Men’s soccer ends season with Senior Day defeat

Max Guliani moves ball down the field
Photo Provided by Jazmin Kukla, Sports Information

The Oswego State men’s soccer team ended its season with a hard-fought loss to SUNY Cortland Saturday, falling 3-2 in overtime.

In a game that had no effect on the Lakers’ place in the standings, pride was more of a factor on Senior Day. Celebrating the six seniors on the squad, the team came out firing and took a quick 2-0 lead halfway through the first 45 minutes.

Senior captain Bryan Pacchiana started the scoring early, recording his second goal of the season on 4:10 into the game. The play was set up by fellow senior midfielder German Collazo, who started despite battling a season-long injury. A free kick taken by Collazo started a scramble in the Cortland end, which led to Pacchiana’s goal.

Later in the half, sophomore forward Mike Naab set up sophomore midfielder Brendan Beisner for the second Laker goal of the game, giving them a solid cushion one quarter of the way into the game, and firing up the crowd of over one hundred.

Just under six minutes later the mood of the game changed drastically, as Cortland struck back with its first goal. At that point the game became much more physical, and the fouls more blatant. Cortland midfielder Steffen Jude earned a yellow card for a hard tackle, which opened the floodgates for the Lakers most-carded home game of the season.

Senior defenseman Lucas Pettit was given a yellow card in both halves, resulting in a red card and ejection from the game. Starting goalkeeper and senior Pat Breen was forced to charge out of the net on a breakaway, and subsequently took the forward for Cortland off of his feet. The referee went straight to a red card, which required junior goalkeeper P.J. Goodwin to replace him in net.

Cortland tied the game on the penalty kick given for Breen’s foul, which led to a halftime score of 2-2. In the second half the Lakers went down two men on Pettit’s second yellow, and played the last 30 minutes of regulation and all of the overtime period with eight fielders to Cortland’s 10.

“We can’t play down and injured…we got to be better,” head coach Bob Friske said of the team’s discipline.

Goodwin, after giving up the goal on the penalty kick, anchored the defensive stand throughout the second half, making seven of his eight saves in the half. A direct kick given to Cortland just outside of the box resulted in the first big save that Goodwin had to make, forcing the rocket of a shot up and over the crossbar.

Ten minutes later, Goodwin made the biggest stop of the day, diving to his left and stopping the second penalty kick by Cortland. After the game, Friske reiterated a point he has made all season.

“P.J.’s a great goalie, and he’s gonna be a good leader next year,” he said.

Despite a quad injury that has been nagging him all season Goodwin turned in one of his best halves. Turning away shot after shot, Goodwin frustrated a Cortland squad that expected a much easier battle in the second half. The end of regulation resulted in the peak of frustration for Cortland, who had to regroup during the break.

The strain of playing down two men was too much for the Lakers to handle in overtime. With 2:27 remaining in the overtime period, Cortland forward Chris McBride put a rebound into the back of the net, giving the Red Dragons the golden-goal victory. Prior to the goal, Goodwin made his last save of the season, a phenomenal diving save to his left once again.

Reflecting on the season, Friske focused on the team as a whole and looked forward to next season.

“I want to win this for the guys who didn’t make the playoffs,” he said. “These seniors made it two of their four years. This is a great team, and we’ll miss the seniors.”

Collazo, Pacchiana and Pettit, along with forward Max Guliani, defenseman Jake Honan and midfielder Ben Nix combined for 261 games in their careers. The Lakers finished the season with a record of 5-10-1.