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Displaying items by tag: Section II
[Photo by Corbin Olsen]
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Coach Jeff Geller has been the boys varsity soccer coach at Saratoga Springs High School since 2001. Geller has been playing soccer for as long as he can remember. He has played everything from travel soccer, being fortunate enough to travel the USA and Europe, high school soccer, and collegiately at Siena College.
“Soccer is an amazing game because it takes an amazing amount of both technical skill and tactical awareness to be successful. While it’s great to be big, fast, and strong, it’s more important to have a great touch on the ball and make positive decisions quickly. While many people consider soccer ‘boring’ due to the low score-lines, I find the hundreds of ‘mini-battles’ within the game to be very exciting,” Geller explained.
The captains of this year’s team were Simon Smith, Conor Murphy, and Aidan O’Malley. Simon Smith, Aidan Rice, and Evan Farr also made first team Suburban Council; Conor Murphy made second team Suburban Council, and Aidan O’Malley made third team Suburban Council.
This season as a whole was described as “great” due to the fact that the team have spent numerous years playing club soccer and preparing themselves for this season.
Geller had nothing but positive things to say about his players and coaching staff.
“In the attack, Aidan Rice was a crafty forward to the ball, Eren Kilic was always a threat with his tough play, and Luke Clark was strong using his physical presence to keep the ball. Our midfield trip of Aidan O’Malley, Simon Smith and Evan Farr worked well together to possess the ball and find ways to advance the ball forward when it presented itself. We had a stellar defensive group this year with Conor Murphy, Jon Irons, Ryan Postlethwait, and Ben Leombruno giving 100% every match to keep the ball out of the Blue Streaks net. Goalkeeper Alex Henderson often had little to do in the back due to the strong defense but would often come up huge when called upon. The player who impressed the coaching staff tremendously this year was TJ Bradley, perhaps one of the fastest players in Section II, who would come out of nowhere to save the day for us in the back with his blazing speed,” Geller commended.
On the field, the team is described as a “well-oiled machine,” and off the field, the boys are known to be excellent students and very respectful young adults.
The team won the Suburban Council Championship with a record of 12-1-2, with a tie in the first round of Sectionals. They defeated La Salle in the quarterfinals and tied CBA in the semi-finals. After regulation and two overtime periods, the Blue Streaks lost 4-3 in penalty kicks that would decide who would advance to the Sectional Championship game.
“It was a heartbreaking way to end the season but we had our chances during the match to win in regulation but were unable to convert. Our final overall record was 13-1-3,” Geller said.
“Our goal is always to fight for a Suburban Council Championship and hopefully win a Section II title. We have been to the Section II semifinals the past three seasons, something no other team in the Suburban Council has accomplished. We have a huge core of juniors and sophomores returning next season so we will strive to replicate this season’s accomplishments or perhaps make it even further. If the boys continue to work hard in the off-season and come back next season ready to compete, I look forward to great things. It was a pleasure to coach this group of fine, young, student-athletes” Geller stated.
SCHUYLERVILLE – After a disappointing 2016 season, the Schuylerville Girls Lacrosse team finally has their hands on gold.
Facing off against Catholic Central in the Class D Section II finals, Schuylerville bested the competition to take home the section championships. Coming off of the 2016 season, in which they came up short in the sectional finals against Scotia, this win was a huge moment for the team. This year, the team competed in the newly created Section D, whereas last year, they competed in Section C.
“The girls were beyond elated,” coach Erin Lloyd said about the team’s reaction to the victory. “They wanted to be able to call themselves champions, and they had worked so hard for it. Their energy was so palpable immediately. Even before the buzzer.”
Lloyd said that this season’s team used the disappointment of loss to fuel their growth. A lot starting sophomores from 2016 were back on this season’s team as juniors. Some of the major things that they worked on improving were their game knowledge and game sense, as well as their individual skills. Offensively, they focused on understanding the core components of the plays in their repertoire, while defensively they worked to increase the number of techniques they employed.
On the field this season, Lloyd noted that a major strength for the team has been their wide variety of big scoring players. Looking at the season’s statistics, she found that they had a greater number of consistent scorers than the average team. This made them harder to defend against, since the offenses were coming from more than a few players. Amongst the team’s many scoring players, Amy Moreau stood the tallest with 110 goals and 30 assists for the season.
Moving on from the sectional win, Schuylerville faced Section IX team Millbrook in a regional game on May 30 at the neutral Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School field. Despite the team’s momentum, their season unfortunately came to an with a score of 15-10. Lloyd noted that the strong team play that had carried the team forward to that point was somewhat missing from the game, likely contributing to their loss.
Lloyd believes that, like before, the team will carry forward the disappointment of this regionals loss to drive them next season. She anticipates only needing to fill two positions next year, those of departing seniors Brooke Carpenter and Alexa Goldenberg, and having most of the team in place should allow them to build on the successes and shortcomings of the 2017 season.
“I use the phrase ‘stepping stones,’” Lloyd said. “Last year we got to the sectional finals, and this year we won it and got to the regionals. So, being able to build on these stepping stones, I know that this year’s junior class that’ll be seniors next year are really gonna want to get back there again.”
All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com.