Plainsmen gear up for soccer sectionals

Shenendehowa got another prep under its belt as the Class AA boys’ soccer sectionals draw near, taki

Shenendehowa got another prep under its belt as the Class AA boys’ soccer sectionals draw near, taking a 2-0 home win Tuesday over Ballston Spa that left the Plainsmen 13-1-0 with a pair of regular-season games to play.

Saamy Teymouri found himself in opportune spots to knock in a pair of loose balls, once in each half, and the back four did a solid job of keeping the Scotties’ main threat, Connor Preece, in check.

“We’re playing well,” said Plainsmen coach Mike Campisi. “We’re getting good looks [on offense], which is all we can ask for. We want to work a little bit on our services and our near-post and far-post runs, but they’re playing pretty well.”

The Plainsmen offense runs through the midfield trio of Mike Jenkins, Adam Barlow and Dan Cavosie.

“Michael is head and shoulders above everyone,” said Campisi. “He’s just playing at a high level.”

The work at midfield set up both goals Tuesday and would have resulted in more, except for the work of Ballston Spa goalkeeper Evan Mendez.

“Evan Mendez is just an outstanding goalkeeper,” praised Campisi. “He saved four [shots], at least four sure goals. He played great both times we played them.”

Even the two shots that got past him came after Mendez made a save.

Jenkins got the first scoring sequence started with a steal. He found Barlow, whose shot was saved by Mendez. The ball bounced to Teymouri at the far post, and he pushed it into an empty net.

Midway though the second half, Mendez made a tremendous reaction save on Jenkins’ knuckling 25-yard shot, and again, Teymouri found himself with the ball at his feet and an open goal in front of him.

It didn’t matter to the Plainsmen who got the goals.

“It’s not about one person getting a lot of goals,” said Barlow. “The focus is more on the team, with everybody contributing.”

“As long as we put them in. That’s what matters,” said Jenkins. “Our main problem last season was scoring. We worked a lot on that. Most games, we’ve been able to put a couple in, and that’s helped.”

At the other end, the foursome of Shane Breznak, Mike Sheldon, Joe Kromer and Tommy Flaim helped give goalkeeper Spencer Junco an easy night as the Plainsmen — who have allowed just eight goals all season — recorded their eighth shutout.

“Our defense is playing great,” said Jenkins. “It’s all a part of leading us to where we want to be.”

“I think the most we’ve given up in a game is two,” Campisi said of his defenders. “It’s not the biggest good group, but it’s a good group.”

Shenendehowa had an uncharacteristic 6-6-7 season a year ago, and fell in the sectional semifinals to the Scotties, who went on to share the “AA” title with Saratoga Springs. This year, Campisi puts 11 seniors on the field.

“There’s a big difference between seniors and underclassmen,” Campisi said. “It’s their last hurrah, so they want to get it done.”

“We were expecting this season to be better than last season,” said Barlow. “ We’re working together a lot better as a team.

“We’ve been playing together since we were 12 or 13. That helps. We know what everyone thinks, how everyone plays.

“Anything less than a sectional championship would be a disappointment,” said Jenkins, who was part of the Plainsmen’s 2009 championship team. That comes with the tradition of the school.”

With the sectional tournament a week away, Campisi wants his club to finish strong in its remaining games with North Division rivals Shaker and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

“We want to win out to get a first seed,” Campisi said. “Then we’ll see what happens.”

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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