Bears and Pioneers battle to scoreless draw
POTSDAM, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam women's soccer team (2-3-1) fought Utica College (1-3-2) to a scoreless tie on Sunday afternoon at Maxcy Turf Field. Pioneer freshman goalie Jamie Enders made seven saves for the shutout, while Bears freshman keepers Michaela Cole and Lauren Haase split a shutout with a save each.
Offense was tough to come by in the first half. The Bears outshot the Pioneers 5-3 in a tightly contested opening 45 minutes, but Utica got the only shot on goal. The best opportunities for both teams came on kicks awarded just inside the box. In both cases, the shots were blocked before they reached the goal and the period ended scoreless.
The defense continued to control the play in the second half, smothering scoring chances before they materialized. In the 72nd minute, Potsdam junior midfielder Kristin Webster launched a shot from the top of the box, but Enders made the stop and hauled in the rebound. Utica was awarded a corner kick with less than six minutes left in regulation, but the ball sailed over the net and out of play. The contest remained scoreless after 90 minutes.
The Bears came out energized to start overtime. Freshman forward Kaylen Van Wagner fired the opening salvo nearly two minutes in, but Enders corralled the attempt. Potsdam freshman forward Hailey Hollenbeck launched a shot high less than a minute later and Van Wagner had a close shot blocked to finish the early flurry. With about 30 seconds left Utica junior midfielder Alana Fitzpatrick got a weak shot away, but Haase picked it up without trouble.
In the second overtime, things evened out. The Bears put two shots on goal and held Utica to one as the clock ran out.
"I'm pleased that we've kept two clean sheets in a row (shutouts)," said Potsdam Head Coach Mark Misiak. "But we've got to do a better job in the penalty area attacking wise. In conference play you may get one to three good (offensive) chances per game and you've got to have the guile to take those chances. Although I'm please with the effort, mentality and attitude, we've got to get better in the box and quick. I also have to remind myself that today we started six freshman, three sophomores and two juniors. We're young and we make young mistakes, but credit the girls for playing so well at this young stage of their careers."
The Bears are back in action on Wednesday, when they host St. Lawrence University at 7 p.m.