School soccer: Top-seeded Shen faces tough road

Shenendehowa has won more boys’ soccer sectional championships than any other large school in Sectio

Shenendehowa has won more boys’ soccer sectional championships than any other large school in Section II.

Getting another won’t be easy.

“It used to be, you had your four really good teams,” said Shenendehowa coach Mike Campisi, who has been in charge for all 16 of the Plainsmen’s sectional championships. “Now, there’s eight really good teams.”

Both the boys’ and girls’ postseason tournaments open today, with play-ins and first-round games.

Shenendehowa, which drew the top Suburban Council seed in the Class AA tournament, won’t start its postseason until Monday, when it hosts the winner of a first-round game between Niskayuna and Shaker. The Plainsmen went 15-1-0 during the regular season, winning 11 straight after a 2-1 loss at Beth-

lehem, which got the No. 2 spot from the Suburban.

Shenendehowa gets its scoring from a handful of players, with midfielders Michael Jenkins, Dan Cavosie and Adam Barlow, all

seniors, playing key roles.

Jenkins, who was part of the Plainsmen’s last sectional champ-ionship team in 2009, is the engine that runs the Shenendehowa offense.

“Michael is just head and shoulders above everybody else,” said Campisi of Jenkins, also a standout on the school’s lacrosse team which reached the state semifinals last spring. “He’s come into his own.”

Bethlehem was the only SC team to go unbeaten, finishing the regular season at 13-0-3. The Eagles are talented and deep, and have benefited from the late-season return of Ethan Gunty (concussion) and Boston College-bound Zach Rockmore (hip surgery) after both missed signif-icant time.

Colonie is the No. 3 seed from the Suburban, with Guilderland fourth and Shaker fifth.

Albany Academy drew the top spot in Class A. Defending champ Scotia-Glenville was slotted fifth, and opens play today against

12th-seeded Amsterdam.

Both Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Mohonasen benefitted from playing in the predominantly Class AA Suburban Council. The soccer committee put them No. 3 and

No. 4, respectively, using a new rule that allows a team with at least a .400 winning percentage and playing 75 percent of its games to pet-ition for a higher seed.

Unbeaten Broadalbin-Perth (Class B) and 2010 champions Maple Hill (Class C) and Fort Ann (Class D) got the other top seeds. Maple Hill won at the Class B level a year ago, taking its 17th sectional title.

Galway (12-1-3), the overall Western Athletic Conference champion, was seeded fourth in Class C.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake opens its quest for a seventh straight Class A girls’ title on Friday night, when it meets either Gloversville or Averill Park at 7 p.m. at Union College’s College Park.

Saratoga Springs got the top seed in Class A after finishing 12-2-2 with a league-best 18 standings points.

Shenendehowa got the No. 2 seed, followed by Guilderland, three-time defending champ Bethlehem and Niskayuna. All received byes into next Tuesday’s quarterfinal round, as only 11 teams are participating.

Unbeaten Schalmont (16-0-0) got the top seed in Class B. The Sabres lost to Burnt Hills in the “A” final a year ago, and are down an enrollment classification.

Class C is also very deep. Wasaren League co-champs Hoosic Valley (13-0-3) and Hoosick Falls (14-1-1) got the first two seeds, followed by 13-1-2 Maple Hill, 14-2-0 Mechanicville, 15-0-1 Middleburgh and 13-2-1 Galway.

The “C” brackets boast some of the top goal scorers in the section — Mechanicville’s Abby Maiello, Amanda Roney of Middleburgh and Galway’s Carolyn Gibbons. Schoharie’s Mattia Cornell was the state Class C Player of the Year in 2010.

Northville, under first-year head coach Christopher Edwards, is the top seed as it goes for its fourth consecutive Class D championship.

Categories: High School Sports

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