The Hudson Valley men’s soccer team is currently ranked ninth in the nation and were too much for North Country to handle this past Saturday (Oct. 10), defeating them 2-0. North Country only has two wins this season and didn’t put up much of a fight against the Vikings.
Sophomore Elidon Bardhollari and freshman Selmir Sasic, both Colonie graduates, had goals in the win. Sophomore goalie Joshua Rasmussen, from Troy, had six saves which led to a shutout for the Vikings.
“We’re playing pretty well,” said head coach Travis Cooke. “Defensively, we’re really strong. It starts with our goalie Josh. He’s our best player out there.”
Rasmussen is top ten in the nation in goals allowed per game. He only gives up one goal per game on average. This allows the team to play aggressively without worrying as much about defense.
The team is now 11-1-1 on the season and are fine tuning their game while heading into regionals.
Cooke has been the men’s soccer coach at Hudson Valley since 2006. In 2008, Cooke coached a Viking team that was a top five team in the nation and was also ranked number two for four consecutive weeks. Even with those accomplishments, Cooke draws comparisons between those teams and this one.
The top two teams from the league advance to nationals and if Hudson Valley plays the way they’ve been playing all season, they should be able to make it. The team has two more regular season games that are away, before regional play begins on Oct. 31 at Herkimer. On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the team travels to Broome to take on the Hornets at 4 p.m. Their last regular season game is on the road in Onondaga on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 3:15 p.m.