COLONIE Technical skill trumped speed in Monday’s Section II Class AA boys soccer final at Colonie Central High School.
Top seeded Shenendehowa scored twice in the final 25 minutes to defeat No. 3 Colonie 2-1 for the Plainsmen’s 17th Sectional title.
Michael Jenkins tallied off a rebound with 25:01 left to tie the game at 1, and Adam Barlow struck the game winner with 5:33 left for the Plainsmen.
“We got a couple of good chances in the first half, and then in the second half I had a good shot and hoped that it went in,” said Barlow.
Shen (18-1-0) struggled at first to contain Colonie’s fast front line of Massimo Smiroldo, Tommy Osipitan, Paulino Curto and Uwe Omorogbe. But once the Plainsmen got into a rhythm with their passes and controlled the flow of the game, there was little that the Garnet Raiders (13-7-0) could do except play defense and search for counter attacking opportunities.
“They were a handful,” said Shen coach Mike Campisi. “They had some excellent individual players.”
“For us to play with Shen, because of the type of players we have, we have to play at a high level,” said Colonie coach Mike Trimarchi. “And in those last 20 minutes, you could see that our legs started to give out.”
Colonie’s best scoring chances came in the first half. The Garnet Raiders pressed the ball up the field with Osipitan, Omorogbe, Smiroldo and Curto leading several breaks. The moves didn’t always lead to shots on goal, but they did scramble Shen’s defenders.
“I thought we didn’t play well in the first half,” said Campisi. “They weren’t playing to win. They were just on the field.”
Shen had its own quality scoring chances in the first 40 minutes, but Colonie goaltender Todd Lawson was up to the challenge. Lawson smothered Barlow’s first shot of the game six minutes in and then stopped an Aaron Lemire attempt eight minutes later.