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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 28, 2011

Warner, once a Dutchmen, now trying to beat them

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Jon Warner, a 1993 Guilderland graduate, played many games for the Dutchmen as an athlete in both lacrosse and soccer. However, on Monday, Warner came back home as the opposition.

Warner, in his first year as head coach, brought his Saratoga lacrosse team to Guilderland on Monday for a wet and muddy affair. The Blue Streaks were hoping to get its first Suburban Council win of the season, but the Dutchmen prevailed, 11 to 7.

Warner was honored to be coaching on the sidelines of a field named after Don Snyder, who coached him for soccer.

“I played for two iconic coaches,” Warner said, mentioning former Guilderland lacrosse coach Rusty Ferris as the other. “Those guys inspired me and had a hand in me becoming a coach.”

Snyder Field wasn’t around when Warner was a student, but he told The Enterprise that memories of his Guilderland days swirled in his head while coaching on Monday. Warner’s parents, who also attended the school, were there to watch the game, as well as a few of his friends.

“My mother taught at Guilderland,” said Warner, who previously coached junior-varsity soccer for Saratoga.

The Blue Streaks took a 2-to-1 lead with 6:30 left in the first quarter after Danny Costello scored from a wide-open spot up top. The Dutchmen took a 5-to-2 lead into halftime on four unanswered goals by Connor McLachlan, Cody Dyer, Tony Stanish, and Brandon Hoenig.

Warner, who played lacrosse in college at Bucknell, is trying to turn Saratoga into a highly competitive team after it has been stuck in the bottom of the league in recent years. “My job is to change the kids’ view,” he said. “This team should always be in the mix.”

Saratoga definitely had a chance to win on Monday, playing hard, but the team went in and out of liveliness on offense. The Blue Streaks scored two consecutive goals in both the third and fourth quarters, but didn’t get too close to Guilderland.

“We haven’t kept a passionate pace in these games and that’s our downfall,” Warner said. “We’re a streaky team. We’ll look really good and then shut down.”

A large part of Saratoga’s troubles was due to the spirited goaltending of Guilderland’s Sean Klim, who ended the day with 15 saves. After the game, Klim was covered in mud, but didn’t seem to mind.

“That crease was a complete swamp,” Klim said, giving credit to Alex Peebles, who finished the game with three big saves. “I think the mud makes everyone get more into it.”

Lacrosse goalies are more accustomed to fierce bounces off a solid surface, but the wet mud makes the ball skip and die. “It’s still really hard to judge the ball,” said Klim.

Dutchmen Head Coach Sean McConaghy said that Klim was excited to warm up in the mud before the game. “He’s really good at reacting to the ball, whatever the conditions,” McConaghy said.

Warner and his team won’t see Guilderland again until next season, but he enjoyed having his family and friends watch him do what he loves in his old stomping ground.

“It was a hard-fought game,” Warner said. “A fun time.”

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