Niskayuna

Niskayuna boys’ soccer powers past Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake

Niskayuna's Christopher Torres kicks the ball away from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Mason Williams (6) Monday in Suburban Council boys' soccer action at Niskayuna High School.
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Niskayuna's Christopher Torres kicks the ball away from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Mason Williams (6) Monday in Suburban Council boys' soccer action at Niskayuna High School.

NISKAYUNA — The Niskayuna varsity soccer youth movement showed signs of improvement Monday morning as seven different Silver Warriors scored goals against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in a Suburban Council Columbus Day clash.

“That’s kind of the beauty of having a younger team is that when they do show up they certainly have the ability to play and play at a high level,” Niskayuna coach Gary Sloan said after the 7-1 league win at home. “We’re getting better as the season goes and they’re getting to see the game start to slow down for them from where they were in the beginning.”

Images: Niskayuna boys’ soccer takes on Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (9 photos)

Senior captain Evan Boyle was the lone returning starter this year for Niskayuna. He had to help guide the change for the inexperienced varsity players.

“They don’t have quite the experience because they all play club but it isn’t quite the same as varsity,” Boyle said. “They’re coming from club [soccer] where it’s all about skill, connecting and tactical bits, but on varsity if you’re athletic you tend to do well. It’s a big step up, a big change.”

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The Silver Warriors (3-7-1) scored four goals in the first half.

Jackson Beckmann’s indirect kick sailed into the left side of the goal 10 minutes in, Samarbir Singh’s right-footed long kick nailed the left post and ricocheted into the goal, Christopher Torres finished a front-of-the-goal scrum in the 30th minute and Bryan Garcia sent the ball in unscathed from atop the box in the 37th minute.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (1-8) completed a textbook set piece when Ryan Cassidy leapt up and headed Brian Hughes’ corner kick into the net with 10 seconds left in the first half, cutting the Niskayuna lead to 4-1.

The Silver Warriors opened up the scoring and Sloan opened up playing time to his non-starters as they extended the lead.

Sammy Murvane just needed a tap to score his lone goal of the contest in the 47th minute and Beckmann sent a cross to Boyle for the captain’s first goal of the game in the 56th minute and Quadir Salihai closed out the scoring, heading in a cross from Aung Htet in the 71st minute.

Images: Niskayuna boys’ soccer takes on Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (9 photos)

“It’s great because in years past we’ve had one guy who scored a ton of goals; right now we’re spreading it out a little bit,” Sloan said. “It was nice to see other people start to contribute. It builds their self-esteem and gives them a little bit of confidence moving forward.”

With each touch by the bench players inserted in the second half, every shot at the goal and eventual score the Niskayuna bench erupted in cheers and laughter for their teammates.

“It brings everyone together, everyone is in good spirits,” Boyle said. “It’s much easier to be compatriots when everyone’s happy.”

The senior captain said this could be a turning point in confidence for the Silver Warriors.

“We played all the hard games at the beginning of the year and everyone was sort of down thinking we might not be as good as we thought,” Boyle said. “We’re starting to win games. Everyone’s like, you know what, we’re actually really good. So I think we can make a pretty good run in sectionals.”

NISKAYUNA 7, BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE 1

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 1 0 — 1

Niskayuna 4 0 — 7

Scoring: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake — Cassidy 1-0, Hughes 0-1. Niskayuna — Beckmann 1-1, Sa. Singh 1-0, C. Torres 1-0, Garcia 1-0, Murvane 1-0, Boyle 1-0, Salihai 1-0, Hlet 0-1. Goalie: Burnt HIlls-Ballston Lake, Carlson, 15 saves. Niskayuna, Thurn, 2 saves; Se. Singh, 7 saves.

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