Ballston Spa finds ways to win boys soccer games

The Ballston Spa boys soccer team has discovered it can win in the Suburban Council.

A year after winning just one league game, the Scotties beat a third Suburban Council opponent when they edged Columbia 1-0 Monday in East Greenbush.

I think the guys are slowly starting to learn how to win and feel good about it, said Ballston Spa head coach Andrew Menzie.

R.J. Vandy scored off a Connor Preece assist in the first half, and goaltender Greg Dunlavey stopped all 13 shots he faced to lead Ballston Spa past Columbia for the second time this year. The Scotties defeated the Blue Devils 2-0 in the finals of the Columbia Tournament last month.

The wins haven't come easily for the Scotties (3-3-2 league, 5-3-2 overall). Most of their games have been decided in the closing minutes or overtime.

"I've got to respect the effort that my guys have shown," said Menzie. "We haven't scored as many goals as we would like to, but we've had great senior leadership."

The reason why the Scotties have had so much senior leader-ship is because the roster is loaded with seniors. That doesn't mean Menzie isn't trying to in-corporate some younger players into his lineup.

"I kept an extra-large roster so I could keep some juniors and ease their transition to the varsity level. So when graduation hits us, those guys will be ready to step up," said Menzie.

Ballston Spa has some tough games ahead of it as it looks to stay in the hunt for the Suburban Council North Division title. After facing first-place Shenendehowa Wednesday, the Scotties have games against Colonie and Bethlehem coming up in the next nine days.

Though the road doesn't get easier, Menzie said that's exactly what his team needs to prepare for the Section II, Class AA playoffs.

"Say we make the playoffs. We'll have to meet those big teams at some point," he said.

For now, Menzie is happy to see Ballston Spa pile up some league wins. "We're pretty pleased with how we've developed going into the second half," he said.""

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