To hear Guilderland boys soccer head coach Mike Kinnally explain his team's strong start, the Dutchmen are living a charmed life.
Guilderland improved its Suburban Council record to 4-0 (6-0 overall) with a 2-1 victory over Mohonasen last Friday in a game that would not have been as close as it was if not for a late goal by the Warriors' A.J. Prezkop.
We missed a shot at one end, and then they brought the ball quickly down the field and set up a free kick situation for themselves, said Kinnally. "So, the score essentially went from 3-0 to 2-1 in a span of about 45 seconds."
The Dutchmen's first four league games have all been close affairs. Guilderland edged Averill Park 2-1 and Colonie 3-2 before beating Shenendehowa 2-1 last Wednesday in what Kinnally called his team's "one good game."
"We're not playing consistently well," said Kinnally. "I thought (the Shen game) was the only one where we played consistently above average."
Guilderland's problems stem from the graduation of several key players from last year's team including both of its starting center backs and one of its leading goal scorers.
"We lost quite a bit on both sides (of the field), and it's taking us a while to put all the pieces together," said Kinnally.
Fortunately for Kinnally, he does have some goal scorers back to lead the team through the early stages of the season. Sahr Nyuma has stepped up with four goals including one against Mohonasen, while Tony Campagnano has three points on two goals and an assist. One of Campagnano's goals turned out to be the game winner for the Dutchmen against Shen.
Defensively, goaltender Devin Bailey has been solid for Guilderland. Bailey has only allowed more than one goal in a game once this season, and he has posted two non-league shutouts.
The Dutchmen have some more challenges coming up this week. After traveling to Columbia Tuesday, they visit Ballston Spa Thursday before hosting Bethlehem Saturday at 11 a.m.
"We don't look past anybody this season," said Kinnally. "I think the teams that normally haven't been as competitive in the league in the past are now competitive, which makes the league that much tougher.""