Vitale scores twice as Bears badger Badgers, 3-1
JOHNSON, VT.—Senior captain Alessio Vitale scored twice to lead the SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team (2-1) to a 3-1 road victory over Johnson State on Wednesday afternoon. Vitale also had an assist to complete a five-point night. Sophomore forward Tom Benedetto scored the other goal and junior forward Eduardo Figueroa added two assists.
Vitale put Potsdam in front for good in the 27th minute, finishing a pass from Figueroa. Benedetto struck less than five minutes later on helper from Vitale as he beat Badger goalie Ryan Belen with a long shot. Johnson State answered in the 39th minute with a tally from Keegan Hanlon who scored on a free kick from 20 yards out. Potsdam led 2-1 at the half and held a 15-3 advantage in shots.
The Bears continued to control the play in the second half, peppering Belen with nine more shots on goal. Vitale notched his second at 61:08 on another perfect pass from Figueroa in front of the net. Potsdam didn't let up, but wasn't able to add any insurance. The Badgers didn't manage a shot on goal in the second half.
Potsdam outshot Johnson State 30-6 in the contest and totaled nine corner kicks to Johnson State's five. Freshman goalkeeper Nick Davies needed just one save to record his second career win. Belen finished with 10 saves, including eight in the second half alone.
Head Coach Adam Parker was pleased with the effort from his Bears.
"Alessio played really well," said Parker. "He showed a lot of energy on both sides of the ball and was all over the place. Tom Benedetto had a beautiful goal and James Turcott did a nice job in the back for us. Johnson State competed hard, but we were able to control the play.
The Bears are back in action when they host Old Westbury at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.