CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – It was one of the quickest starts to a short fall season for the Shenendehowa boys soccer program, five games in eight days and the Plainsmen are still trying to find their way, suffering a 1-0 loss to Christian Brothers Academy Saturday afternoon.
CBA’s Jack Mendrysa scored the lone goal in the first 10 minutes of play from an assist by teammate Jordan Pruolx and the Brothers made the score stand.
“We needed to play more through the midfield which we didn't do and it's something that we've been working on and being a bit more patient,” Shenendehowa head coach Jon Bain said. “It's a work in progress.
“They were able to move it and they got it wide now and again, but we were able to answer for the most part.”
The packed early season schedule has forced Bain to adjust his development on the fly.
“We're still experimenting with a couple different systems, trying to get a couple of different looks, but overall we just need to play better,” Bain said. “We need to play more two-touch soccer. We try to run with that first touch and the system although it sometimes can make a difference, overall we all just need to play better.”
The Plainsmen sport nine seniors and a host of underclassman on this year’s roster, forcing Bain and his captains to ask a lot of his deep roster.
“Out there are probably five or six first year varsity players that are still cutting their teeth,” Bain said. “Albany was a very good team, CBA is good, so they got some real early experience and I just think they need to have that little bit of an adjustment period.”
Also charged with bringing along the next generation of Plainsman starts are captains Rhys Hourmont, Jaylin Sykes and Reggie Durden.
“We have to inspire the other kids to work harder each and every game because they don't know how important it is,” Rhys Hourmont said. “We probably know how much more important it is and we have to show them it is that much more important and we have to work hard for it.”
For the seniors every captains practice, non-league trip, bus ride to a rival is the last one of their final high school season.
“We know it’s our last game, so we want to make sure that we make the most out of it and we have to make sure the younger kids understand that and that they have the same kind of passion that we do,” Jaylin Sykes said. “We want to get everyone on the same page and to try to make sure everyone works just as hard as we are.”
Reggie Durden appreciates that feeling of playing hard for his upperclassman through the years.
“I've been on this team for three years and I remember the past two years when I played every game and it wasn't my last game, it wasn't my last season and now it is and everything is on the table, all the chips,” Reggie Durden said. “You have to go out every game and just give it your all.”
That message has been well received by the Shenendehowa underclassman.
“I think this year we have a really great group of guys, they all seem to be locked in,” Hourmont said. “We're all striving for the same goal here, it's not really that hard to get they're buy in. Everyone wants to win, it's been easy so far.”
The message is not always about game play, it’s how to become a better soccer player.
“We're always telling them that they need to go home rest, ice up every single time you go home so that we can come back stronger the next day,” Sykes said. “Make sure that we're listening to coach and we're picking up everything that we're saying so we can learn everything faster because we only have a short amount of time before we play our next game to improve.”
Christian Brothers Academy head coach Steve Freeman refused to comment to The Saratogian, Troy Record and Community News after the contest. He also denied access to his players after the win.