SCHENECTADY — Wins and loses will take on more importance at another time.
For the Schenectady girls’ soccer team, Friday was all about getting on a field, playing a game and having some fun despite the near-constant rain and the goals Colonie collected.
“With the school district 100% virtual, these kids needed to get out here,” Schenectady coach Duane Wood said.
Before Friday’s season-starting Suburban Council contest, the Patriots campaign had encompassed several practices, a COVID-19-related stop, a continuation of practices and two game postponements.
“We just stayed positive,” said Schenectady junior Durpattie Basdeosingh, a track athlete who is in her first year playing soccer. “We knew we would get on the field. We wanted to get on the field.”
They did that with a young team and a veteran coach who was recently quarantined for 14 days following contact with an individual not associated with the team that had tested positive for COVID-19. Wood’s 14-day quarantine ended Oct. 7.
Wood nor any of the Schenectady players tested positive.
“It’s going to happen to a lot of people,” Wood said. “It was tough for me to go those 14 days, and it was tough because we had to postpone two games [against Shaker on Oct. 10 and Troy on Oct. 13]. My fear was kids weren’t going to play.”
A handful of them, including four starters from last year, opted not to play, while 12 that did made their delayed start at Larry Mulvaney Field.
By contrast, just the day before, the Western Athletic Conference completed its golf season with a championship tournament.
“I’m glad to see the kids out there running around again,” Schenectady athletic director Steve Boynton said. “It’s not even about winning and losing. It’s about kids out there competing against other kids. Playing for the sake of playing. At this time, they need it.”
“Seeing them come out to compete, it’s great to see,” Colonie coach Ryan Edson said after his team’s 12-0 win.
Coming off the field, it was difficult to tell who had won or lost. Colonie wasn’t boasting, and Schenectady wasn’t sulking.
“My motto is as long as you are trying and giving your best, that’s all that matters,” Basdeosingh said.
Basdeosingh and Naiomi Kanniah are the lone juniors on the Schenectady roster that is devoid of seniors. Six sophomores and four freshmen complete the cast.
“As a program, just getting them to understand the game,” Wood said of his goals for the Patriots. “Get better technically. Learn the basics of the game. Improve throughout the season.”
Wood can envision that happening.
“This group comes every day. Works hard every day. Wants to learn,” he said. “When I say, ‘Let’s go from 4:30 to 5:30,’ they say, ‘No, let’s go from 4:30 to 6.'”
“There is no place for quitters,” Basdeosingh said.
Colonie had four games under its belt before Friday, and picked up its first win against Schenectady. While the Garnet Raiders found openings and often connected at the offensive end – Brooke Dufour and Sofia Sanzo both had two goals and 10 different players scored — the Patriots had few chances.
“We will score,” Basdeosingh said. “I promise.”
Colonie 8 4 — 12
Schenectady 0 0 — 0
Colonie scoring: Bancheri 1-0, Blake 1-0, Dufour 2-0, A. Irons 1-0, E. Irons 1-0, Keegan 1-0, Lotz 1-0, Novak 1-0, Omorogbe 1-0, Sanzo 2-0. Schenectady scoring: None. Goalkeepers: Colonie, Blake, 0 saves; York, 0 saves. Schenectady, Summers, 14 saves.