Lakers shut out again

Eric Widanka battles for the ball
Photo taken by Bill Portoghese | The Oswegonian

The Oswego State men’s soccer team dropped a tough decision to the College at Brockport on Saturday afternoon, losing 2-0.

Battling both the elements and their opponent, the Lakers failed to produce much offense and recorded only three shots on goal in the windblown contest.

Brockport scored one goal in each half, jumping out to an early one goal lead in the first 45 minutes and then moving the ball efficiently while working into the wind.

With 11 minutes gone in the first half, Brockport forward Paul Altobelli managed to slide a shot from the end line past Laker goalkeeper P.J. Goodwin. The ball slowly rolled across the goal line, with the aid of the wind. For the rest of the half, the Lakers were able to hold off the Golden Eagles with Goodwin repelling nine shots total.

In the second half, with the wind at their backs, the Lakers still failed to convert chances and keep the Golden Eagles pinned in their own end. Twenty five minutes into the half, Brockport put the game out of reach with solid, low passing and a quick finish from sophomore forward Chris O’Gorman. The shots on goal ended five to three in favor of the Golden Eagles, but the total shot count was 11-5, once again in the favor of Brockport. Each goaltender ended the game with three saves.

Goodwin, who has struggled with a quad injury, avoided kicking the ball throughout the game, punting the ball only once and grimacing in pain immediately afterwards.

“P.J. has battled through a nagging injury all year,” coach Robert Friske said. “He did an exceptional job all year in goal.”

The center backs handled all goal kicks for the Lakers, who struggled to push past midfield in the first half.

The young Lakers have been plagued by injuries all year, in any and all positions. Senior German Collazo, along with sophomores Ryan Tibbetts and Andrew McBride, all suffered season-ending injuries early, forcing other players to step up and fill leadership positions.

“I didn’t expect to lose German, Tibbetts, and McBride to season-ending injuries,” Friske said. “Along with that, a good majority of the team was consistently banged up, we resemble mash unit more than a soccer team.”

With a depleted lineup, the Lakers were forced to put a very young squad on the field.

“I expected us to be in close games all year, which we have been,” Friske said. “We started four, five, six freshman each game once our conference games started.”

The inexperience and youth of the Lakers showed against Brockport, as they were unable to possess the ball and move into the Golden Eagles’ end for the entire second half.

On a team that has failed to record a win in their last nine tries and has been shut out six times this season, the effort is still there.

“They are athletes, they love to compete, even as our team got banged up with injuries and we had to start playing freshman and reserves, the effort didn’t change depending on our record,” Friske said. “They are gamers.”

The loss moves the Lakers to 5-9-1 on the season, with only one game remaining against SUNY Cortland on Senior Day.

“This senior class made it to the playoffs two of their four years here,” Friske said. “I am proud that they had that opportunity and am looking to find ways to keep them involved. They are great guys and will surely be missed.”

The game against Cortland starts at 1 p.m on Saturday. They will celebrate the careers of their seven seniors at Laker Field.