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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, September 24, 2009
Guilderland soccer outlasts Shenendehowa in double overtime
By Jordan J. Michael
CLIFTON PARK Dutchmen soccer player Jordan Weeden is a big fan of presents that come in neat little packages.
The gift that Weeden received on Tuesday was a perfect corner kick by teammate Dylan Tate that dropped in front of the goal and rolled to his foot in double overtime against an undefeated Shenendehowa team.
Weeden sent the ball top shelf over a sprawling John Mabee of the Plainsmen, and Guilderland escaped with a thrilling 1-to-0 victory with only minutes to go.
“I was hanging back a little bit and the ball landed in front of me like a present,” said Weeden after the game. “I mean, there were a lot of people in that box, but I felt like I had plenty of time. I just put a foot on it and that’s it.”
The last time the Dutchmen faced Shenendehowa, it was for the Class AA championship in 2008. Guilderland got a game winner from Kip Stillman in that game and followed it up this year with a likely story.
The Plainsmen were 5-0 so far in 2009 and already had 30 goals scored. The Dutchmen held the usually explosive offense scoreless with aggressive defense and clutch goalkeeping by Devin Bailey.
“Everyone knows that Shen’s offense is really good,” said Bailey, who had 11 saves while nursing a sore right ankle. He eventually had to start punting with his off foot. “We’re a defensive based team this year. We just need to keep the ball out of the net.”
So far, the Dutch have done just that, allowing only two goals in six games. The dynamic scoring of Anthony Campagnano, Sahr Nyuma, and Ryan Ashbaugh is gone. Guilderland is now focusing on defense.
“We don’t have players that can run and gun anymore,” Head Coach Mike Kinnally said, referring to the seven starters who graduated last year after scoring 75 goals. “We’re playing with one forward now and we have to manufacture goals.”
Eighty minutes isn’t enough
In fact, neither Guilderland nor Shenehdehowa were manufacturing any goals on Tuesday. The physical play was keeping the crowd entertained.
Besides scoring the game winner, Weeden also had the job of guarding David Clemens, the leading scorer in Section II with 11 goals and five assists. Clemens had an early chance at a goal, but missed wide right.
“It’s tough covering Clemens because he’s all over the field doing tricky things,” Weeden said. “I played him tight and tried to keep the ball away from his feet.”
The Plainsmen were controlling most of the possession in the first half, but no real chances were amounting for the team. The Dutchmen had a few crosses, but Mabee was holding the goal.
With 17 minutes left in the first half, Michael Jenkins of Shen laid out for a header and the ball flew just past his head. Several minutes later, Clemens ripped a shot that was saved and Bailey made another save off the foot of Grantley McLeod.
The first half ended in an odd fashion when Zachary Matteo launched a soaring shot from far out. The bounce caught Mabee off guard and the ball went over his head and headed toward the goal. Luckily, for Shen, Mabee punched it out at the last second.
“Shenendehowa is a great team and they fought hard,” said Kinnally. “We’re extremely fortunate that they didn’t score.”
Play by both teams heated up in the second half, but no scoring would come. T.J. Izykowski had a promising chance for the Plainsmen with a thunderous head ball, but Bailey was there again for the save.
With 21:37 left in regulation, Kevin Buchanan sent a great cross into the box and Clemens headed it low. Bailey dived for another huge save. Shen had a few more great chances before the second half ended, but Bailey wasn’t going to let one pass.
“There’s no doubt that Bailey kept them in the game,” Plainsmen Head Coach Michael Campisi said after the game. “He did an outstanding job in the goal. Guilderland got lucky today.”
Guilderland jumped out of the gate in the first 10-minute overtime with some scoring chances after Shen had dominated the second half.
Dylan Tate hit a screaming shot just over the cross bar and Caleb Ciaschetti sent in a cross from the very corner of the field that was saved by Mabee. Jonathan Wheeler tested Mabee again, but the shot sailed over the cross bar.
Tuesday’s game needed a second overtime. The Dutchmen and the Plainsmen were both too talented. Something had to give.
In the second overtime, Clemens had a chance with a header near the goal line, but Matteo stuffed the play and cleared it out. Alexander Duerr had a shot for Shen and Bailey caught that one.
Guilderland caught a break and ended Shenendehowa’s chance at an undefeated season, something the Dutch did a year ago.
“Soccer doesn’t get much better than this game today,” said Weeden. “We shut down a great offense.”
Kinnally was happy with the outcome, but not too happy with the celebration that followed the goal. Players jumped up and down and celebrated all over Shen’s field.
“I’m very proud of how we played and I know these guys were excited, but you can’t act inappropriately,” Kinnally said. “A win is just like any other win in my mind.”
The Dutchmen are 4-1-1 and host Ballston Spa today at 4 p.m.
“We’ll leave with high hopes today and keep playing our best,” said Weeden. “We have a title to defend.”