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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, October 30, 2008
Undefeated Flying Dutchmen roll into Class AA semi-finals
By Jordan J. Michael
GUILDERLAND The Dutchmen soccer team was determined to end Niskayuna’s season just as Niskayuna did to Guilderland a year ago.
“The Silver Warriors took everything away from us last year,” said senior Anthony Campagnano. “We deserved it this time.”
Niskayuna had a dream season last year, making it all the way to the state semi-finals. The Silver Warriors won only two games in the Suburban Council this season and suffered its third loss to Guilderland on Monday in the Class AA quarterfinals, 2-0.
“My players have been talking about last year’s unfortunate events for the past couple days,” said Head Coach Mike Kinnally. “People don’t forget things like that.”
The undefeated Dutchmen advanced to the quarterfinals after pummeling Amsterdam on Friday, 8-0. Rory Nunamacher, Sahr Nyuma, Jordan Siskin, and Pat Clancy all had goals in the rout. Goalkeeper Devin Bailey had his 12th shutout of the year.
Guilderland’s quarterfinal against Niskayuna on Monday was its second and last home game for the playoffs. Steady rain was falling from beginning to end, leaving field conditions on the slippery side.
“Rain-soaked games always make you a little nervous because you never know where the ball is going to bounce or end up,” said Kinnally.
Despite the horrible weather, the Flying Dutch maintained total control over the Silver Warriors for the majority of the match. An outstanding performance by Niskayuna goalie Anthony Czech saved the team from embarrassment.
“Czech is an amazing athlete and he had some crazy saves,” Kinnally said. “His play alone kept them in the game.”
The first half started out relatively slowly, with possession going back and forth between the two squads. Nyuma, Campagnano, Nunamacher, and Pat Quinn all had shots turned away by Czech.
Niskayuna couldn’t match Guilderland’s skill level, but the ball was staying out of the net. “We had some good runners today. Everyone was hustling,” said Kinnally.
The Dutchmen finally cracked through Czech when Campagnano placed a free kick off of Ryan Ashbaugh’s head for the goal.
Minutes later, Nyuma walked into the box and put a grounder past Czech for the 2-to-0 lead. Czech managed to get a hand on the shot, but it trickled across the goal line.
Guilderland kept increasing the pressure as the first half went along. Czech was getting peppered with shots while Bailey had little action on the other end. “Bailey didn’t see many balls because our defense wasn’t letting balls through,” Kinnally said.
The Dutchmen kept the ball in Niskayuna’s portion of the field for most of the second half, continuing to pressure Czech. The Silver Warriors couldn’t control the ball in the middle and Guilderland took advantage.
The Flying Dutch’s starting lineup got to play a whole game after sitting out for half of the Amsterdam game. “My starters got to run around and have a full game,” said Kinnally. “I used a 14-man rotation today and this will be the way things go from now on.”
Kinnally is making sure that he has his best players out on the field, as the games get tougher. “We’re going to go as far as possible,” said Campagnano.
Czech made some more dazzling saves in the second half but the Niskayuna offense couldn’t get momentum. Guilderland had a relaxing second half and completed the victory, 2-0.
The Dutchmen are now 20-0 on the season and face Shaker in the semi-finals in Colonie, today at 5 p.m. Shaker is a number four seed that beat Schenectady and Columbia in the first two rounds.
Guilderland beat Shaker, 2 to 0, on Oct. 10.
“The games are going to get tougher and tougher. Shaker is solid,” said Kinnally. “We’re just glad to be where we are right now.”