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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 14, 2010

Dutchmen continue to struggle, and losses mount, now eight in a row

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– In 2008, the Dutch soccer team won the Class AA championship while plowing through 22 straight games without a loss. Now, in 2010, the team can’t buy a win.

Guilderland fell to 2-6-3 in the Suburban Council on Tuesday after a grueling 1-to-0 loss at home to Mohonasen in overtime. The Dutchmen are winless in eight games and it was the fifth time the team went into an extra period this season.

“We’re a bouncing ball away from a good season,” said Head Coach Mike Kinnally after the game. “We don’t usually lose like this.”

The Warriors and the Dutch went into overtime in the first game of the year on Sept. 7, and that ended in a scoreless tie. Again, on Tuesday, the two teams battled for possession, but 80 minutes wasn’t enough.

Guilderland and Mohonasen each had quality opportunities on goal. The Dutch finished regulation play with nine corner kicks and seven shots and the Warriors had five corners and seven shots.

“We had our chances to put one in,” said Dutch senior Nick Iuorno, who struck the cross bar with a forceful header off a corner kick with under 10 minutes remaining. “It’s tough to lose like this.”

In overtime, senior Jordan Weeden had a wide-open chance for Guilderland, but he missed making contact with the pass. Moments later, Mohonasen’s Joseph Avery served up a colossal free kick from midfield and Gianluca Puorto fought off the defense in the box for the game-winner.

“I just took a swing at the ball,” Puorto said. “This is a really big win because it throws us into the mix.”

Meanwhile, on the other end, the Dutchmen are looking in from the outside. It’s a strange place for a team that has been outstanding for the past two seasons. However, in that time, Guilderland has had 24 players graduate.

“We have a gap in the system,” said Kinnally, who has only three sophomores on the roster. “We have a lot of inexperience.”

“I think we’re a little immature,” Iuorno said. “We need to be more physical and really want it.”

Kinnally told The Enterprise that Tuesday’s outcome fit perfectly into the team’s microcosm so far in 2010. “When we don’t give up goal, we don’t score,” he said. “And when we do score, we let goals in.”

The Dutchmen have been sporadic. The team tied Shenendehowa, 0-0, on Sept. 23 and then gave up five goals to Burnt Hills in a loss on Oct. 7. Guilderland beat Columbia, 5-1, on Sept. 14, and then lost, 4 to 0, to Saratoga in the next game.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if we made a run in sectionals because we’re streaky,” said Kinnally. “I don’t think we’ve played poorly, but we’ve had individual mistakes.”

The Dutchmen aren’t used to losing. The team has five games left to turn things around and it begins today with a game at Colonie, which is 8-4.

“The team is definitely feeling a little down at this point,” Kinnally said. “We just have to keep working hard and keep practice light.”

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