Soccer: Plainsmen end Raiders’ run, capture Class AA title (with photo gallery)

There’s a reason Shenendehowa has won 17 Section II boys’ soccer championships, the latest coming Mo

There’s a reason Shenendehowa has won 17 Section II boys’ soccer championships, the latest coming Monday when the Plainsmen used a pair of second-half goals to beat Colonie, 2-1, on the Garnet Raiders’ home field.

Michael Jenkins tied the game with 25 minutes to go, then assisted on Adam Barlow’s game-winner in the 74th minute, as the 18-1-0 Plainsmen advanced to a Saturday regional final on this same field against Section III champion Baldwinsville at 2 p.m.

“We knew going in that they were going to be able to do some things, and in the last 20 minutes, they did,” said Colonie coach Mike Trimarchi. ”They make very good adjustments during the game. What they were able to do in the second half was better than what we were able to do in the second half.”

“They weren’t in the game to win it, and Colonie was,” said Shenendehowa coach Mike Campisi of his team’s effort in the first 40 minutes. “The team that wants it more is going to end up winning. And Colonie, in the first half, I think they wanted it more.

“The second half, they turned it up.”

Despite a sizable edge in shots and corner kicks, Shenendehowa went into the break down a goal, thanks to a rocket of a free-kick goal by Colonie midfielder Massimo Smiroldo and two outstanding saves by goalkeeper Todd Lawson, who tipped a sure Jenkins goal off the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.

“In the first half, we had better possession and had better chances on goal, but we had a dumb foul at the top of the box and they capitalized on it,” said Barlow.

“We knew we had to come out harder in the second half, and that’s what we did.”

“I knew what I wanted to do. I was looking to bend it over to the right and curl it, but I had a lot of hype in me, and I wanted to crush it,’ said Smiroldo, whose goal 11:29 from the end of the first half sent the partisan home crowd into a frenzy.

But the only thing that would end up getting crushed was Colonie’s dream of ending a 32-year champ­ionship drought by winning a title at home.

”This feels great, especially coming back from a goal down,” said Jenkins. “When you see your career ending, you want it so bad.”

“Marcus Moore had an outstanding second half. He was coming in and winning balls, and you could see he wanted to win,” Campisi said. “Michael stepped his game up, and Adam stepped his game up. Those three guys really were the key to the win.”

Jenkins cleaned up after a sequence when Barlow smacked a shot off the post.

“Adam hit the post, someone else hit it and it bounced out to me,” Jenkins said. “I saw a bunch of guys running at me, so I tried to find a spot.”

He hit Barlow in stride later in the half to set up the winning goal.

“I saw a space, and I knew that the goalie was out a little bit, so I just tried to get it over him,” Barlow said. “Mike sets everyone up perfectly.”

“It hurts,” said Smiroldo after he walked off his home field for the final time. “Being ahead in the second half and then not coming off the field with a win, it hurts.

“It was the seniors’ goal this year to win it. We tried going as far as we could, to do everything we could,”



A Section II title game and two regional finals are set for today at Stillwater High School.

Northville plays Sharon Springs at 3 p.m. in the Section II Class D championship game. The Falcons are going for their fourth consecutive sectional title, and first under coach Christopher Edwards.

The top-seeded 13-4-1 Falcons are coming off a 2-0 victory over Loudonville Christian School in the semifinals. Sharon Springs, the seventh seed, upset second-seeded Heatly in its playoff opener, and moved into the finals by knocking off No. 3 Fort Ann, 2-1 in the semifinals.

Northville won the regular-season meeting between the Western Athletic Conference schools, 1-0.

Schalmont and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake follow with regional semifinal games against Section III champions.

The 19-0-0 Sabres meet Lowville in a Class B game at 5, and the Spartans play Jamesville-DeWitt at 7.

Schalmont has allowed only one goal in the postseason, while scoring 11. Madeline Saccocio and Diana DiCocco got the goals in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Broadalbin-Perth in the Section II title game.

Megan Strijek’ 40 goals lead the Sabres, with DiCocco next at 23. Schalmont has outscored its opponents, 119-7, this season

Burnt Hills won its seventh straight Section II Class A title on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over South Glens Falls. The 15-4-0 Spartans have won 14 of their last 16 games, and outscored three opponents, 10-1, in the postseason.

Sophomore Morgan Burchhardt, freshman Meghan Malone and 11th-grader Skye Kaler are the Spartans’ top three goal scorers, with Kaler getting the goal in the sectional final.

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