To hear Guilderland boys soccer coach Mike Kinnally describe his team’s 3-0-1 start, one would think he was talking about a program that never had much success before this season, rather than one coming off a Section 2 Class AA championship and a state semifinal appearance.
`We just feel very blessed every time we come away with a victory,` said Kinnally.
Niskayuna (2-2-1) became Guilderland’s latest victim, as the Dutchmen struck for three first-half goals on their way to a 4-1 victory Thursday, Sept. 11. Matt Schiller had two of Guilderland’s four goals, with the others coming from Jack McGee and Dan DiBiase.
Matteo Parzych gave Niskayuna a 1-0 lead less than seven minutes into the first half with a long shot that got through Guilderland’s defense. But McGee tallied off Matt Mesiti’s free kick in the 14th minute, and DiBiase scored four minutes after that to put the Dutchmen ahead.
`We’ve been opportunistic, and we’ve been scoring on our restarts again,` said Kinnally.
Schiller made the score 3-1 less than four minutes before halftime when he redirected Chris Sour’s corner kick. Niskayuna made several attempts to cut into Guilderland’s lead in the second half before Schiller sealed the Dutchmen’s win with a goal off Mesiti’s touch pass with 1:59 left in regulation.
Schiller has been Guilderland’s go-to scorer thus far with five goals, while Mesiti has been the team’s main set-up man with four assists. They — along with DiBiase, McGee and Sour — have helped fill the scoring void left by the graduations of leading scorers Kledis Capollari, Keagan Ciaschetti and Connor O’Brien.
`The biggest thing is every team is bigger than us. It’s like we’re playing among the redwoods,` said Kinnally. `So, we have to play the ball quickly and try not to get whacked around by the bigger kids.`
Guilderland will try to keep the momentum going Saturday, Sept. 13, when it plays Shaker (3-0-1) in a match-up of two of the three remaining undefeated Suburban Council teams. Shenendehowa (5-0-0) is the only team in the league sporting a perfect record.