Season over, but improvement shown

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Sixes wild: Voorheesville senior Chelsea Duncan, right, goes for the ball while locking arms with Mechanicville’s Sarah Meisel during last Friday’s Class B quarterfinal match. Duncan scored a goal in the 2-to-1 win, and had 22 goals and 10 assists for the season. The Blackbirds lost to Hoosick Falls on Monday.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Soaring: The Voorheesville girls’ soccer team beat Mechanicville in the Class B quarterfinals last Friday before losing to defending state champion Hoosick Falls on Monday, 7 to 1. Here, Birds’ senior Rachel Treiber, right, and Mackenzie Bowie fight for the ball last Friday. Voorheesville finished 11-7-0.

The Enterprise –– Michael Koff

Wings clipped: Voorheesville’s Sarah Murray, left, tries to head the ball against Hoosick Falls’ Rachel Pine during Voorheesville’s Class B semifinal match against the defending state champion on Monday in Troy. The Birds lost, 7 to 1. Voorheesville’s season ends with a record of 11-7.

The Enterprise –– Michael Koff

Ground battle: Voorheesville’s Veda Hensel, front, gets fouled by Hoosick Falls’ Hannah Lilac during the first half of Voorheesville’s 7-to-1 loss in the Class B semi-final at Lansingburgh High School on Monday. Hensel had 17 goals and eight assists as a ninth-grader.

The Enterprise –– Michael Koff

Basket catch: Voorheesville’s Jordan Pettograsso makes an early save during the first half of the Class B semi-final at Lansingburgh High School in Troy. Pettograsso made a total of nine saves but the Blackbirds fell to the defending state champions, Hoosick Falls.

MECHANICVILLE — Becoming more savvy about scoring as the season progressed, the Voorheesville girls’ soccer team won nine of its last 11 games. The Blackbirds had a seven-game winning streak in the middle of the season after starting 2-5.

Voorheesville’s season is over after a 7-to-1 loss to defending Class B state champion Hoosick Falls (16-2) in the semifinals on Monday, but the Birds definitely improved. Voorheesville got by Mechanicville — a team it had lost to before — on the road last Friday in the quarterfinals.

The Blackbirds had more speed than the Raiders, getting to the ball more quickly, which paid dividends with the time of possession.

“Going to the ball, that’s what you have to do,” said Voorheesville senior Chelsea Duncan after last Friday’s 2-to-1 win. She scored the first goal, and led the Birds with 22 on the season. “You take your advantages,” she said. “Just take all your opportunities.”

Ninth-grader Julia Voss scored the game winner for Voorheesville on Friday with 18 minutes left in regulation play. Mechanicville tried to even the score, but Voorheesville was still too fast.

“I think we did great,” said Voss, who came off the bench. “We have to keep it up.”

Head Coach Joe Santos said that Voss got redemption. Earlier in the season, during a game at Mechanicville, Voss missed an important chance in a close game.

“We were faster; we reacted to the ball much quicker,” Santos said of Friday’s game. “We didn’t do this in the beginning of the year.”

Santos told The Enterprise that Voorheesville’s 2-5 start to 2013 was due to “standing around and watching too much.” However, the Blackbirds started to perform better, beating three teams down the stretch that it had previously lost to, including Mechanicville last Friday.

It was Voorheesville’s first sectional playoff win in three years. The team moved up to Class B this season after years in Class C. Class B is for schools with more students than Class C.

“I told the girls that this is the best skilled team we’ve had in a while,” Santos said. “We started to turn things around. They let their skills do the work, instead of running around not knowing where they stand, or where to go. They started having an idea.”

Duncan has a great, hard shot, and her kicks are long. She can shoot effectively with either foot, putting last Friday’s goal in with her left. Duncan said she shoots with whatever foot the ball comes to.

Voorheesville was able to turn its season around because it stopped waiting for the second half, Duncan said. “We came out strong,” she said. “Starting slow is bad.”

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