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Potsdam Women Make Playoffs; Men Rally For Tie


POTSDAM, N.Y. - Junior forward Lexi Dean (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) scored her third and fourth goals of the weekend to push the SUNY Potsdam women's soccer team (8-8-1, 4-4-1 SUNYAC) past the SUNY New Paltz Hawks (4-11-2, 1-7-1 SUNYAC) on Saturday. After trailing 1-0 in the first half, the Bears rallied for 2-1 victory and secured a spot in the SUNYAC tournament for the third straight season.

The Bears had a couple of opportunities to jump out in front in the first half. A little over 15 minutes in, sophomore forward Mackenzie Bowie (Mechanicville, N.Y./Mechanicville) gave Potsdam its best chance as she got around a Hawk defender and shot from close range, but her attempt deflected off the crossbar. Dean stayed with the play and challenged Hawks junior goalkeeper Megan Tornatore (Glen Head, N.Y./North Shore), but the goalie caught the attempt. New Paltz eventually got on board first as junior midfielder Jessica Levinson (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury) interrupted a pass from a Potsdam player and sent the ball high up in the net for the 1-0 lead in the 29th minute. The score was unchanged at the half. Bears senior goalie Delphine Léonard (Anjou, Quebec/Dawson College Prep) made four saves in her 45 minutes of play.

Momentum shifted toward the Bears in the second period, with the home team doubling up the Hawks. Dean tied the contest at the 62:59 mark off an assist from sophomore forward Makenna Crosson (East Aurora, N.Y./East Auora). Dean got around two New Paltz defenders in the right side of the field and sent her shot into the center of the net. Just 5:50 later Dean struck again, lining up her shot from the penalty area. The Bears shut down New Paltz for the remainder of the period and Dean's goals made the difference.

Junior goalkeeper Gabby Hobika (New Hartford, N.Y./New Hartford) made three saves in the second half to earn her 14th victory. Tornatore had six saves on the day for New Paltz.

The Bears outshot the Hawks 19-12 and matched them in corner kicks with five.

Dean is now in sole possession of third place on Potsdam's all-time scoring list with 74 points (29g, 16a). This season she leads the SUNYAC in scoring with 14 goals and eight assists for 36 points.

Prior to the game, the Bears honored seniors Lexi LaBarge (Champion, N.Y./Copenhagen), Brennan Bruschini (Wilton, N.Y./South Glens Falls), Léonard, captain Ciara Norris (Syracuse, N.Y./Jamesville-DeWitt) and captain Augusta Hayner (Malta, N.Y./Ballston Spa) on Senior Day.

Potsdam has earned the fifth seed in the conference tournament and will travel to Plattsburgh State next Saturday to face the fourth-seeded Cardinals.

MEN EARN TIE

NEW PALTZ, N.Y.-Senior captain Jeffrey Shulz (East Moriches, N.Y./Westhampton Beach) scored in the 65th minute to help the SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team (3-13-2, 1-7-1 SUNYAC) rally for a 2-2 tie at SUNY New Paltz (8-8-1, 2-6-1) in the SUNYAC finale. Senior goalkeeper Esdras Juarez (Tuckahoe, N.Y./Tuckahoe) made 15 saves in his first career start.

The Bears took a 1-0 lead with a little luck in the 36th minute as New Paltz deflected the ball into its own net. However, the Hawks struck back with a marker from Philip Varner to tie the score at 42:22. Just 1:43 later, Kevin Doorley gave New Paltz the lead. The Hawks took the 2-1 advantage into the break.

Potsdam was able to generate more offense in the second half. At 64:38, Schultz took advantage and evened the score. Despite more chances from both offenses, Juarez and New Paltz goalie Declan Costello forced overtime.

The Hawks outshot the Bears 4-2 in the first extra session and each team had two attempts in the second, but neither squad could break through for the game-winner.

Costello finished with six saves for New Paltz.

The Bears wrap up the season at Clarkson on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

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