Guilderland midfielder Kip Stillman didn't think about where he was going to shoot the ball. In his mind, it was better that way.
I play the best when I don't think about what I'm doing, said Stillman.
That strategy " or lack thereof " worked out for the best for Guilderland when Stillman's shot tucked into the far left corner of the goal with 3:12 left to give the Dutchmen a 3-2 victory over Shenendehowa in Tuesday's Section II, Class AA boys soccer final at Colonie Central High School.
Prior to Stillman's goal, the momentum had been in Shen's favor after the Plainsmen (18-3-2) rallied from a 2-0 deficit with two goals early in the second half. But, Guilderland (22-0-0) didn't get to be undefeated strictly because of luck. The Dutchmen composed themselves and started generating scoring chances before Stillman capitalized on his shot.
"For them to keep their composure at the end, I give them all the credit in the world," said Guilderland coach Mike Kinnally.
"Guilderland is a champion," said Shen coach Mike Campisi. "This is a sign of a championship team " they find ways to win."
Shen had the first good scoring chance midway through the first half. David Clemens used a great individual effort to get the ball near the Guilderland goal, but his tough-angle shot sailed wide of the open right corner.
Another great individual effort gave Guilderland the lead two minutes later. Sahr Nyuma intercepted the ball, got by two Shen defenders and toed the ball past drawn-out Plainsmen goaltender John Mabee into the open net to make the score 1-0.
Shen came close to tying the game in the 23rd minute. Matt Telesca launched a long free kick into Guilderland's penalty box that Joe Miner headed on goal, but the ball bounced off the crossbar.