Women’s soccer sweeps tough SUNYAC opponents in crucial two-game homestand

Sophomore forward Rachel Allen’s two goals helped cap off a great weekend for the Oswego State women’s soccer team, defeating SUNY Potsdam 3-0 for their second victory in as many days.

The thought of a potential emotional letdown following the upset victory against SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday were thwarted early when Allen netted her first goal of the game in the sixth minute. Allen’s shot narrowly snuck over the left side of the goal line as Potsdam’s senior goalie Sarah Casey frantically tried to chase down the ball.

Despite the early goal for the Lakers, Potsdam (6-4-1 overall, 0-4-1 SUNYAC) weathered the storm and matched Oswego State’s intensity for the remainder of the first half. The Bears’ best scoring opportunity came in the 27th minute when sophomore midfielder Dedra Palmer’s shot ricocheted of the crossbar and over the net. Four offside calls and four fouls for the Lakers in the first half denied them opportunities to break the game open.

"We knew coming in that we were going to start off a little slow based on the performance yesterday, tired legs and everything else," head coach Brian McGrane said. "It helped that we got off to a 1-0 start early. We never really felt too threatened."

The mistakes that the Lakers committed in the first half were addressed at halftime, as Oswego State played a nearly flawless second half. The Lakers dominated possession throughout the entire half, limiting the Bears to just two shots. Potsdam, like Oswego State, had played the day before and it showed. The Bears’ defense appeared to be running on tired legs, as holes in the defense were easily exploited by the Laker offense.

In the 56th minute, Allen corralled a pass from senior forward Tricia Sullivan and buried it into the left side of the net for her second goal of the game. Casey came out of her net to take away Sullivan’s shooting angle, leaving a wide open net for Allen once she received the pass.

"I tried really hard [to score a] third goal but I guess it just wasn’t in the stars for me," Allen said. "We all went into the game knowing that we needed to win this to potentially make it to the SUNYAC playoffs, so we all worked really hard as a team."

The offensive barrage continued shortly after the second goal, with the Lakers firing three shots on goal and one header that went just wide of the net in a span of just three minutes. The Lakers would not be denied, as Sullivan scored the team’s third goal in the 62nd minute. The goal was set up by freshman forward Michelle Bateman, who delivered a perfectly placed cross from the right side of the field. Sullivan controlled the pass and easily put the ball into the back of the net. Casey, who found herself out of position on the third goal, was replaced by senior Nicole Volpi for the remainder of the game.

"We wanted to carry the momentum over from yesterday," Sullivan said. "We wanted to come in strong and focused and ready to win. We have a lot of confidence now with the two wins this weekend. I think we’re getting really comfortable with each other and the style of play we want to do."

On the other side of the field, Oswego State freshman goalie Christina Fregosi continued her strong play in goal, as she recorded her second consecutive shutout and fourth of the season. After a career-high 15 saves in a win against Plattsburgh, Fregosi added four more saves, bringing her season total to 49.

Oswego State (6-5-0 overall, 2-1-0 SUNYAC) may have saved their season with two vital SUNYAC games. The Lakers came into the weekend sitting at the bottom of the SUNYAC at 0-1, and now they find themselves tied for fifth with SUNY Fredonia at 2-1. With two victories in conference play, the Lakers have already surpassed their conference win total from last season, when the team went 1-6-1.

"We wanted to get no less than four points this weekend to keep pace with the rest of the SUNYAC teams," McGrane said. "We got the maximum of six points, so we’re really happy with the performance.

The Lakers continue their homestand this weekend when they host Buffalo State on Friday, Oct. 9 and SUNY Fredonia on Saturday, Oct. 10.