Sabres set Section II record

Voorheesville denied Schalmont its 20th league title on the last day of the 2005 Colonial Council boys soccer season.

The Sabres made certain that didn't happen this year.

Schalmont (12-1 league, 16-1 overall) locked up its Section II-record 20th league title with Monday's 3-0 victory over Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, which made Wednesday's regular season finale against second-place Voorheesville only a possible class B playoff game preview instead of a showdown for Colonial Council supremacy.

These guys look at all the banners in the gym, and they want to put their team up there, said Schalmont coach Chris Bailey. "It's a goal that they set for themselves, and it's an attainable goal."

Schalmont had been tied with South Glens Falls for most league titles entering the season, but the Bulldogs are not in contention for the Foothills Council championship, which gave the Sabres the opportunity to take the Section II lead.

"Twenty league titles over the inception of the school is great. It shows longevity," said Bailey.

There was a moment when Schalmont's bid for a league title was in jeopardy following a 3-0 loss to Albany Academy Oct. 3. The victory pulled the Cadets within two points of the Sabres, but Albany Academy fell off the trail after a 2-1 loss to Voorheesville Oct. 12.

Meanwhile, the Sabres bounced back with four consecutive wins to keep both Albany Academy and Voorheesville at bay.

"In reality, when we played Albany Academy, we were flat the entire time, and Albany came out and played hard," said Bailey. "The message that we gave the kids was you have to play hard every time. Nobody is going to hand you a game."

Bailey credited the Rotterdam Soccer Club with helping establish his program as one of the perennial powers in Section II.

"With the school season only two months long, these kids are learning the sport outside of the school program, and Rotterdam Soccer is a big part of it," he said.

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