Voorheesville edges Cohoes 3-2 in Colonial Council boys' soccer semifinal

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Voorheesville's Ryan McMillen, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes' Johnny Martinez-Peraza during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.1of24Buy Photo

Voorheesville’s Ryan McMillen, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes’ Johnny Martinez-Peraza during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.

Lori Van Buren/Times Union Voorheesville's Ryan McMillen, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes' Ryan Primeau during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.2of24Buy PhotoVoorheesville’s Ryan McMillen, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes’ Ryan Primeau during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union
3of24Buy Photo Cohoes' Johnny Martinez-Peraza, left, battles for the ball with Voorheesville's Dylan Enslinn during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.4of24Buy Photo

Cohoes’ Johnny Martinez-Peraza, left, battles for the ball with Voorheesville’s Dylan Enslinn during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.

Lori Van Buren/Times Union Voorheesville's Dylan Enslinn, left, heads the ball past Cohoes' Jad Essoulaimani during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.5of24Buy Photo

Voorheesville’s Dylan Enslinn, left, heads the ball past Cohoes’ Jad Essoulaimani during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.

Lori Van Buren/Times Union
6of24Buy Photo Voorheesville's Jake Johnson, left, kicks the ball past Cohoes' Johnny Martinez-Peraza during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.7of24Buy Photo

Voorheesville’s Jake Johnson, left, kicks the ball past Cohoes’ Johnny Martinez-Peraza during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.

Lori Van Buren/Times Union Cohoes' Jad Essoulaimani, left, battles for the ball with Voorheesville's Daniel Wittman during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.8of24Buy PhotoCohoes’ Jad Essoulaimani, left, battles for the ball with Voorheesville’s Daniel Wittman during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union
9of24Buy Photo Voorheesville's Aidan Lawson, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes' Ryan Primeau during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.10of24Buy PhotoVoorheesville’s Aidan Lawson, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes’ Ryan Primeau during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union Cohoes' Kyle Smith, left, defends Voorheesville's Ryan McMillen during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.11of24Buy PhotoCohoes’ Kyle Smith, left, defends Voorheesville’s Ryan McMillen during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union
12of24Buy Photo Voorheesville's Daniel Wittman, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes' Zack Halloran during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.13of24Buy PhotoVoorheesville’s Daniel Wittman, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes’ Zack Halloran during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union Cohoes' Luca Grestini battles for the ball with Voorheesville's Trevor Siemann, foreground, during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.14of24Buy PhotoCohoes’ Luca Grestini battles for the ball with Voorheesville’s Trevor Siemann, foreground, during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union
15of24Buy Photo Cohoes' Zack Halloran, left, battles for the ball with Voorheesville's Sean Bruno during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.16of24Buy PhotoCohoes’ Zack Halloran, left, battles for the ball with Voorheesville’s Sean Bruno during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union Voorheesville's Jake Johnson, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes' Zack Halloran during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.17of24Buy PhotoVoorheesville’s Jake Johnson, left, battles for the ball with Cohoes’ Zack Halloran during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union
18of24Buy Photo Voorheesville celebrates a goal during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game against Cohoes on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.19of24Buy PhotoVoorheesville celebrates a goal during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game against Cohoes on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union Cohoes head coach Nick Izzo is seen getting a yellow card from an official during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game against Voorheesville on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.20of24Buy PhotoCohoes head coach Nick Izzo is seen getting a yellow card from an official during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game against Voorheesville on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union
21of24Buy Photo Voorheesville head coach Willie Sanchez talks to his team during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game against Cohoes on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.22of24Buy PhotoVoorheesville head coach Willie Sanchez talks to his team during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game against Cohoes on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union Cohoes head coach Nick Izzo talks to his team during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game against Voorheesville on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.23of24Buy PhotoCohoes head coach Nick Izzo talks to his team during the Colonial Council tournament boys' soccer game against Voorheesville on Wednesday, Oct, 13, 2021 in Troy, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union
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TROY — The two hottest boys' soccer teams in the Colonial Council collided in the semifinals of the league's tournament Wednesday evening at Lansingburgh High School. It was readily apparent why Cohoes emerged in regular-season play to claim the title and that Voorheesville's season-ending push into the playoff bracket was well-deserved.

On this night, Voorheesville continued its push from a .500 record six games into the season, but not without plenty of resistance from Cohoes.

Voorheesville senior striker Ryan McMillen staked the Blackbirds to a 2-0 advantage, but Johnny Martinez-Peraza twice scored on rebounds, both of which brought Cohoes within a goal. Voorheesville junior standout Dylan Enslinn's goal with 26:31 remaining, between Martinez-Paraza's scores, proved to be the game-winner as Voorheesville held on for a 3-2 victory.

The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak for Cohoes (13-2 overall) and extended Voorheesville's winning streak to nine games. Over that span since dropping a 2-1 decision against Cohoes on Sept. 20, the Blackbirds (12-3) have outscored their opponents 51-5.

"We are hungrier for sectionals now," Martinez-Peraza said. "We have more motivation."

Both squads will be competing in what should be a highly competitive Class B sectional bracket that will also include Broadalbin-Perth and Schuylerville from the Foothills Council, Mechanicville and Tamarac from the Wasaren League and Greenville, the Patroon Conference's top team and the state's No. 2 squad.

"This is a good tune-up. This very well could be a sectional game, and we could play them again (in sectionals)," Voorheesville coach Willie Sanchez said. "Being able to play under this type of pressure is key and, hopefully, we will continue to get better and learn from the things we didn't do well and keep doing the things we did well."

"We knew they were going to come in and test us. They are our toughest opponent when we played them at Voorheesville," Cohoes coach Nick Izzo said. "We knew this was going to be a tough possession game. We have to build off of that — never too high on a win or too low on a loss. We look forward to sectionals."

Voorheesville opened its season with two losses against La Salle and Albany Academy, then stood 3-3 following its 2-1 setback against Cohoes. Sanchez switched up his lineup as he shifted to a 4-3-3 formation, moving McMillen from midfield to striker. The move continues to pay dividends.

"I have never played center forward in my life. I usually play center mid," McMillen said.

"Earlier in the year, we weren't finishing our chances," Sanchez said. "The guys are really playing for each other and playing together."

"We started off a little rocky with a few losses, but we changed our formation and we're playing a lot better together," Enslinn said.

McMillen's first goal was set up by Jake Johnson. On his second, he simply turned and fired from outside the box with 1:14 left in the first half.

"He has a big kick and it is exciting to watch," Enslinn said of McMillen.

The Blackbirds maintained their two-goal cushion until there was 27:38 left. Martinez-Peraza pounced on a rebound from a free kick made by teammate Jad Essoulaimani. Enslinn responded with his goal just 67 seconds later, only to see Martinez-Peraza answer back with another converted rebound — this time on an initial shot from Anthony Buttofucco.

"We're dogs. We keep working," Martinez-Peraza said. "We were down 2-0 and said that was it."

"I was getting nervous at the end because they were getting close," Enslinn said.

"They play hard. They are not an easy team to play against," Sanchez said of the Tigers. "I think it is good to play against teams that put you under pressure."

Sanchez and Izzo agreed having the league tournament before sectionals is the perfect preparation.

"Any time you get a competitive game like that, and that is what is nice about having the top four seeds play, it gets all the teams ready for sectionals," Izzo said. "You are playing two tough games, whether you win them or lose them. They are competitive games where one or two plays swing the game."

"I think we are in a good place. I am confident with our play and with how well we have done recently," McMillen said.

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