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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, October 1, 2009
Wood tallies all three in Blackbird win over Ravena
By Jordan J. Michael
VOORHEESVILLE Hayden Wood had an offensive breakout on Monday for the Blackbird soccer team.
Wood scored a hat trick for Voorheesville in a 3-to-1 victory over Ravena at home amid a mixture of rain, clouds, and bright sun. Wood moved up about 30 spots in Section II scoring and now has eight goals and two assists.
“Scoring all three goals for your team is pretty exciting, but I’m just glad that we got the win,” said Wood after the game. “My teammates helped me out a lot and looked for me in the open field.”
“I think Wood took advantage of the chances that he was given and the team fed him the ball,” said Head Coach Willie Sanchez. “Joe Cillis made some good runs to get Wood free. I hope someone else gets three goals next time because we play with 11 guys, not one.”
Voorheesville came into Monday’s game with three straight wins over Albany Academy, Cobleskill, and Mechanicville. Ravena only had one win, but did have top scorer Chris Bowman with 10 goals.
Bowman got the first chance with a free kick at the 30-minute mark, but the Blackbirds’ goalie, Joe Keenan, made the stop. Wood banged one off the post at the other end and the ball popped back out to Zach Jones, who made a nice cross that just missed Cillis’s head in front of the Ravena goal.
Eric Meyer, a tough-playing sweeper for the Blackbirds, got the first yellow card of the match when he challenged John Ryan. Bowman and Pat Brousseau of Voorheesville also received yellow cards during the game. Referees hand out yellow cards for unsporting behavior.
Coach Sanchez couldn’t understand why so many cards were handed out, but it was a physical game from the start. “Maybe the players got a little frustrated,” he said. “Sometimes it’s difficult adjusting to the referees.”
With 13:11 remaining in the first half, Cillis dribbled the ball towards the goal and heal flipped it to Wood, who slammed the ball far left and into the goal, past a diving Sean Lasher.
The Birds took time feeling out Ravena and were ready to turn up the offense. Chris Dimmitt hit a beautiful corner kick with 1:20 left in the half that was tipped by Wood on the way down and into the net for his second goal. Voorheesville led, 2-0, at halftime.
“We started to get the ball out wide and played it into empty space,” Wood said. “Dimmitt had some great crosses, which helped add opportunities.”
“We stayed patient and got to relax a little bit after we scored the first goal,” said Sanchez. “We played good soccer.”
The Blackbirds continued the attack in the second half. Wood threaded a pass to a sprinting Cillis and he faked Lasher out to the left, but he went too far left and hit the side of the net with the shot.
Wood followed that chance up with another goal when he broke away from the Ravena defense and blasted a shot that deflected into the goal off a helpless Lasher. The hat trick was complete, 3-0.
Lasher tried to keep Ravena in the game, but the offense wasn’t helping him out. At one point, Bowman tried to take on three Voorheesville players to no avail. Wood almost scored a fourth goal with 22:05 left in the game, but it went just wide.
“I feel like we played down to their skill level, but we still had good teamwork,” said Wood.
Keenan closed out the match with three diving saves and let a shot by Ravena’s John Ryan slip by for a goal with four minutes left. Ravena could have tied the game if it hadn’t been for the clutch goalkeeping by Keenan.
“Keenan can rise and dive to get anything because he has long arms,” Sanchez said. “He’ll keep improving with more games. He’s only let four goals in this season.”
The Birds are sitting at 7-1 in the Colonial Council and look to be heading towards another successful season despite the graduation of 12 seniors last year.
Schalmont remains the team to beat in the league; the Sabre Toothed Tigers will win the Colonial again, unless someone knocks them off. Voorheesville’s loss to Schalmont is its only defeat so far this season.
“They’re definitely the team we focus on beating every year,” said Sanchez. “But, for now, we’ll just try to keep that one loss and go from there.”