Bears edge Roos in OT, 1-0, in men's soccer
POTSDAM, N.Y.—It took 99 minutes and 32 seconds, but sophomore midfielder Alessio Vitale (Liverpool N.Y./Liverpool) finally lifted the SUNY Potsdam men’s soccer team (3-1-1) to a 1-0 victory over SUNY Canton (2-4) on Wednesday night. Freshman forward Eduardo Figueroa (Rochester, N.Y./Dr. Freddie Thomas) assisted on the goal and junior goalie Jake Gyder (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) won his first start.
The Roos and Bears had their opportunities in the first half, but were unable gain the upper hand. Nearly 10 minutes into the contest, Figueroa received a pass on the left side of the box and sent a shot just over the crossbar. He was at it again almost 20 minutes later. The forward came away with the ball out in front of the net and ripped a shot toward to the goal, but Canton junior goalie Sankung Sillah (Bronx, N.Y.) made a diving catch to his right. The Kangaroos best opportunity of the period came in the 39th minute. Freshman midfielder Shane Powell (Yonkers, N.Y./Woodlands) sent a long pass to freshman midfielder Kevaughn John (Malabar, Trinidad/El Dorado East Secondary) on the right side of the net. However, Bears junior defender Sean Atkinson (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem East) arrived in time to drive the ball out of play. Neither team threatened for the rest of the scoreless half.The first 20 minutes of the second 45 minutes were uneventful, but the Bears created two great chances in the 61st minute. Vitale nearly scored with a shot from the top of the box, but was robbed by Sillah diving to his right. Off the resulting corner kick, Bears senior defender Chris Mack (South Glens Falls, N.Y./South Glens Falls) headed the ball off the crossbar and the Roos quickly cleared it. Seven minutes later Powell worked his way past the Potsdam defense to receive a pass, but Gyder came out to break up the play. As regulation wound down Potsdam freshmen Pat Cleaver (Watertown, N.Y./Watertown) and Stephen Auyer (Oswego, N.Y./Oswego) each had chances in close, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
In overtime after a Bears foul, Canton freshman midfielder Ashley Butterworth (Boughton, Preston, U.K./Boughton) nearly won the game on a kick that just sailed just over the Potsdam net, with five minutes left. It came down to the final 28 seconds as Figueroa headed the ball deeper into the Roos box and Vitale drove it home.
Gyder finished with two saves for the shutout and Sillah finished with three saves for Canton.
Bears Head Coach Adam Parker was understandably pleased with the outcome.
“We said at halftime that we were happy with the way we were playing,” said Parker. “It was just a few our mistakes that led to their best chances. We talked about the mistakes we made against Elmira and I think they’ve learned from them. I think offensively, we can be even more dangerous and hopefully the guys see if we attack the ball in the box, good things will happen. Tonight that won us the game.”
Potsdam is back in action on Friday, Sept. 16, when the Bears travel to Troy, N.Y., to take on RPI.