NISKAYUNA — The CBA soccer team kept an impressive streak going on Niskayuna’s field Thursday afternoon, while the Silver Warriors saw a couple of theirs fall by the wayside.
Paul Abbatiello scored a late first-half goal, and the Brothers weathered a charged-up effort by the hosts in the second half to capture 1-0 Suburban Council win.
CBA improved to 7-0-1 against Niskayuna since becoming a Suburban Council member in 2015, which includes last year’s 2-2 draw, and a 2-1 victory in the 2018 Section II Class AA title game.
“For us, we’re still trying to figure things out,” CBA coach Steve Freeman said. “We’re not where we want to be, but to come here on a school day and be fortunate to get this result, I’m proud of the effort.”
Niskayuna (4-1-0) not only absorbed its first loss this season, but surrendered its first goal, too, after shutting out Troy, Guilderland, Averill Park and Shaker by an 18-0 margin.
“I was saying to the guys at the first mask break, ‘Where’s the intensity? That’s not the same group I saw in our first four games,'” Niskayuna coach Terry Sloan said. “I felt like we did play a little better after that, and in the second half we turned the tide.”
Niskayuna had several second-half scoring chances, three real good ones coming in a late two-minute stretch that ended with a shot sailing over the crossbar, another going wide left and yet another going over the crossbar.
“Niskayuna gave us a great fight,” said Abbatiello, a junior forward. “This is a really good feeling to get that win.”
“Today, they were better than us in the first half,” Sloan said. “If we played that half like we played the second half, there could have been a different story line.”
Abbatiello scored his third goal of the season when he took in a pass from fellow 11th-grader Jason Lambert, made a quick move to create a shooting lane, and deposited the ball near the left post.
“They found a slim opening and capitalized on it,” Sloan said.
“I got a great pass from my teammate,” Abbatiello said.
“We’ve been holding it too long. Players trying to do too much,” Freeman said. “That goal was an example of sharing the ball.”
CBA (3-1-0) didn’t do that quite enough Tuesday when it saw its own win streak halted in a 2-0 loss to 2019 Section II Class AA champ Shenendehowa. CBA had knocked off Saratoga Springs, Schenectady and Columbia before that.
“It was a tough game,” Abbatiello said of the loss to Shenendehowa. “We had to get back on that win streak.”
John Putnam got the shutout, which featured a leaping punch save on a free kick about 17 minutes into the contest. Niskayuna lost starting goalkeeper Papa Ndiaye to a hip injury soon after that when he collided with a CBA player as both went after a free ball.
“We’ll see this team again,” Sloan said, referring to a rematch with CBA in the league tournament next month. “The question is, how are we going to rebound?”
Halftime: CBA led 1-0. CBA scoring: Abbatiello 1-0, Lambert 0-1. Niskayuna scoring: None. Goalkeepers: CBA, Putnam, 2 saves. Niskayuna, Ndiaye, 0 saves; Toy, 1 save.