On the brink of being left behind in the race for first place, the Niskayuna boys soccer team earned one of its biggest Suburban Council North Division victories of the season.
Phil Weeber and Monil Patel scored goals to lead the Silver Warriors past Shenendehowa 2-1 in Tuesday’s North Division showdown in Niskayuna.
The victory moved the Silver Warriors (5-3-0, 7 points) into sole possession of third place in the North Division and allowed them to keep pace with Ballston Spa (5-0-3, 10.5 points) and Saratoga Springs (6-1-1, 10.5 points) in the battle for first place.
We’d love to be in the hunt for it, said Niskayuna coach Jeffrey Ormsbee. `From here on out, our schedule gets thick. There’s no easy teams anymore, I think.`
Niskayuna had started the season strongly by winning four of its first five games, but last week’s losses to Bethlehem and Mohonasen pushed the Silver Warriors down to a fourth-place tie with Shaker.
Ormsbee said the motivation for Tuesday’s performance against Shen came from last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to county rival Mohonasen (3-4-1, 4.5 points). Cameron McDermott scored on a second-half penalty kick to give the Mighty Warriors the lead for good.
`That left a little bit of a bitter taste in the kids’ mouths. They wanted to bounce back badly,` said Ormsbee.
Niskayuna did just that against Shen (3-3-2, 6.5 points). Weeber gave the Silver Warriors the lead when he scored off Ryan Tauss’ initial shot at the 28-minute mark. Patel then headed in a pass from Andrew Haber in the second half to make the score 2-0.
Goaltender Ahmad Salamah made several key saves to keep Shen off the scoreboard, including a save late in the first half on a shot that could have tied the game at 1.
`The kids played a little harder,` said Ormsbee. `We played better defense, and we played a little better offense. We strung some passes together.`
Niskayuna can get a little closer to first place Thursday when it visits Ballston Spa. The Scotties are coming off a 3-3 tie against Shaker (4-3-1, 6.5 points) Tuesday in a game where they had leads of 2-0 and 3-2.
Ormsbee said closing the gap won’t be easy, but he also thinks that no one will pull away in a tight North Division race.
`We’d love to get something going in the second half [of the season], but it’s going to be tough for any team to do that,` he said.
Mohonasen inched closer to the top teams in the Suburban Council South Division by beating Colonie 1-0 Tuesday.
Mike Korzun struck for a first-half goal, and goaltender Brett Cannon made several saves in the second half to help the Mighty Warriors defeat the Garnet Raiders (4-4-0, 6 points).
Mohonasen will go for its third consecutive win Thursday when it hosts Columbia (1-6-0, 1 point).
In other boys soccer action, Scotia-Glenville (5-0-1 league, 6-1-1 overall) remained unbeaten within the Foothills Council with Tuesday’s 2-2 tie against South Glens Falls.
Chris Alescio and Eric Denny scored in the first half to give the Tartans a 2-0 lead, but the Bulldogs (3-1-2, 4-2-2) responded with a pair of goals in the second half to pull off the tie.
Scotia-Glenville entered the South Glens Falls game off an impressive 6-1 victory over Gloversville last Saturday. Alescio tallied twice, with Turner Denis, Country Moran, Brian Junquera and Jake Yost adding goals.
The Tartans return to action Friday when they travel to Hudson Falls.
Schenectady Christian School (5-1-1) picked up a 5-1 Western Athletic Conference victory over St. Johnsville Monday. Ty Aderonmu scored two goals for the Falcons, who extended their winning streak to four games.
Caleb Stewart, Ben Mancuso and Kenny Aderonmu also tallied for Schenectady Christian, who hosted Canajoharie Wednesday.
Schalmont (6-0-0, 8-0-0) returned to action Wednesday when it traveled to Cobleskill-Richmondville for a Colonial Council game. The Sabres most recent game was last Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Cohoes.“