a pass from Tony Campagnano that went over the top of the Saratoga defense.

Nyuma buried the shot to give the Dutchmen a 2-0 lead with 37:28 left in the second half.

Guilderland got careless with the ball in its own end and Saratoga took advantage a few minutes later.

The Dutch turned the ball over and Matt Rickard buried a shot past Guilderland goalie Devin Bailey, making it a one-goal game with 34:15 left in the game.

But Guilderland padded its lead a few minutes later.

Zakary DuGuay chipped in a shot after the Blue Streaks’ goalie made a save on a hard shot by Tony Campagnano.

Campagnano’s shot bounced away from the Saratoga goalie and DuGuay was there for the rebound and chipped the ball into the net.

Campagnano was awarded with the assist, his second of the game.

Guilderland continued its strong play and held off any surge from the Blue Streaks. Though the Dutch couldn’t connect on any more shots in the contest, sending balls wide of the goal or even having a couple more hit off the goal posts.

"I think we hit the posts eight times," Kinnally said.

Bailey finished the game with two saves. Saratoga’s goalies combined to make seven saves in the contest.

Guilderland took 25 shots and Saratoga took just three. Guilderland also had nine corner kicks compared to none for the Blue Streaks.

"We didn’t finish all our opportunities," Kinnally said. "It’s seems we are able to score a lot of goals, even against teams that are down a bit, and I don’t mean today, we are able to score. We have 60 goals, and that is a tremendous amount of goals. We’ve been finishing."

"We climbed a big hill"

Winning the Gold Division of the Suburban Council and getting the number-two seed from the league is a big accomplishment for a Guilderland program that was in a downward slide as Kinnally took over several years ago.

It was the 46th win for Kinnally and assistant coach Arn Armstrong since Kinnally became the head coach, replacing the retired Don Snyder four years ago.

"We climbed a big hill to get here," Kinnally said. "And junior varsity was good. We’ll have a lot from that group coming up."

The Dutchmen have been on a roll in the second half of the season. Their only loss in the last eight games came against Suburban Council Blue Division and number-one seed Shenendehowa. The Dutch lost to the Section II power last Saturday.

But Guilderland came back from that loss to beat Colonie, 1-0. Those two teams had been battling for the title all season.

The Dutch also beat Ballston Spa, 6-0, on Friday night.

Guilderland finished the regular season with a 14-3-1 record. The Dutchmen did avenge two losses, beating Saratoga and Colonie the second time through division play.

Each year, the Dutch coaches and players set three goals for the season. The three accomplishments are to win more games, score more goals, and give up fewer goals than the previous year. And, even though they have had a lot of success, only two of those goals were met.

"We’ve given up more goals than all of last year," Kinnally said. "Last year, we gave up 18. This year, we’ve already given up 20. And hopefully we still have three or four more or beyond that if we get through sectionals."

Dutch conquer Patriots, headed to Class AA semifinal

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — For the second year in a row, the Guilderland football squad hosted a team for the Section II playoffs.

This year, the Dutchmen made sure the results were different.

Guilderland scored early and often Saturday afternoon, posting a 26-0 halftime lead then holding on for a 32-13 win over Schenectady in the first-round of the Class AA playoffs.

The Dutchmen will host Ballston Spa in a semifinal game at home on Friday night. The Scotties are the only team to beat the 7-1 Dutchmen this season.

It was the first playoff win for Guilderland since 1996 and only the second ever.

"They’ve got a lot of good players," said senior linebacker and tight end Paul Malamood of Schenectady’s team. "We stepped up and got the job done."

"The key was to keep the ball out of their hands," added senior quarterback Drew Smith. "We kept the ball moving and we did that and were able to get the ball into the end zone. If we play every half like that, we’re unstoppable."

Unstoppable start

The Dutchmen were unstoppable in the first half, scoring on their first three possessions and shutting down an explosive Schenectady offense and its running back Marc Thompson, who was the leading rusher in Section II coming into the game.

"I can’t say enough about Thompson," Malamood said. "He’s a heck of a player, but me and Pete [Stanish] stepped up to try to stop him."

The pair of senior linebackers led an impressive run defense as they held Thompson to just 36 rushing yards on his first 15 carries before he gained 41 yards on his final attempt against Guilderland’s second-string defense.

Guilderland got on the board first after taking the opening kick-off. The Dutchmen methodically drove down the field, using 15 plays to score the first touchdown of the game.

Smith capped the drive with a one-yard leap, holding the ball over the goaline for the six points.

The extra-point kick failed after a fumbled snap, but Guilderland led, 6-0, with 5:50 left in the 12-minute first quarter.

Schenectady was forced to punt on its first possession, and again Guilderland put together another long scoring drive.

Starting at their own 19-yard line late in the first quarter, the Dutchmen moved the ball in 14 plays and scored about midway through the second.

Mixing runs from Smith, Paul Booker, and Nick Ranalli, along with passes from Smith to Malamood, the Dutchmen moved the ball with ease. On the 14th play of the drive, Booker capped the drive with a four-yard run into the end zone.

The extra-point kick missed, but Guilderland led, 12-0, with 7:51 left in the second stanza.

Guilderland built on its lead on the next possession after an interception by Malamood.

Malamood’s pick-off gave the Dutch the ball at Schenectady’s 28-yard line.

After a five-yard penalty, Rinalli moved the ball on a seven-yard reverse run after taking a hand-off from Booker.

On the next play, Booker ran 21 yards to move the ball to the one-yard line. Two plays later, Smith, in a mirror image of his first touchdown, leaped and held the ball over the goal line for the touchdown.

Smith ran into the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt and the Dutch led, 20-0, with 5:44 left until halftime.

Schenectady punted on its next possession and Guilderland moved the ball again.

However, Booker’s pass attempt on an option was intercepted at the Schenectady 16-yard line.

But Guilderland’s defense held and forced the Patriots to punt again.

This time, Smith fielded the punt at his own 42-yard line. He dodged some tacklers, followed his blocks, and raced down the home-team sideline for a 58-yard touchdown.

The extra-point kick was missed, but Guilderland led, 26-0, with 40 seconds left in the second frame.

"Punting to Drew Smith is a dangerous thing to do," said Guilderland Coach Dan Penna. "Once he gets into the open field, he makes things happen. He’s a tremendous athlete and he has guys around him that are the right complement."

"Everyone stepped up"

Schenectady got on the scoreboard in the third quarter.

Guilderland’s Jesse Lutz intercepted the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the second half. On the ensuing drive, the Dutchmen punted for the first time and a good return gave the Patriots the ball at their own 49-yard line.

Five plays later, Schenectady quarterback Nick Ottati connected with Joshua Mason for a 26-yard touchdown pass.

Schenectady made the score 26-13 early in the fourth quarter. Ottati hit Marcus Brandon for a touchdown from inside the five-yard line.

Guilderland responded and put together a long touchdown drive that sealed the win.

The Dutch started at their own 31-yard line and pounded the ball up the field behind the running of Booker, Smith, and Ranalli.

Booker capped the drive with a three-yard run to make the score 32-13 with 2:47 left in the game.

Schenectady could not get another score as Guilderland’s second string offense and defense did a good job on the final drives of the game.

The game ended when Billy Kemp sacked Ottati, forcing a fumble. Scott Suriano recovered the fumble to give the Dutch the ball back.

Backup quarterback Bobby Falcone took a knee, the game ended, and the Dutch move on to the semifinals.

"They have big play makers," said Penna. "We felt that they were definitely a good football team. I think they had one first down in the first half. We did a good job of containing Thompson and had solid coverage on their receivers."

"We’re a great team and we showed it today," Malamood said. "Everyone stepped up today."

Booker finished the game with 124 yards rushing on 23 carries.

Next up for the Dutchmen is a revenge game against Ballston Spa. And with a win comes a spot in the Section II Super Bowl.

"We lost up there," Penna said. "They took advantage of our mistakes. We’ll be ready to play. It’s a playoff game. We’re not ready to go home. We want to keep playing."

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