Bears tame Panthers 2-1
SUNY Potsdam men's soccer tames Panthers 2-1
Potsdam, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team saw an opening and ran with it.
A gaffe in the opening minute where Old Westbury lost control of the ball of their side of the field paved the way for an opportunistic Tom Benedetto (Queensbury, N.Y. /Queensbury) to rifle a goal on the far side of the net.
From there, junior forward Eduardo Figueroa (Rochester, N.Y. /Dr. Freddie Thomas) displayed some fancy footwork in dribbling around a couple of defenders and fired a shot that deflected off Panthers keeper Marcelo Guardado's hands and into the corner of the net.
It would be all Potsdam (3-1) would need as the Bears picked up a 2-1 nonconference victory against Old Westbury at Maxcy Turf Field Saturday night.
The Bears' offense stayed aggressive for the majority of the match and, to their credit, earned a 19-10 shots advantage. Figueroa and Benedetto each scored their second of the season and continued to push the issue all match long. The two combined to take nine shots with six targeted on goal.
Midfielders Alessio Vitale (Liverpool, N.Y. /Liverpool), sophomore Kyle Cronin (Henrietta, N.Y. /Rush-Henrietta) as well as sophomore forward Stephen Auyer all had consistent, active games with each getting multiple looks at the net.
The Panthers (1-1) would answer with 23:32 remaining in the second half when sophomore forward Angelo DiMatteo (Merrick, N.Y. /Calhoun) found the right corner of the net to trim the lead to 2-1.
The match picked up in intensity down the stretch as each team fought gallantly for position. The teams combined for 23 fouls and the match nearly became knotted up when Panthers' senior midfielder Scott Carey (Centereach, N.Y. /Centereach) threatened to score in the closing minute as his shot sailed just high of the net.
Potsdam freshman goal keeper Nick Davies (Webster, N.Y. / Webster Thomas) stayed busy throughout the match as he tied a season-high with six saves.
Potsdam improved to 3-0 in the all-time series with Old Westbury. The Bears rallied past the Panthers 2-1 in overtime in their last meeting on Sept., 8, 2012. Figueroa also scored in that match.
Potsdam concludes their mini two-game home stand by hosting Bard College (0-3) Sunday at 1 p.m. at Maxcy Turf Field.