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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 29, 2005

Guilderland football vs. Columbia

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Big plays determined the outcome in Friday night’s football contest, and Columbia happened to have one more than Guilderland.

Trailing by one point, Columbia used a fake punt to score and take the lead for good with 7:44 left in the fourth and final quarter.

"It was a game of big plays," Guilderland Coach Dan Penna said of the 33-28 defeat. "We gave up one more. We’ve got to keep momentum going. We gave up one too many big plays. We have to cut down on them. It’s uncharacteristic, but very fixable."

Columbia looked to be in control of the game at halftime as the Blue Devils held a 20-7 lead.

After a halftime show put on by the Guilderland varsity, junior varsity, and Pop Warner cheerleaders and a small game by two Guilderland Pop Warner teams, the varsity Dutchmen put on a show of their own.

That show got off to a late start as they found themselves behind, 27-7, with 7:16 left in the third quarter.

Blue Devil Bryan Rose scored on a 68-yard touchdown run and the extra point to increase their lead.

But Guilderland came right back on the next drive.

The Dutchmen started on their own 32-yard line. Quarterback Bill Rafferty completed a pass to Judd Robinson for 12 yards to move the ball to the 44-yard line.

After a run went for no gain, Rafferty kept the ball on an option run on the left side. He dodged tacklers and sprinted to the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown run.

Nick Zanotta kicked the extra point and the score was 27-14 with 5:53 left in the third quarter.

The Dutch took advantage of a Columbia mistake to score a minute-and-a-half later.

A fumble by a Columbia running back was recovered by Guilderland’s Tim Montgomery on Columbia’s 16-yard line.

Rafferty found Robinson for a 13-yard completion that put the ball on the one-yard line. And on the next play, Kevin Doherty ran into the end zone for the score. Zanotta added the extra-point kick and the lead was cut to one touchdown with 4:31 left in the third quarter.

"A good play"

The third quarter ended with Columbia on a long drive. But, as the first few seconds of the fourth quarter ticked away, Guilderland’s defense was able to hold off Columbia and forced the Blue Devils to punt.

The punt was blocked and downed at the Columbia 36-yard line. Paul Booker and Pete Stanish were in on the blocked kick.

It took the Dutchmen three plays to score, as Rafferty hooked up with Montgomery for a 16-yard touchdown pass.

The play that set up the touchdown was a 23-yard pass from Rafferty to Scott Raffensperger.

Zanotta gave the Dutch the lead with his extra-point kick.

Columbia then scored, using a fake punt on its next possession to take the lead for good.

Punter Luke Naughton passed to John-Michael Donaghue for the touchdown.

"It was a good play," Penna said. "We were adjusting our alignments and we wanted to give them a punt block look. They took advantage of our mistakes. It was gutsy on their part."

Guilderland stopped the two-point attempt and trailed 33-28 with 7:44 left.

But Guilderland could not get any more points and the Dutch players left the field disappointed.

"They didn’t get rattled," Penna said of his players. "It shows the character of this team. The kids still never gave up and they never got down. I’m proud of them, very much."

A banana peel

The Dutchmen offense had been dormant for the first three games of the year, but came alive against Columbia. They scored more points in this one game than the previous three combined.

"We got strong pass protection," Penna said. "We had new assignments on offense. We played overall solid defense. We just gave up the big play. I relate it to slipping on a banana peel. We’d be doing well and then we’d slip and fall down. They’ve got some explosive kids."

The regular season is winding down for the Dutchmen, as there are three more games to go before the cross-over games.

The Dutch hope to get totally healthy — three starters were out of Friday’s game — to finish up the season on a strong note.

"They should be returning in a few weeks," Penna said. "That will be a jolt for our team. We just have to focus and settle down on every play. If they can do the right things, they can beat anybody.

"There’s definitely a positive side," Penna added. "We just need to fix the little things. The kids just need to step up and make plays like I think they are able to do."

The Dutch will play Ballston Spa at home on Friday and then host Colonie the next week. They finish the regular season with a trip to Bethlehem.

Guilderland boys' soccer vs. Ballston Spa

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland boys’ soccer team played one of its best games of the year to beat visiting Ballston Spa on Tuesday night.

The Dutchmen defeated the Scotties, 4-0, after blowing open a close game with three goals in the second half.

"This was our best game of the year," said Guilderland Coach Mike Kinnally. "It was our most balanced game of the year. We had two unbelievable opportunities in the first half. We had not played well in the second half all year so that was nice."

Guilderland led 1-0 but had two great opportunities in the first half. Mike Camardo was credited with the first goal of the game. But a Ballston Spa player accidently kicked the ball into his own net after Camardo shot the ball. Nick Stark was given the assist on the score.

Camardo had a great opportunity later in the half but missed a wide-open net as he kicked the ball right of the goal.

Guilderland had plenty of opportunities in the first half but couldn’t finish and, if not for a great defensive play by Greg Murphy late in the first half, the score could’ve been tied.

Murphy stopped a break-away chance by sprinting back on defense and stopping and taking the ball away from a Ballston Spa player.

At halftime, the 10 seniors on the Guilderland team were honored with their parents as part of Senior Night.

Pumped up

The ceremony pumped up the Dutchmen as they came out with intensity in the second half.

Stark, a senior, scored just 37 seconds into the half as he got a pass from Chris Conway and was able to finish his shot.

Camardo scored about three minutes later on a great shot to the upper left corner of the goal. Frank Campagnano got the assist on the score.

Guilderland added its final goal with 32:13 left in the game. Conway scored by heading the ball into the goal after a great crossing pass from Kyle Klapp.

The Dutchmen played solid defense the rest of the game to preserve the shut out and walk away with a big win.

"We were ahead, 1-0, and we had opportunities," Kinnally said. "It was like at Burnt Hills. We have to put people away. We are not good enough to let people hang around. When we have opportunities, we have to put them away. And that’s been a bit of an issue."

Guilderland had beaten Burnt Hills, 3-0, on Friday.

On Tuesday, the Dutch controlled the middle of the field for most of the game and were able to finally put the Scotties away in the second half.

"Camardo controlled the middle," Kinnally said. "He is a strong kid in the middle. That was the key to this game."

Guilderland also got good scoring production from another senior.

"Nick Stark has been playing well for us," Kinnally said. "He had a good sophomore year and kind of fell off the face of the earth last year. He has four goals and four assists. He’s doing extremely well."

Guilderland had 14 shots in the contest to Ballston Spa’s three. Senior Barry Kinlan and junior Uriah Myrie split time in the goal for Guilderland and combined to make three saves.

The seniors who were honored at halftime were Camardo; Kinlan and his twin brother, Daniel; Kousha Navidar; John Polnak; Stark, Kelly Young; Ryan Zielinski; David Herkenham; and Havard Brustad, an exchange student from Norway.

Making history"

Guilderland improves to 5-4 overall as it heads into a contest with Shenendehowa on Thursday.

"I like playing Shen," Kinnally said. "I like playing them more than Niskayuna or Bethlehem. When you have an opportunity to beat Shen, it’s like making history. The kids always play a little harder and leave it all out there. If you beat them, it’s made your season."

The loss that hurt the most was a 1-0 setback to Ithaca.

"They went up 1-0 with two-and-a-half minutes to go," Kinnally said. "I would’ve liked to get a tie with them. I’d be pretty pleased if, instead of being 5-4, we were 5-3-1."

After the Shen game, the Dutch will play at Columbia on Saturday and at Saratoga next Wednesday.

Guilderland girls' soccer

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — It was a good week for the Guilderland girls’ soccer team.

The Lady Dutch won two games and tied one. The tie is being treated as a bigger deal than the wins.

Guilderland beat Shaker and Mohonasen and tied Shenendehowa, a team that was ranked first in the country by an on-line soccer site.

"Shen was one of the most exciting games we’ve put together in the past few years," said Guilderland Coach Barb Newton. "Jen Mihok was the catalyst. We moved some people around and moved her to midfield. She scored on her first shot on goal and we needed that. The whole team played at an upper level.

"The game was equal," Newton added. "The second half was in our favor. We had a lot of opportunities. We actually had the game won."

Guilderland had a 3-2 lead with 1:50 left in the second half before Shen tied it and forced overtime.

"We did not let our heads down," Newton said. "We still had opportunities and they had opportunities. Both teams were fighting through exhaustion."

"It was a very big game" Mihok said. "Like our coach said, ‘It was a memorable week.’"

"It was pretty insane," Kayla Best added. "Our fans were going crazy. Everyone was pumped up."

Mihok had a goal and an assist against Shen and Abby Fashour and Best each added goals. Best’s goal put the Lady Dutch ahead.

Guilderland was down 2-0 at halftime before Mihok scored on a penalty kick, Fashour tied the game, and Best put them ahead with her tally.

"It definitely was a confidence booster," Newton said. "We have a whole new crew, but this is more exciting. We knew they were a top team. We knew they were number-two in the country."

On the day of the game, Shen moved to number-one.

"In the first half, we were slow," Mihok said. "But we scored our first goal and we thought ‘Oh wow! We can do this.’ We were down 2-0. In the second half, we came out like it was 0-0. We picked up our energy."

"After our first goal, we picked it up," Best agreed. "When Jen made that penalty kick, we knew we could come back and beat them."

Beating Mohon and Shaker

Guilderland followed up the tie with a 6-2 win over Mohonasen last Thursday.

"I’m surprised we scored a lot against Mohonasen," Newton said. "They are a tough team."

Mihok had three goals to pace the Lady Dutch. Krystal Myers, Best, and Cristina Rodriguez each scored one.

The Dutch beat Shaker, 1-0, on Saturday.

"Shaker was a battle," Newton said. "They were undefeated and it wasn’t our best game of the year."

Jackie DeLuise scored for the Lady Dutch on a break-away goal.

"We were able to walk away from it with a win," Newton said. "We had other opportunities to score. We had a good break-away goal. We had a lot of chances and couldn’t capitalize."

The tie with Shenendehowa should go a long way for the season. It played a big part in the past week.

"Shen was a catalyst for the week," Newton said. "It was exciting. We had a great crowd and got a lot of support."

Next up for the Dutch was Bethlehem on Wednesday. Early in the season, the Eagles handed the Dutch their only loss in a non-league game.

"Hopefully we come away with another big win for us," Newton said. "Shen was definitely our best soccer. Shaker was a total team bad day."

Moving Mihok from her defensive sweeper position to the midfield provided a spark for the Dutch. Ninth-grader Amanda Best took over Mihok’s old position. Guilderland has been playing without one of its top scorers from last year, Bianca Germain, who is out with an injury.

"She had a couple of break-away stops," Newton said of Best. "We are waiting for Bianca to return. We are moving people around. Kayla moved to the front line."

After Wednesday’s game, the Lady Dutch play Colonie on Thursday, a game that was postponed from Monday. Guilderland then plays at Columbia next Wednesday before playing at home on Oct. 7 and for Senior Night on Oct. 11.

"We take each week and look at it," Mihok said. "We don’t worry about the past week or the week ahead."

"We did last week," Kayla Best said. "But we want to push forward and concentrate on what we need to do with Bethlehem and Colonie."

Voorheesville football vs. Watervliet

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — It has been a long time since the Voorheesville football team beat Watervliet and it took a clutch performance by the offense to do it.

The Blackbirds hadn’t beat the Cannoneers on the gridiron since 1998. Saturday’s victory was sparked by a fourth quarter drive that resulted in a 17-13 come-from-behind win in front of a large homecoming crowd at Thomas Buckley Field.

"This game meant the most to us," said Voorheesville’s P.J. Hognestad. "We’ve been waiting for this game since last year’s. I didn’t play in that game, but I didn’t forget what happened."

Hognestad missed last year’s game at Watervliet because of an injury that sidelined him for the season; he watched as Watervliet scored on a late drive to win.

"This is a big win," said Voorheesville Coach Joe Sapienza Saturday. "I look at it this way. It’s a temporary monkey off our back. It’s an emotional thing, but there can’t be a letdown.

"It’s an emotional high," Sapienza added. "But we have to keep getting better. We made some mistakes the last couple of weeks."

Voorheesville still didn’t have a great offensive game, though it was the best of the season. It was the defense that gave the Blackbirds the edge.

Watervliet didn’t score until 7:25 remained in the third quarter. Voorheesville already had a 10-0 lead at that point.

The Blackbirds got a 32-yard field goal from Matt Miller, and a pass from Andy Catellier to Tim Robinson for a touchdown in the first half to build the early lead.

The touchdown capped an eight-play drive, which started at the Blackbirds’ own 40 after a Watervliet punt.

The Cannoneers scored their first points on a 12-yard touchdown run by Anthony Mann. The score came five plays after a blocked punt by Watervliet that went out of bounds at the Voorheesville 37-yard line.

The extra point was no good and the Blackbirds led, 10-6.


Neither team would score until 6:18 was left in the fourth quarter.

Watervliet took the lead on a touchdown from Bryan Bruce from 17 yards out.

Watervliet got the ball at the 45-yard line after a Voorheesville fumble. The Cannoneers ran the ball down the field with Jahmel Tarver and Bruce.

The extra-point kick was good and Watervliet led 13-10.

But the Blackbirds came back with a big drive of their own.

The kick-off was downed at the Voorheesville 20-yard line and they had to go 80 yards for a touchdown.

Catellier found Robinson for a 14-yard pass completion to put the ball on the 34-yard line.

After a quarterback sack lost a yard, Hognestad made up for it and more. The linemen opened a huge hole on the left side and Hognestad did the rest as he ran 20 yards to the Watervliet 48-yard line.

Hognestad then had a seven-yard run followed by a three-yard run to put the ball on the Watervliet 38-yard line and give the Birds a first down to keep the drive alive.

Justin Lupien then got his turn, running the ball; the big fullback rumbled for 14 yards to put the ball on the 24-yard line.

Catellier threw an incomplete pass on the next play and was flagged for intentional grounding, which resulted in a five-yard loss.

Then Lupien picked up four yards on a run and, on third down, the Blackbirds got a huge break.

On an incomplete pass, Watervliet was penalized for pass interference and the ball was moved half the distance to the goal line, giving the Blackbirds an automatic first down.

The ball was placed on the 12-yard line and Hognestad picked up two more yards on a run.

The Birds then went to the air with the match-up they wanted. Catellier threw a perfectly-placed pass and Nick Duncan ran underneath the ball, making an over-the-shoulder catch for a touchdown.

Miller kicked the extra point and the Birds led 17-13 with 1:11 left in the contest.

"A total team win"

"When Andy came off the field," Sapienza said, "there were a full six minutes left. We have a kicker so we knew if we got down around the 20 we’d have a shot to win it."

Sapienza added that, when the Birds are inside the 20-yard line, it’s hard to stop Catellier and Duncan.

"It’s a mismatch inside the 20," the coach said. "We get the match-up on the outside."

Watervliet had a chance and looked to be in good position after Tarver returned the ball to the 49-yard line. But the Cannoneers were penalized for a block in the back and then Tarver was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and the ball was moved back to the 20-yard line.

Watervliet got the ball to the 35-yard line after a pass interference penalty but Voorheesville’s defense came up big on the next two plays.

Sam Pelham sacked the quarterback on the next play for an eight-yard loss and then Kurt Hoffart intercepted a pass at the 40-yard line to seal the win.

Hognestad finished the game with 124 yards on 20 carries but was quick to credit his offensive line.

Linemen Charles Lansburg, Charlie McGrail, Eric Dickson, George Ward, and Hognestad’s younger brother, Sean, opened holes for the running backs all game long and gave Catellier lots of protection.

"It was a total team win," Hognestad said. "Every single person on this team believed we could do this."

The Blackbirds play Greenwich at home on Saturday.

BKW boys' soccer vs. Schoharie

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The one thing that couldn’t happen to the Berne-Knox-Westerlo boys’ soccer team this season has happened.

A team chock full of young players has had its few experienced players injured.

The injuries were prevalent in a 2-1 loss to Schoharie on Friday.

"We are struggling to be healthy," BKW Coach Jim Gillis said. "Bobby, Brandon, and Evan are all hurting. If those three are hurting all year, we’re in trouble."

Brandon Motschmann and Evan Place are seniors and Bobby Patrick is a junior, but all bring years of varsity experience into the season.

All three played in Friday’s game, but were limited in what they could do. And younger players are having to fill in some different spots on the field.

"We have younger kids playing center halfback, stopper, and sweeper," Gillis said of key positions on the field. "We have no options. The inexperienced kids have to lead."

The Bulldogs put up a good fight against Schoharie in Friday’s contest.

Schoharie scored early as Patrick tried to clear out a ball that was kicked into the penalty area by Ryan Cleveland.

Patrick miskicked the ball and it went into the goal. Cleveland was credited for the goal and Schoharie led 1-0.

"He’s not the first player that that has happened to," Gillis said. "That’s happened to professionals and world-class players."

The Bulldogs scored with 19:39 left in the first half to tie the game at 1-1.

The Schoharie goalie tried to clear the ball with a kick, but the ball was blocked by Peter Primiano and rolled into the goal for the score.

Close game

The Indians would get the winning goal early in the second half. Anthony LaBadia scored on a header with an assist from Stephen Roy to give his team the lead.

Schoharie had plenty of opportunities to score an insurance goal, but BKW held strong to keep the game close.

"We played okay today," Gillis said. "We gave up a lot of shots. But we worked hard. We’re struggling to score goals, so every mistake is magnified."

Schoharie took 30 shots and BKW took just eight.

The Bulldogs’ sophomore goalie, Matt Lounsbury, had a good game in goal, stopping 16 saves.

"Lounsbury was great in goal," Gillis said. "They could’ve had more goals. We have two sophomores in the back five. So we have some growing pains."

The Bulldogs have a 3-4 overall record and are 2-4 against teams in the Southern Division of the Western Athletic Conference.

The Bulldogs have beaten Canajoharie and Sharon Springs. BKW has lost to Schenectady Christian, Middleburgh, and Duanesburg, along with the loss to Schoharie.

"We beat Sharon, 1-0, last Friday," Gillis said. "But we are struggling to score goals. We have nine goals in eight games but we scored four of them against Canajoharie. The other games, we’ve scored five goals. You’re not going to win many games with that."

Gillis is starting to see signs of frustation from his players as the losses have piled up in the past few games.

"They are starting to point fingers and place the blame on each other," Gillis said. "And that starts to happen when you’re losing games. What that will do to us is cause more losses."

The Bulldogs have a slew of tough games this week against teams from the Northern Division of the WAC.

BKW played at Fort Plain on Monday and lost 5-0. The Bulldogs hosted Galway on Wednesday. The Bulldogs then play at Mayfield on Friday and Northville on Monday.

"It’s not easy," Gillis said after the Schoharie game. "Fort Plain, Mayfield, and Galway are all good teams."

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