Potsdam holds off Morrisville in season opener, 3-2


POTSDAM, N.Y.—THE SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Morrisville State (0-1) and held off the Mustangs for a 3-2 victory in the first round of the Potsdam College Cup. Sophomore forward Eduardo Figueroa and freshman forward Tom Benedetto each scored for the Bears.

After an even start, Morrisville picked up some offensive momentum and was able to keep pressure on Potsdam. The Bears finally broke out as freshman forward Steven Sepowski sent a long pass ahead to Figueroa in the 37th minute. Mustang freshman goalie Rob Larkin rushed out to challenge Figueroa, but the striker stepped around him and fired the ball into the net. Potsdam doubled its lead six minutes later when a Morrisville defender redirected sophomore midfielder Conor Engle's header into his own net. The Bears carried the 2-0 lead into the break.

Benedetto tipped in a pass from freshman forward Chris Chiarella just 4:03 into the second half to give Potsdam its largest lead of the afternoon. The three-goal deficit didn't faze Morrisville as they finally got on the board 10 minutes later. Freshman midfielder Jeffrey Hado found sophomore midfielder Gilroy Alvarez at the left side of the net and he drove a shot between the legs of Bears senior goaltender Jake Gyder. At the 65:21 mark, Alvarez set up sophomore midfielder Joey Plummer to cut the lead to 3-2. The Mustangs continued to battle, but couldn't solve Gyder again.

In goal, Gyder and Larkin each finished with five saves. Morrisville outshot Potsdam 23-17.

The Bears (1-0) are back in action tomorrow as they take on the Castleton State Spartans in the Cup championship.

Spartans blank Hawks, 2-0

POTSDAM, N.Y. – The Castleton State Spartans (1-0) downed the Hilbert College Hawks 2-0 in the first round of the Potsdam College Cup this afternoon. Sophomore midfielder Daemon Young (Fairfax, Vt./BFA Fairfax) scored for the Spartans, while junior goalie Nate Koeneman (Montpelier, Vt./Montpelier) made four saves to earn a shutout.

Castleton came out of the gate strong and got a little luck to get on the board first.  In the 23rd minute, senior midfielder Trevor Kotrady (No. Clarendon, Vt./Mill River Union) sent a hard cross in front of the net. A Hawk defender charged in to clear the ball, but redirected it into the Hilbert net. The goal gave the Spartans some momentum  and they struck again with only four minutes remaining in the first half. Young scored off a pass from Nick Johnas (Nikayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna) at 40:52. Castleton took its two-goal lead into halftime, outshooting the Hawks eight to four.

Castleton showed a clear upper hand in the final period. The Spartan controlled the ball and dominated in the time of possession. Hilbert was able to create a few chances, but the Hawks couldn't capitalize. A shot off the crossbar from freshman Williams Mario in the closing minutes was a close as Hilbert got, as the Spartans sealed the 2-0 victory.

Castleton outshot Hilbert College 21 to 10. Hawk junior goalkeeper Jeremy Kraska (Elma, N.Y./Iroquois Central) tallied eight saves over the entire 90 minutes.

Castleton advances to face the host Bears in the championship tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., while Hilbert will battle Morrisville state for third place at the same time.