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SUNY Potsdam weekly sports recap

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POTSDAM - The SUNY Potsdam fall sports teams began heading down the home stretch of their 2013 seasons last week.

MEN’S SOCCER

The Bears earned another split over the weekend by going 1-1 this past week.

On Friday, Potsdam scored two second half goals to defeat Fredonia State 3-2 at Maxcy Turf Field. Junior midfielder Alex Minsker (Brewster, N.Y.) had a goal and an assist to lead the Bears. The win is Potsdam’s first over the Blue Devils since Oct. 8, 2005 and snaps a six-game winless streak against Fredonia.

Both offenses started quickly in the contest. Just 4:18 into the game, Potsdam sophomore forward Tom Benedetto (Queensbury, N.Y.) fed Minsker who evaded sliding Blue Devil junior goalie A.J. Grecco (Buffalo, N.Y.) and tapped it home for a 1-0 lead. Just over a minute later, Fredonia defender Mike Biggane (Amherst, N.Y.) headed home a corner kick from senior defender Jakob Persons (Albany, N.Y.) to knot the score.

The Blue Devils had a flurry of shots seven minutes into the second half, but Bears junior goalkeeper Alex Pavone (Churchville, N.Y.) came up with three big saves to keep the score even. Potsdam answered at the 53:30 mark. Minsker launched a corner kick into traffic in front of the Fredonia goal and freshman defender Chris Schrum (Roosevelt Island, N.Y.) buried it for his first career tally. At 73:00, sophomore forward Stephen Auyer (Oswego, N.Y.) beat a Blue Devil defender, stepped around Grecco and scored to put Potsdam up 3-1.

The victory was the Bears’ eighth of the season, the most since 2002 and one shy of the program’s single season record set in 1983 (9-6).

On Saturday, a sluggish early start cost the Potsdam as the Bears lost a 4-2 SUNYAC match to visiting SUNY Buffalo at Maxcy Turf Field.

Potsdam (8-7-1 overall, 2-4-1 SUNYAC) battled back from an early three-goal deficit within the opening 15:01 of play, but ultimately were unable to complete the comeback.

SUNY Buffalo (7-7-1 overall, 3-4 SUNYAC) came out as the aggressors with goals from senior Anthony Appiani (N. Tonawanda, N.Y.), junior Francesco Cardillo (Tonawanda, N.Y.) and sophomore Keegan Lezama (Milton, ON).

Entering play, the Bears were sitting in the sixth-and final-playoff seed in the SUNYAC standings. The loss by Potsdam pushes the Bengals ahead of them in the conference standings by a point.

It was senior day for the Bears on Saturday as well with Alessio Vitale (Liverpool, N.Y.), Ben Steinberg (Potsdam, N.Y.) and Stefan Sloma (Niskayuna, N.Y.) being recognized in a pre-game tribute.

Sloma helped keep the Bears in the match by checking in goal at the 29:59 mark of the first half to relieve junior Alex Pavone (Churchville, N. Y.) Sloma finished out the rest of the half without incident and allowed just one goal and came up with five saves in 74:59 of action.

Potsdam (5-3-1 at home) made the match interesting when freshman Chris Schrum (Roosevelt Island, N.Y.) headed in his second goal in as many days on a free kick feed from sophomore Tom Benedetto (Queensbury, N.Y.). Benedetto now leads the team in assists with four.

The gap closed even tighter when sophomore midfielder Mario Riccardi (Beacon, N. Y.) lofted a ball over goal keeper Ian Huntoon’s head with just 45 seconds remaining in the first half. Riccardi’s first career goal came on a pass from sophomore Johnny Zator (Lido Beach, N.Y.), who notched his first career assist.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

The Lady Bears had a tough week and went 0-2 this past week on the road.

Fredonia State 3-9-2 (1-4-1 SUNYAC) got goals from three different players en route to a 3-0 win over the SUNY Potsdam women’s soccer team (5-8-1, 2-4) on Friday afternoon.

The Blue Devils got on the board at the 7:10 mark of the first half as Maggie Horan fed Jordyn Ruston for a 1-0 lead. The shots on goal were even the rest of the period, but the score remained the same at the break.

Just over seven minutes into the second half, Kristie Kleine scored with an assist from Catie Hale for a 2-0 Fredonia advantage. Six minutes later Maria Green made it a 3-0 contest with an unassisted tally. The Blue Devils kept the pressure on, but didn’t add to their lead.

Freshman goalie Michaela Cole (Parishville, N.Y.) finished with five saves for Potsdam, while Hannah McGlinchey stopped four shots for the shutout. Fredonia outshot the Bears 17-7 and edged Potsdam 6-4 in corner kicks.

On Saturday, Buffalo State (10-4-1, 6-1 SUNYAC) scored an early goal and made it stand up in a 1-0 win over Potsdam (5-9-1, 2-5).

At the 9:24 mark, Shannon Yokopovich launched a shot from 30 yards out that evaded Bears senior goalkeeper Lisa Bates (Galway, N.Y.) for the contest’s lone goal. Paula Jones recorded the assist on the play.

The Bengals kept the field tilted in the direction of Potsdam’s goal for most of the game, but could not break through again. The Bears’ defense was sharp, as was Bates the rest of the way. Bates finished the day with 11 saves. In goal for Buffalo State, Linda Banfield stopped three shots for the shutout.

CROSS COUNTRY

The SUNY Potsdam men’s and women’s cross country teams each finished 11th at the Cross Country Only Championships at Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva this afternoon. SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry won the 8k men’s race, while Hartwick College captured the 5k women’s competition.

Junior Joseph Rafter (Fort Covington, N.Y.) and freshman Brandon Bobik (Grahamsville, N.Y.) led the Potsdam men with times of 31:07 and 31:49. Junior Adam Lang (Arkport, N.Y.) and freshman Ryan Sullivan (Rochester, N.Y.) were next in 32:11 and 32:52. Junior Brett Wunsch (Colonie, N.Y.) (35:06), graduate student Evan Price (Mount Tabor, N.J.) (35:25) and junior Jonathan Doane (Camden, N.Y.) (36:57) rounded out the men.

Junior Hannah Groshner (Wayland, N.Y.) and sophomore Olivia Rehm (Grahamsville, N.Y.) were the first Potsdam women runners to cross the line in 20:56 and 22:03. Freshman Sarah LaPorta (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) and senior Kinga Kanczura (Cicero, N.Y.) finished in 24:41 and 25:33. Sophomore Carissa Cuccia (Goshen, N.Y.), junior Rebecca Dukett (Tupper Lake, N.Y.) and senior Sarah Behuniak (Latham, N.Y.) posted times of 25:43, 25:47 and 26:09, respectively.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

The Potsdam volleyball team was off this past week.

ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

Freshman defender Chris Schrum (Roosevelt Island, N.Y.) scored his first two career goals on headers in back-to-back matches against Fredonia and Buffalo State on Friday and Saturday.

Junior Hannah Groshner (Wayland, N.Y.) was the first Potsdam woman runner to cross the line in 20:56 at the Cross Country Only Championships at Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva on Saturday.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The men’s soccer team will need to make up ground in their final two road conference matches against SUNY Geneseo on Friday at 3 p.m. and on Saturday at Brockport at 1 p.m. if it were to qualify for the SUNYAC playoffs. The tournament play-in games would begin on Nov. 2 with locations and times to be determined.

The women’s soccer team closes out the regular season at home on the weekend as they battle for a playoff spot against Geneseo and Brockport. The Bears host the Blue Knights at 3 p.m. on Friday and the Golden Eagles at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Potsdam will honor captain Kate Clauss (Bloomfield, N.Y.) on Senior Day prior to kickoff against Brockport.

The volleyball team will complete in SUNYAC pool play at Buffalo State this weekend. On Friday, Potsdam will take on the hosts Buffalo State at 3 p.m. On Saturday, the Lady Bears will go up against SUNY New Paltz at 12:30 p.m. and Brockport at 3 p.m.

The cross country teams will be off this week.

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