Saturday, October 8, 2016

The beginning of a rivalry (?): Heatly @ Troy (women's soccer), 10/8/16

As we've talked about, Troy High, in its 2nd season in the Suburban Council, doesn't have any true territorial rivalries to call their own. The closest they have are Averill Park and Columbia, and both are off the beaten trail. Long time rivals Catholic Central & LaSalle are now in the Colonial Council, with Lansingburgh replacing Troy as their in-city rival.

In putting together this year's women's soccer schedule, coach Justin Haviland and AD Paul Reinisch experimented with a pair of non-league games, one varsity and one junior varsity, vs. teams from the Central Hudson Valley League, which has an existing border rivalry between Emma Willard and Heatly. Troy & Emma Willard's junior varsity teams met last week at Picken Field, but because the local press ignores JV games nowadays, we don't know how that ended.

Tonight, on the other hand, for Senior Night for the varsity, the Lady Flying Horses welcomed Heatly. As a gesture of goodwill, the Lady Hornets' two seniors were invited to participate in Senior Night activities at halftime. Troy's roster, meanwhile, has 11 seniors out of the 17 on the roster, meaning heavy turnover for next season. Given their struggles this season, that means Troy conceivably could still be a 2nd division club in 2017.

On to tonight's game. To illustrate what a difference 24 hours makes, the bleachers, which were nearly full last night on a clear night for football, were sparsely filled, with less than 100 people in attendance. During the first half, the parents of the 11 seniors stood as a group near the entrance gate to the field in preparation for the halftime presentations. Unfortunately, Troy was also short on volunteers, such that the scoreboard clock was not functioning in the first half. They needed people in the PA booth for halftime, so that problem was solved.

Troy got the only goal they needed in the first half as senior Lauren Sleicher headed in a goal. One more goal in the first half, and one in the second provided insurance, as Troy won their 2nd straight, and 3rd in their last 4, 3-0. Troy is now 3-11-1 overall, having finally broken its winless string in the Suburban Council with a win over Albany on Thursday. Heatly, according to the information we have, has just 2 wins, as two games have not been reported to local press.

The Lady Horses close the regular season on the road at Schenectady on October 13. The question now becomes one of whether or not this late season surge lifts them into the post-season. We'll see.

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