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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 15, 2010
Competes with itself
By Jordan J. Michael
COLONIE For the Dutchmen lacrosse team, it’s not only about the competition it faces, but the competition within.
Most of the 10 defenseman and all three goalies on the Guilderland boys’ lacrosse roster shared time during a 7-to-4 win at Colonie last Thursday. Head Coach Sean McConaghy said that it “gives players a chance to play and compete for time.”
Senior Christian DePersis played goal for the Dutch in the first quarter and sophomore Sean Klim filled the position for the second quarter. Junior Alex Peebles guarded the net in the second half and made some key saves.
“Letting everyone play isn’t for charity,” said Assistant Coach Kris Bremer after the win. “We’re trying to create a competitive environment. It’s an effect from all the parity we have on this team.”
The three Guilderland goalies didn’t face nearly as many shots (14) as the Garnet Raiders’ Matt Hamilton, who was peppered with 33 Dutch missiles. Eighteen of those 33 shots missed the cage completely.
“I thought we were patient, even though we had all those shots,” McConaghy said.
Hamilton did all he could in goal to give Colonie a chance in the second half. He had seven total saves and, late in the fourth quarter, he made two brilliant saves in a row, only to take the ball and run up the field. Hamilton found a wide-open Mike Metzger, but Peebles stoned Metzger at point-blank range.
“We knew Hamilton was going to be tough,” said McConaghy. “He’s been making moves for a couple of years now.”
The Dutch had the advantage in ground balls and face-offs, winning 11 of 14 draws. Senior midfielder Eugene Sellie takes most of the face-offs for the team and he had a goal in last Thursday’s game to bring his total to four in three games.
“He’s a wrestler and knows how to stay low,” McConaghy said of Sellie. “He’s a physical guy, but he can give us points, too.”
Guilderland had a 4-to-1 lead at halftime after Sellie, Josh Sommers, Paul Jones, and Connor McLachlan scored goals. Sophomore Patrick Wood had three assists in the first half and ended the day with a total of five.
McConaghy was wondering how many assists Wood had after the game because the coach had clearly lost count. “He really had five?” McConaghy asked out loud. “Wow, that’s pretty great.”
Chris Cusack scored early in the third quarter to close the Dutch lead to 4 to 2, but that would be as close as the Raiders would get. “We scored on man-up, cleared the ball real well, and rolled,” said McConaghy, meaning the score was made when the Raiders were down a player.
Senior Cody Futia, the leading defender for the Dutchmen, got a chance to play on the man-up offense after Colonie’s Matt McCarty got called for a pushing penalty. It’s rare for defensemen to score with a long stick, but Futia received the ball and fired a sweet underhanded shot past Hamilton for a 5-to-2 lead.
Futia told The Enterprise that he has been bugging coach McConaghy for a chance on the man-up. Futia more than capitalized on his chance and is hoping that playing on man up becomes a habit.
“I felt the ball on my stick and just went for it,” Futia said. “I didn’t even see the ball go in the net because I was too excited. It was pretty cool.”
Sommers scored another goal off an assist from Bryan Dyer early in the fourth quarter to make it three on the day for him. The score was now 6 to 2, and Colonie looked to be doomed.
“I see overall improvement from game to game,” said McConaghy. The Dutch had a loss against Mercer Island and a win against Ballston Spa before last Thursday’s game. “We still have a vision to win sectionals again.”
Futia knows that another title would be great, but the team needs to take things one game at a time while continuing to improve.
“We bond a lot in practice and that builds trust,” said Futia. “We have no limits if everyone trusts each other.”