Men’s Soccer Begins Final Stretch Before SUNYAC Championships

Photo Courtesy of Mike Kelly Photos

The SUNY New Paltz Men’s Soccer Team returned from an away road trip this weekend with a mixed bag of results, recording a win at SUNY Fredonia 1-0 and a 3-1 loss when visiting SUNY Buffalo State.

They arrived at SUNY Fredonia Oct. 15 having won the last five games on the bounce and hoped to continue that trend. Continue it they did, after a chippy performance proved to be enough to overcome the Blue Devils. The Hawks dominated their opponents playing solid soccer and racking up a whopping nine fouls.

The first half was a muted affair with neither team scoring or managing to get anything dangerous going in the box. Graduate student defender Tommy Delstrom had the only shot on target which was saved, coming to nothing. The Blue Devils had four corners sent in but they were all swiftly dealt with and defended from the box. 

A little after the break the Blue Devils managed to conjure up something dangerous but were marked offside halting their momentum. Second-year midfielder Papis Konate tried to flip the game but had his shot saved by Blue Devils third-year keeper William Richardson.

In minute 61 the deadlock was broken. Third-year Philip Varner got onto a pass in no man’s land in front of Richardson. Richardson took the bait and dove after the ball and Varner whiffed entirely. Varner skirted around the recumbent Richardson for an open goal tap in and New Paltz was ahead 1-0. 

For the remainder of the game Fredonia attempted to make up for lost time. They spent long spells in the Hawks end of the field, threatening occasionally. For all their effort, the closest they got to a chance were the series of corner kicks towards the game’s conclusion.

SUNY New Paltz’s next game was the 16th at Buffalo State. Buffalo State came into the game 10-3 and ready to meet whatever the Hawks had in store. 

The game started open and frenetic. Not shocking given the end result of four goals scored and the combined 28 shots between the two SUNYAC teams.

The Bengals drew first blood in 20 minutes. Fourth-year defender Trevor Moreland was responsible for the goal that deflected off a Hawks player. 

New Paltz managed to hold the line until the second half but disaster struck again. The Bengals broke in minute 52 and Musa Abdullah weaved the ball through two Hawk defenders to make the score 2-0.

New Paltz began to lose face only finding scoring chances through free kicks and set pieces. They wished they’d capitalized, as Buffalo State scored in minute 85.

Fourth-year forward Theo Pencic put in a cross from fourth-year forward Anthony Roncone, making the result three goals. 

The Hawks managed to avoid a shutout through sheer determination. In minute 87, they capitalized on a switch off from the Bengals defense. After a corner was punched deep out of the box, Hawk’ players smartly controlled possession and sent it back in amid the bedlam. First-year forward Gino Manzella sent it to the other side of the keeper and saw to the Hawks keeping their status.

In spite of this setback, the Hawks have their hope and their record of 11-3.

“Mentally, they’ll have no issues rebounding,” Coach Kyle Lacy said, to Jake Carapella, Athletic Communications Intern. The Hawks play Oswego and Cortland the 22nd and 23rd following this week of games.