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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 4, 2010

Uncharacteristic season for Dutchmen soccer

By Jordan J. Michael

CLIFTON PARK –– The Guilderland boys’ soccer team was the undefeated Class AA champion two years ago and made another solid playoff run in 2009. In 2010, its season ended short with the Dutch near the bottom.

The Dutchmen’s bewildering season came to a close last Thursday with an overall record of 6-8-3 after a 3-to-0 loss at Shenendehowa in the first round of the Class AA sectionals.

Head Coach Mike Kinnally and Assistant Coach Arn Armstrong sat on the cold bench after all the players and fans had left the field. The two soccer purists seemed to be staring into space, looking for answers.

“We let games get away with our mistakes,” Kinnally said as half the lighting shut down on the field. “It’s could of, would of, should of and all that. We tried to win more games for this program because we’re always near the top.”

At one point, Guilderland went eight straight games without a win. However, not one player from the 2008 perfect season remained on the roster. Eight players, mostly non-starters from 2009, came back for this season.

Senior goalkeeper John Patrick Horan told The Enterprise that the Dutch “always played a game with 100-percent effort.”

Last Thursday, the team got off to a bad start when Brian O’Hanlon took down Shen’s Chris Schmid inside the box. Horan, who saved a penalty kick in the previous game against Bethlehem, couldn’t stop the one off Michael Jenkins’s foot this time.

“We were a few bounces away from a good season,” said Horan, clearly upset. “It was unlucky, but we’re a great team.”

Alexander Duerr made it 2 to 0 for the Plainsmen early in the second half when he hit a nice free kick over the outstretched arms of the keeper. Guilderland’s intensity seemed to drop a few steps after the score.

“If I knew what was wrong, then I would have fixed it,” Kinnally said. “We didn’t play our best and the other team made us pay. It’s not complicated.”

The Suburban Council is always one of the most competitive leagues in Section II soccer, but this season seemed even tighter. Kinnally never thought, given the teams’ histories, that Shen and Guilderland would be the seven and eight match-up.

“I would bet that the Suburban is one of the best leagues in the country,” said Kinnally. “It’s consistently competitive.”

“It has maybe one or two weak teams, that’s it,” added Armstrong.

“Nothing is better than the Suburban,” Horan said. “It’ll be interesting to see who wins,” he said of this year’s champion.

Guilderland has ended its season at many different points over its history. Everything comes to an end, but it always hurts.

“An ending is never good, but I think going out early is worse,” Kinnally said. “We try to prepare the players for the end, but it’s never easy. It seems like the season just started.”

“We watched the players grow,” Armstrong said.

Horan said that some of the Dutch seniors would try to play competitive soccer again in the future.

“The thought of not playing again really hurts,” he said.

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