Figueroa hat trick rallies Bears past Buffalo State, 4-3
BUFFALO, N.Y.—Sophomore forward Eduardo Figueroa (Rochester, N.Y./Dr. Freddie Thomas) scored three times to rally the SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team (3-8-2, 1-3-2 SUNYAC) to a 4-3 victory over Buffalo State (1-11-1, 1-4-1). The goals tie Figueroa for second on the program's all-time scoring and goals lists. Freshmen forwards Ben Firlit and Tom Benedetto had three (1g, 1 a) and two points (2a), respectively.
Figueroa got the Bears off to a fast start, converting on a penalty kick just 6:44 into the contest. The lead lasted just 12 minutes before Anthony Appiani headed in a corner kick from C.J. Scirto to tie the score. In the 41st minute, Chris Haney floated a long shot over Potsdam senior goalie Joseph Glackin for a 2-1 Bengal lead. Buffalo state carried the advantage into the break.
The Bears offense finally clicked in the second half. Figueroa finished a backdoor pass from Benedetto to tie the game two minutes into the second half. At 49:42, Benedetto set up Firlit to put the Bears back in front 3-2. In the 64th minute, Figueroa ran down a pass from Firlt, beat a defender one-on-one and ripped a shot into the net to complete the hat trick. With less than four minutes remaining, Scirto set up Andrew Dugan to pull the Bengals back within one. However, Potsdam held off Buffalo State for the 4-3 victory.
In goal, Glackin made two saves to earn the win. Bengal goalie Ian Huntoon finished with 10 stops. The Bengals edged the Bears in shots, 20-17, but Potsdam posted a 7-5 advantage in corners. The victory halts Potsdam's nine-game winless streak.
As expected, Bears Head Coach Adam Parker was happy with the outcome.
“In the first half, we couldn't sort out their movement,” said Parker. “But we figured it out in the second half. We won every 50-50 ball. We started playing dangerous balls and running guys into the box. All of a sudden we got be very dangerous. We've had the potential all year, but something just clicked. Zack LaDue, Ben Firlit, Tom Benedetto and Eduardo were all really good for us today. Eric Cassidy really came on strong. He changed the game.”
Potsdam looks to keep its playoff hopes alive tomorrow afternoon with a win at Fredonia. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.