Back in the 80's, the New York Daily News, in chronicling the struggles of Columbia University's football team, which was on a lengthy losing streak extending over a few years, began using an illustration of a begging lion (Columbia's team name was the Lions) with the caption, "Is this the one?", as in, would the Lions finally end the losing streak. Yes, they eventually did.
The struggles of Troy High's soccer teams in 2016 aren't quite as epic or full of despair, unless you're like me, and you're an alumnus, and you take the losses harder than I or others do. Going into play tonight, the Flying Horses' boys & girls teams were a combined 0-21-2. Ouch.
The advantage of one fewer team on the women's side in the Suburban Council is that it gives teams flexibility to schedule non-league games. Such was the case tonight on a rainy Friday at Picken Memorial Field, where the Lady Horses welcomed the Lady Patriots of Broadalbin-Perth, out of the Foothills Council. The two schools' junior varsity teams played earlier, and Troy's girls' JV's, which also was winless on the season, picked up their first win. It must've been a heartbreaker for Broadalbin-Perth, because as I was entering Picken Field, one B-P player was leaving with her parents, and trying to fight the tears. I could feel her pain, because I've been there. I played one year of varsity soccer, at now-defunct Capital Christian Academy in 1978. We weren't great, just mediocre, but wins were hard to come by for us, too.
On to the varsity game. Coming off a 5-0 shutout loss at the hands of Shaker on the road on Wednesday, Troy opened a 4 game homestand, and, well, let's just say they made the boys team look weak by comparison. I had attended a boys game vs. Ballston Spa about three weeks ago, and was disgusted by the, shall we say, passive defensive effort in a 4-0 loss. In sharp contrast, the Lady Horses played a tighter defense, jockeying for position on each possession. It took some time, but freshman Abby Burns found the back of the net to give Troy a 1-0 lead. Burns finished with 2 goals, as did Heather Avery, with Heather Moss adding an insurance goal in the second half, and Troy snapped a 11 game winless streak with a 5-0 victory. Broadalbin-Perth, which had 1 win on the season, had their chances, but their best shots seemed to fly wide of the net.
The Troy JV's will be right back in action Saturday, welcoming in-city rival Emma Willard in what should be the touchstone for future varsity meetings between the two schools. Emma Willard plays in the Central Hudson Valley League (CHVL), as does Heatly, who will be Troy's senior night opponent on October 8. In between, the Lady Horses jump back into Suburban Council play on Tuesday as Shenendehowa comes to town, followed by Schenectady on Thursday, before Heatly comes in. Troy wraps the regular season on October 13 at Albany, a sectional berth highly unlikely unless they can run the table.