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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 22, 2011

Blackbirds break through in final minutes

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE –– Soccer can be a game of bounces. More often than not, a player needs to be in the right place at the right time.

After 71 minutes of scoreless play between Voorheesville and Lansingburgh on Tuesday in Voorheesville, the Blackbirds broke through. Noah Crawford charged up the wing, letting loose a cross just before the end line.

Colin Prendergast flew wildly through the air, hoping to get a head on the crossed ball, but was a little early. The Knights’ goalkeeper, Jarred Jarosz, punched at the ball for the save, but the rebound went behind him. In the right place was Birds’ sophomore Dylan Hensel, who smoothly headed the ball into the wide-open net.

Three minutes later, Lansingburgh answered the call. Larenz Devaren received the ball near the 18-foot line, dribbled a bit, and hit Brandon Bombard with a perfect pass. Bombard beat the Voorheesville defender to the far side of the goal and flicked it past goalie Scott Warren for the equalizer.

“They took my game-winner away,” said Hensel after the game.

Voorheesville Head Coach Willie Sanchez said that Lansingburgh was able to score because his team lost possession at midfield. “The backs dropped too deep,” he said.

Less than two minutes after Bombard tied the game at 1 to 1, Hensel found the net, again, this time on a broken play. Knights’ defender Kevin Lance panicked when Hensel brought pressure, kicking the ball towards his own goal. Jarosz came out of his goal, but Hensel got there first, putting it through for the game-winner.

“I had to get another game-winner,” Hensel said. “We came together and got the win.”

It was another hotly contested Colonial Council match-up, in a league that sees its share of close games. Both Voorheesville and Lansingburgh had modest chances in the first 71 minutes, but the mood turned desperate after a downpour of rain rolled through.

“Give Dylan credit for going after the ball,” Sanchez said of the winning score. “It was a tough game, but we kept plugging away. We’re fortunate to have bounces go our way.”

The Blackbirds are 3-1 in the Colonial Council (4-1-1 overall). Sanchez told The Enterprise that he’s running a 4-4-2 formation this season, compared to a 3-5-2 from last year. Voorheesville has six returning players –– Warren, David Suozzo, Colin Prendergast, Kevin Clark, Blake Fenner, and Manny Weist.

“We look at individual strengths and experiment with them,” Sanchez said. “Now, we have a little more coverage in the back.”

Voorheesville will have some time to decompress before a huge game next Tuesday at Albany Academy, which is ahead in the standings.

“We’re getting better and getting good results,” said Sanchez. “The kids are finding ways to win, and that feels good.”

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