The Oswego State women’s soccer team split its weekend games against SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Potsdam. The Lakers (7-4, 2-2 SUNYAC) fell 2-0 against Potsdam (4-6-1, 1-2 SUNYAC) on Saturday after defeating the Cardinals (3-7-1, 1-2 SUNYAC) 2-0 on Friday.
On Saturday, the Lakers struggled to build anything offensively against Potsdam and fell behind early.
Potsdam freshman Hailey Hollenbeck put her team ahead about 21 minutes into play when she chipped a high-arching ball from the top left of the 18 that Laker sophomore goalkeeper Alyssa Glasshagel misread.
“I still don’t even know what happened on the goal,” Oswego State head coach Brain McGrane said.
The Lakers’ deficit increased to two just four minutes later when sophomore midfielder Jess Sterns forced a turnover, switched the ball to her right foot and blasted it past Glasshagel to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
“We gave up two terrible goals,” McGrane said. “The second goal was a decent shot, but nonetheless, we gave them too much space. If you break down and give a team too much space they’re going to bury you.”
The Lakers’ usually dynamic offense struggled to come back and put the ball in the net. McGrane said the team needed to come out and play with more energy, especially with so much on the line in an important conference game.
“We came out flat and they made us pay,” McGrane said. “Players, for whatever reason, just didn’t come to play and that’s really, really disappointing.”
The Lakers did not lack for scoring opportunities. In the 19th minute, senior forward Nikki Liadka, sent a pass to open junior Tia Segretto who was streaking to the front of the net. However, Segretto’s shot was kicked off the line by Bears defender Marissa Skaczkowski.
In the 44th minute, sophomore Bailey Waterbury took a shot from 30 yards out that beat Bears goalie Michaela Cole, but rang off the crossbar. In the 56th minute, Sterns used a header to prevent a sure goal off a Laker corner kick.
The Lakers dominated possession of the ball in the second half, but struggled to get shots on goal. As time began to work against them, the Lakers tried to send the ball over the Bears’ defense and use their speed to get in front of the play, but to no avail.
“If you’re not dictating play, you can possess all you want, but it’s very easy defensively when you just send the ball in,” McGrane said. “We wanted to get their backs under a little bit of pressure, but we played the balls too short.”
Liadka, the Lakers’ leading scorer, led the team with eight shots despite a nagging quad injury that led to a more reduced role.
Liadka missed two golden opportunities in the last 10 minutes of the game. In the 83rd minute, the senior advanced the ball down the right side of the 18, but shot the ball right to Cole’s chest.
Two minutes later, Liadka again found herself alone in the same spot and sent the ball wide of the far post.
Oswego State’s loss to Potsdam came one day after a convincing win against its conference rival, Plattsburgh.
The Lakers set the tone early and dominated possession in the first half, which led to goals from Segretto and freshman Nicole Perniciaro within the first 30 minutes of action.
In the 17th minute, Waterbury led Segretto down the right side with a brilliant ball straight to her feet.
Segretto pushed the ball past a defender, dribbled along the goal line, and placed a shot low near post past Cardinal goalkeeper Kristy Kirkpatrick.
The goal was Segretto’s fifth of the season, which is second on the Lakers behind Liadka.
“I saw my opportunity,” Segretto said. “No one from their team was sliding in, so I just took it right in.”
Perniciaro doubled the Lakers lead in the 28th minute, when she ran into the box and got on the end of Bri Dolan’s pass from the right corner.
The goal was the freshman forward’s first of her collegiate career.
“Everyone worked up the field,” Perniciaro said. “I saw the opportunity and it just happened to go in. I’ve been waiting. It’s exciting.”
The young defensive line for the Lakers continued to perform well, recording its sixth shutout of the season.
“We got them a couple of times on the offsides trap,” freshmen defender Katie Schulz said. “Georgia [Traynor] is the stepper and I’m the chaser. Georgia does a really good job stepping up and I like to chase the ball and get it back.”
Schulz is developing into a strong defender and leader for Oswego State and she showed why against Plattsburgh.
She was matched up against Plattsburgh’s second leading scorer, Diana DiCocco, most of the game and held her to only two shots.
Schulz credited her veteran teammates for her play this season.
“One thing is listening to the older girls because they’ve been in these situations before,” Schulz said. “I’ve learned a lot from them.”
Glasshagel established herself as the starting goalie and showed why on Friday. She had seven saves against Plattsburgh and is 4-2 on the season.
“I thought she was great,” McGrane said. “We talked last spring about what she needed to do and from day one of the preseason she’s been unbelievable.”
The Lakers will host a tough Buffalo State team (6-3-1, 2-1 SUNYAC) on Friday before facing off against SUNY Fredonia (2-6-2, 0-2-1 SUNYAC) on Saturday during Alumni Weekend.
Saturday’s game is Senior Day, which will be the last home games for goalie Emily Varonier, defender Raquel Vescio and Liadka.
Oswego State currently sits in fifth place in the SUNYAC standings and needs to remain in the top six to clinch a playoff berth.