Niskayuna is looking for offense

The Niskayuna girls soccer team could use a goal right about now.

The Silver Warriors (0-2-1) have gotten on the scoreboard only once through their first three games in a 2-1 loss to Saratoga Springs that began the Suburban Council season last Tuesday.

Three games, one goal, two overtimes," said Niskayuna coach Bryce Colby. "That tells the story of our season thus far. We're struggling to put balls in [the goal]."

The problem has been trying to find somebody to step up in Whitney Frary's absence. Frary graduated last year after helping Niskayuna reach the Section II, Class AA finals, and with her went nearly all of the Silver Warriors' goals and assists.

"Whitney accounted for nearly 80 percent of our offense last year," said Colby. "That's very hard to replace."

Fortunately for Niskayuna, the defensive unit has been stout through the first week of the season. The Silver Warriors have allowed only two goals in regulation time, both of which came in the Saratoga game. Shaker needed overtime to edge Niskayuna 1-0 last Thursday, and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake played the Silver Warriors to a scoreless tie last Saturday.

"My defenders have been playing pretty well," said Colby. "I've used five kids so far and the kids I've put in there have been playing well. Amelia Esposito is returning in goal, and she's played well so far."

Niskayuna has some veterans on offense it can turn to as it tries to get its offense in gear. Stacey Sylvetsky and Kayla Treanor are back in the midfield, and Marissa Muller and Ari Hiller give the Silver Warriors some help up front.

The offense will have to produce more goals if Niskayuna has any hopes of getting involved in the Suburban Council North Division title race " a race that could become crowded this year with Ballston Spa and Saratoga challenging the Silver Warriors and perennial power Shenendehowa.

"I think the X-factor is [goaltender] Renee Cairns at Ballston Spa," said Colby. "If you catch her on the wrong day, you're not going to score any goals."

Niskayuna won't have to worry about facing Cairns right away. The Silver Warriors' concern turned toward Averill Park Tuesday. They then face Colonie Thursday before meeting Bethlehem next Tuesday.""

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