ROTTERDAM — As Friday’s scoreless, double-overtime tie with Mohonasen ended, several Schalmont boys’ soccer players collapsed onto the grass field beneath them.
It had been that kind of week for the Sabres.
“And it has all just taken a lot out of all of us,” Schalmont senior Jared Smith said. “I feel like we’ve overcome it, but this was the toughest week I’ve ever had in a Schalmont jersey.”
In a seven-day stretch in which the Sabres played four games, each match went to overtime. Schalmont played at least part of seven 10-minute overtime sessions during its extra-long week. In all, the Sabres played approximately 385 total minutes of action.
“The fact we had four games in a week was probably already too much on these guys,” Schalmont head coach Vito Urbano said. “They had no time to recover, really. So whenever we did practice, we couldn’t do much because it was all about getting their legs back.”
But the Sabres made it through their grueling stretch with another example of why they are one of the top Class B teams in Section II and the state. Schalmont went 2-0-2 during its week of overtime games, registering a pair of ties with Mohonasen, and edging Albany Academy and La Salle despite only scoring a total of three goals.
“We’re not at our best right now,” Urbano said of his team’s recent lack of scoring. “We have to get out legs back.”
To that end, Schalmont planned a rare off weekend as it heads into the final week of its regular season. Urbano gave his players both Saturday and Sunday off, electing not to even have his team show up for a light workout.
“Because it’s not only about needing to rest their legs,” Urbano said. “They have to rest their minds, too. Even if at a practice we’re just jogging and stretching, they’re going to be thinking about soccer. They needed days off to rest their minds.”
“Those two days off,” Smith said, “I think are just as important for us as the two [regular season] games we have left.”
Schalmont, which is 11-1-2 on the season, plays Lansingburgh and Ichabod Crane this week. Last year, Ichabod Crane beat Schalmont in the Section II title game on its way to appearing in the state championship. Earlier this season, though, the Sabres scored a confidence-building 4-1 win against Ichabod Crane when the teams first met in 2018.
“That game definitely allowed our guys to believe,” Urbano said. “Last year, we were all fired up to play them in the championship game, but I think in the back of our minds, that team had something over us.”
That is not the case this season — and, after having a weekend off, Schalmont should enter the final week of its regular season at full strength.
“And I think we all still believe that when we get back to being healthy, we’re the best team in Class B,” Urbano said.