The Guilderland boys soccer team completed a rarity in school and Suburban Council history.
With Saturday's 2-0 victory over Niskayuna, the Dutchmen (16-0 league, 18-0 overall) became only the second team in Suburban Council history to go through a season undefeated and untied. The other was the 1988 Shenendehowa Plainsmen.
It's really special for the guys, said Guilderland coach Mike Kinnally. "It's something that can never be taken away from them, but at the same time, we have to put that away and focus on winning Sectionals."
Guilderland had a perfect season in 1967, but there were no Section II playoffs at the time. So, entering the Class AA playoffs with an unblemished record is new for the Dutchmen. However, Kinnally said his team feels no pressure about upholding its perfect mark.
"We're not stressed about it," he said. "If we lose, it's not because we went 18-0 in the regular season. It's because we didn't play well."
Guilderland played well in its final two games of the regular season, beginning with a 2-0 victory at Bethlehem last Thursday. Tony Campagnano scored on a penalty kick midway through the second half, and Rory Nunamacher added an insurance goal with less than eight minutes left to lead the Dutchmen past their South Division rivals for the second time.
"We're kind of a second half team, I'd say," said Nunamacher. "We were playing a little slow in the first half, but coach (Kinnally) had some nice words of wisdom for us."
Campagnano's goal was set up when Pat Quinn was taken down in the penalty box with 21:31 left in the second half. Oddly, it was Guilderland's first penalty kick of the season.
"That was a definite foul (in the box), and we were going to let Tony take the shot," said Kinnally.