Soccer: Plainsmen have to contain Osipitan in boys’ Class AA finals

It could come down to this in tonight’s Section II Class AA boys’ soccer championship game at 7 at C

It could come down to this in tonight’s Section II Class AA boys’ soccer championship game at 7 at Colonie High School — can Shenendehowa’s stingy defense contain Colonie’s dangerous offense?

“We have talented kids on offense. And they’re really starting to learn to play

together,” said Colonie coach Mike Trimarchi. “When creative players play together, good things happen.”

“They’ve got the big kid up front, their midfield is very good. They have some skill, some size, and they have guys who can put the ball in the net,” said Shenendehowa coach Mike Campisi.

The big kid up front is senior Tommy Osipitan, who scored four goals in a quarterfinal win over Shaker and buried the winner to beat Bethlehem, 2-1, in the semifinals.

“Tommy is always dangerous, it doesn’t matter what point in the game, first minute, last minute,” said Trimarchi. “When you have the physical abilty and the scoring mentality he has, anytime he can get loose. And he usually finishes.”

Midfield play will also be a key, with Massimo Smiroldo and Paulino Curto of Colonie, and Shenendehowa’s Michael Jenkins and Dan Cavosie all very creative. Cavosie moved to the front in the semis against Guilderland, when Saamy Teymouri couldn’t go due to injury.

Shenendehowa central defenders Shane Breznak and Joe Kromer will have to deal with Osipitan.

“Colonie has got a lot of good players,” Kromer said. “They’ve got Massimo in the middle, Curto on the wing and Tommy up front. They’re all very dangerous players.

“I trust our outside backs [Mike Sheldon and Tommy Flaim] to keep up with them. Mike Jenkins can handle Massimo in the middle, and I’m pretty confident in my and Shane’s ability to keep Tommy from getting shots off.”

Breznak and Kromer have been major parts of a Plainsmen defense that has 12 shutouts in a 17-1-0 season. Shenendehowa has not allowed a goal in two postseason games.

“Shane has been rock-solid all year. Same thing with Joey.” said Campisi. “That was the two positions I was worried about, the two center backs, because I lost my two center backs from last year.

“Joey was out forever last year. He had some sort of a knee problem. He went through our season, but he couldn’t do anything.

“Then he had it operated on after the season. He’s a wrestler, too, and he sat out wrestling season, and he sat out all the lacrosse season. He’s just getting back for this season. So, he’s done pretty well.”

Colonie’s defense has also gotten better, as it has gotten healthy.

“Getting Justin Francis back has really helped. I think we’ve lost one game when he’s been in the field,” Trimarchi said.

Shenendehowa has been the measuring stick for better than two decades in large-school boys’ soccer, with 16 Section II championships and six state titles. Colonie has three sectional titles, the last coming in 1979.

The 13-6-0 Red Raiders haven’t played for a championship in nearly 30 years, but would like nothing more than to end that drought on home turf.

“It’s our place, our house, we’re hosting this tournament. To know that we have a chance to win a championship for Colonie in a while, it feels good,” said Osipitan.

“We just want to finish this off and win a sectional championship,” said Smiroldo. “I love playing at home. There’s not a greater feeling.”

Categories: High School Sports

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