Lady Bears Shade Oneonta; Eye Playoff Return
POTSDAM, N.Y. --- The SUNY Potsdam women's soccer team (7-8-1, 3-4-1 SUNYAC) came out victorious in a back-and-forth, 3-2 contest against the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons (5-8-3, 3-5 SUNYAC) on Friday afternoon. Junior forward Lexi Dean (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) scored two more goals and sophomore forward Mackenzie Bowie (Mechanicville, N.Y./Mechanicville) kept the Bears' playoff hopes alive with an overtime goal in the 105th minute. Senior goalie Delphine Léonard (Anjou, Quebec/Dawson College Prep) made seven saves for her 19th career win.
Potsdam came out on the attack to start the game. The Bears saw a great opportunity to score a little over 10 minutes into the contest as sophomore forward Makenna Crosson (East Aurora, N.Y./East Aurora) was robbed by Oneonta sophomore goalkeeper Claire Lepper (Poland, N.Y./Poland) on a diving stop to her left. At the 32:03 mark, Dean made good on the Bears next great opportunity, getting around two Oneonta defenders and sending a shot from the top of the box off the crossbar and into the goal. The Bears led 1-0 at the break.
Momentum shifted quickly in the second half as the Red Dragons generated three consecutive corner kicks in the opening minutes. While they didn't score, they sustained the pressure. At the 34:27 mark, senior midfielder Christina Kornfield (Mount Sinai, N.Y./Miller Place) sent a pass from the left corner to freshman Joie Tortorice (Melville, N.Y./Walt Whitman) who charged in to bury the equalizer. Just 1:57 later, players scrambled after an Oneonta corner kick and Kornfield headed home the go-ahead goal from the left side. After struggling to get their offense going again, Dean knotted the score. At the 16:53 mark, junior defender Maeve Morrissey (Averill Park, N.Y./Averill Park) worked her way between several Red Dragons and found Dean at the right side of the goal. She turned up her speed and beat Lepper with a tough-angle shot into the left corner of the net. With the game tied, both teams ramped up their effort. With about eight minutes left, Kornfield looked like she would break loose in the penalty area, but the play was broken up by two Bears defenders. Dean also nearly reached a hat trick with three minutes left, but her shot sailed just over the crossbar. The score was still even after 90 minutes.
Oneonta had the best chance of the first overtime. Red Dragons sophomore defender Grace Syron (East Marion, N.Y./Greenport) send a header on goal just 43 seconds in, but Léonard snatched the ball out of the air.
The Bears secured the victory at the 5:28 mark of the second overtime as freshman midfielder Meaghan Sardi (North Babylon, N.Y./North Babylon) sent a pass from the right side of the field to Bowie, who then deposited the airborne ball into the middle of the net.
Lepper finished with three saves on the day.
With the two goals, Dean moves into a tie with Rylie Murray '19 on the program's all-time scoring list with 70 points on 27 goals and 16 assists. Bowie's marker moves her into a tie for 20th place with Jess Mehm '12 with 29 points on 13 goals and three assists.\
The win is Potsdam's first victory against Oneonta since 1994.
A win Saturday against SUNY New Paltz guarantees the Bears their third straight appearance in the SUNYAC Playoffs. However, Potsdam can still get in with a tie or a loss as long as both Oneonta and Buffalo State each do the same. The contest kicks off at 1 p.m. tomorrow.