Lakers salvage weekend split

Amanda-Malone-attempts-clear-passed-ball

The Oswego State women’s soccer team split a pair of home weekend contests against two non-conference opponents. The Lakers dropped a 2-0 affair Friday against Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and fought off a hard-nosed Muhlenberg squad 2-1 on Saturday.

The Lakers struggled to find their offense on Saturday afternoonas RIT scored two late goals for the win.

Both sides were scoreless through 84 minutes before RIT broke through. Alexa Martinez put the Tigers on the board in the 85th minute after she picked up a loose ballfollowing a corner kick.Martinez fired a shot through traffic in the box that found the top left corner of the net.

Sarah Frisicano added an insurance goal for the Tigers in the 89th minute on a long free kick. The ball sailed high and dropped just overthe outstretched hand of Laker goalkeeper Toby Klein, who made several saves throughout the match that kept Oswego State in the game. She finished with five saves on the afternoon. Ashley Valenti recorded four saves in the shutout for the Tigers.

"I thought we played well but weren’t able to get on the board," coach Brian McGrane said.

The regular starting goalkeeper Christina Fregosi was attending a wedding so captain Toby Klein stepped into a familiar position in net.

"Toby (Klein) is athletic, she’s played in net before and knows how to handle it," McGrane said.

"I was really nervous but what made it easier was everyone believed I could do it," Klein said.

According to McGrane the team wasn’t as sharp on Sunday as Saturday, but he was pleased the team was able to come away with a victory.

"I thought (Sunday) we had a good effort but I thought the game was sloppy," McGrane said. "We never seemed to be able to possess more than one or two passes."

Melissa Sluka’s goal in the 85th minute proved to be the difference makeras the Laker women’s soccer team won in thrilling fashion 2-1against visiting Muhlenberg College Sunday afternoon. The win moved the Lakers to 2-2-0 on the season, while the Mules fell to 0-2-2.

Despite being outshot 14-7, Oswego State made the most of its scoring chances, putting three shots on goal, resulting in two scores. The Lakers jumped out to an early lead in the 17th minute when sophomore Shelly Bateman pushed the ball up the right side to sophomore Leah Malbeuf, who found a crossing Nikki Liadka.Her shot wentinto the right side of the net past Mule goalkeeper Michele Toher. Oswego State maintained the 1-0 lead heading into the half.

Klein and Liadka thought the difference in the team’s mentality made them more successful Sunday.

"Our attitude was better today," Klein said. "We were more focused on playing well and getting shooting opportunities."

"We were more excited and ready to be here," Liadka added.

Muhlenberg raced out of the intermission as it controlled possession. The Mules knotted the scoreat one in the 49th minute off a Laker turnover in their defensive end. Meghan O’Grady corralled the loose ball on the right side finding a streaking Nicolette Miller,whobeat Laker goaltender Christina Fregosi.

The Laker defense withstood continual pressure throughout the second halfbefore breaking through for the game-winning goal. At the 84:08 mark, Liadka crossed a ball on net that wasstopped by Mule goalkeeper Amanda Wong. Wong poked the ball away, but Sluka was in the right spot for a well-placed header into the top right corner of the net.

"I knew Nikki (Liadka) would be able to beat her girl and cross it or have a shot," Sluka said. "I just wanted to be there in case the goalie bobbled it, which she did."

Toher allowed one goal in net, whileregistering no saves for Muhlenberg. Wong, who replaced her at the start of the second half, allowed one goal and stopped one shot. Fregosi finished with three saves and gave up one goal in the victory.

Following a 4-2 victory at SUNY Cobleskill on Wednesday afternoon, Oswego State returns home on Saturday, Sept. 18 when it hosts SUNY Cortland in what McGrane calls "the biggest game of the year." The game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.