Niskayuna was down a goal when time elapsed in its final Suburban Council field hockey game last week against rival Shenendehowa, yet there was still a sliver of hope.
“I’m thinking we’re either going to score, or we’re going to lose and have to find a way to pick ourselves up and overcome it,” Silver Warriors coach Alison Broomhead said.
Niskayuna scored after being awarded a penalty corner, and then scored again in overtime to forge a dramatic 2-1 win last Friday and complete a perfect run through the league. Niskayuna finished 14-0 to become the league’s first unbeaten team since Shenendehowa (12-0) in 2001.
“It’s hard to win every game, but that was one of the goals they set for themselves,” said Broomhead, who had seen the last four league champions, including Niskayuna in 2009 and 2007, post 13-1 records. “The girls realize that goals can be reached if you work hard.”
Erin Down tied the contest and Katie Wells got the assist on a wild scramble as Niskayuna completed the successful penalty corner. By rule, a team is allowed to play out a corner if it is called and then time expires.
“After Shenendehowa scored, I looked up on the clock and we had five minutes left, and their intensity picked up,” Broomhead coach. “They were not going to quit until they scored. They showed great determination.”
Niskayuna had scored with no time left before — and against Shenendehowa — at the end of the second half in last season’s Section II Class A championship game. Anna Torri’s goal on a penalty corner tied that contest before Shenendehowa prevailed in the extra session, 3-2.
“After we scored, I was like, ‘Holy cow. Not again,’ ” Broadhead said. “How ironic is that?”
Wells scored with 3:09 left in the first seven-on-seven overtime Friday to complete Niskayuna’s 14th straight victory, and second in overtime against the Lady Plainsmen.
Niskayuna is 15-1 overall heading into next week’s sectional semifinals against Guilderland, with its lone loss coming against Glens Falls.
“The way we had to win was good for us. Winning like that gave us a boost of confidence. It was good to be in a struggle,” said Broomhead. “We could find ourselves in a couple more.”
Records for Smith
Columbia junior running back Chris Smith set his second school record in as many weeks when he churned for 285 yards on 31 carries in last Friday’s 40-19 Section II Class AA quarterfinal win over Guilderland.
The 285 yards pushed Smith’s season total to 1,398, the most ever for a Blue Devil. Smith surpassed 200 yards twice before, and cracked the 100-yard mark four times, as a prelude to his season-best output for the Liberty Division champions.
Smith set a Columbia record with six touchdowns in a 53-13 Week 7 win against Colonie. He added three more TDs against Guilderland for 19 this year.
Erickson’s last game
Doug Erickson will conclude a 60-year career in coaching when his Mohonasen modified football team takes on Guilderland Saturday morning at 10.
Erickson coached football, basketball, baseball and several other sports, first at Coxsackie and then at Draper and Mohonasen. His 1956 and 1957 Coxsackie basketball teams reached Section II finals, his 1966 Draper football team went 7-0 and his 1982 and 1983 Vikings baseball teams won sectional championships and advanced to the state semifinals.
Erickson ranks among Section II’s most successful baseball coaches, and piled up 415 victories in a varsity run that concluded in 1985.
Erickson began directing Mohonasen’s modified football team in 1990. A reception in Erickson’s honor will be held after Saturday’s game at Mohonasen’s Farnsworth Technology Center.
Fraser to LeMoyne
Versatile Fonda-Fultonville senior Sami Fraser has made a verbal commitment to play softball for Division II LeMoyne College.
As a pitcher, outfielder and third baseman, Fraser went 7-5 with a 2.24 earned run average while batting .429 her junior year. She was selected the Braves most valuable player and earned a spot on the Colonial Council all-star second team.
With her national travel team, the New York Lady Wraith, Fraser has played every position but catcher.
Fraser became the first female to play varsity golf at Fonda-Fultonville when she made the team both as a junior and senior.
Elite runners meet
The Shaker boys, Saratoga Springs girls and Shenendehowa ace Lizzy Predmore will seek repeat victories at Saturday’s Suburban Council cross country championships at Saratoga Spa State Park.
Shaker is ranked No. 4 in the state and is favored to repeat in the boys’ varsity race at 3:40 p.m., with Saratoga Springs, Bethlehem and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake among the strongest remaining teams.
Mike Libruk and Jon Vallecorsa (Shaker), Spencer Patterson and Jay Navin (Saratoga), Matt Crawford and Luke Carpinello (Bethlehem), Buddy Herkenham and Dan Fernandez (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Andrew Tario (Averill Park), Dan Janezcko (Shen), Nico Turek and Austin Miller (Guilderland) and Jon Holmes (Colonie) will battle for the top individual spot.
Saratoga is ranked No. 2 in the state and is the clear favorite in the girls’ varsity race at 3:10. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, the state No. 2-ranked Class B team, Shenendehowa, Colonie, Guilderland and Niskayuna also field solid teams that should battle for the second and third positions.
Individuals to watch include Predmore, 2010 runner-up Keelin Hollowood and Saratoga teammates Taylor Discoll, Keelin Hollowood and Estela Smith, as well as Dani Martino (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Jenna Robinson (Guilderland), Kailyn Balzano (Columbia), Maryanna Lansing (Shaker), Jackie Malecki (Colonie) and Felicia Sciortino (Niskayuna).
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Categories: High School Sports