Lakers split, stay in playoff race

Junior Tia Segretto (center) kicks the ball up the pitch during Oswego State’s match against Buffalo State last Friday afternoon. The hosts fell to the Tigers, 1-0.  (Perry Kennedy | The Oswegonian)
Junior Tia Segretto (center) kicks the ball up the pitch during Oswego State’s match against Buffalo State last Friday afternoon. The hosts fell to the Tigers, 1-0. (Perry Kennedy | The Oswegonian)

Just one day after suffering a devastating 1-0 loss on Friday against Buffalo State, the Oswego State women’s soccer team overcame an early deficit and secured a 2-1 win against SUNY Fredonia on Senior Day.

The Lakers fell behind within the first 12 minutes of action before knotting the score up at the half and taking the lead in the final 45 minutes.

At the 11:22 mark, Fredonia freshman Jordyn Ruston crossed the ball through the box to fellow freshman Alexis Moreland, who sent it home past Laker goaltender, senior Emily Varonier.

Oswego State evened the score when reigning SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Week sophomore Bailey Waterbury scored an unassisted goal, her fourth of the year, at the 27:54 mark.

The Lakers took the lead about 10 minutes later when Waterbury fed junior Tia Segretto who buried the shot in the back of the net to give Oswego State a 2-1 lead it would never relinquish.

The goal was Segretto’s sixth of the year, which is good for second on the team behind senior captain Nikki Liadka  who has 10.

The score remained 2-1 at the half, though Oswego State dominated possession. The Lakers fired off 10 shots in the first period, compared to just three from the Blue Devils.

Fredonia made a strong push to even the score in the second half, tallying six shots, while the Lakers only recorded three.

However, Varonier managed to save every shot that reached the net to secure the victory for Oswego State.

The Lakers needed to secure the victory against a conference opponent after dropping Friday’s contest 1-0 to SUNYAC rival Buffalo State.

Buffalo State defender Katie Shaw headed home the winning goal less than five minutes into overtime, as her tally was the only goal in a bitter 1-0 overtime loss for the Lakers.

Though the Lakers held a 12-7 shot advantage, they were shutout for the second game in a row after losing at home to SUNY Potsdam 2-0 on Oct. 5. The first major chance for the Lakers came in the 17th minute when freshman midfielder Emily Gleason sent the ball toward the goal from the top of the 18-yard box.

The ball deflected a number of times in the box before until Bengal goalkeeper Linda Banfield was able to grab it. Six minutes later, Gleason sent a header from the top of the 18-yard box that was sent wide of the net.

The Lakers failed to dominate possession the way they had in previous games, but still managed to keep pressure on the Bengals’ defense throughout the game. Assistant coach Gabby Ariola said the team struggled to finish.

“We need to be more composed when we’re in front of the goal, take our shots, take the girls on,” Ariola said.

The Lakers did not get much production from their top scorers. The goal-scoring foursome of junior Bri Dolan, Segretto, Waterbury and Liadka combined for only two shots on goal, both from Waterbury.

Buffalo State held a large size advantage, but Ariola said her team was ready for the challenge.

“[Buffalo State] won a lot of balls in the air, but our girls did well at midfield trying to contest with them.”

Despite some questionable officiating, Ariola said it did not impact the outcome of the game.

“We were getting pushed around quite a bit,” Ariola said. “I don’t think it affected the outcome of the game. It’s part of the game. They just have to learn to be physical right back.”

The Lakers performed well on defense to keep the game close. They surrendered only seven shots on goal throughout the game, most of them slow rollers that Laker goalkeeper, sophomore Alyssa Glasshagel easily scooped up.

“I think defensively, we played very well today,” Ariola said. “It was one of the best games I’ve seen defensively out of our team. [Buffalo State’s] a physical team and we matched that pretty well.”

The Lakers received a strong performance from freshman forward Nicole Perniciaro, who has seen her playing time increase lately. She substituted for Bri Dolan in the 31st minute and played until the overtime period.

“She’s playing really well,” Ariola said. “She came in as a walk-on and she’s been really impressive and she’s getting better every day. It’s helping out a lot having her come off the bench.”

Perniciaro had a chance to win the game for the Lakers when, in the 87th minute, she dribbled the middle of the field, shook off a defender and found some space to advance the ball to the 18-yard box. She sent the ball toward the far post, but the ball sailed wide of the net.

Despite receiving the loss, Glasshagel had another strong game in between the posts with five saves.

She dominated the 18-yard box, being forced on numerous occasions to run out to the top of the box to flag down errant crosses and thru-balls.

In the 60th minute, Glasshagel came up huge for the Lakers, making a save on a breakaway shot against senior Bengal forward Shaunta Pyles.

Oswego State’s weekend split gives it an 8-5 record (3-3 SUNYAC). The Lakers currently sit in fifth place in the SUNYAC standings with nine conference points.

They trail Buffalo State (12 points), SUNY Oneonta (12 points), SUNY Cortland (11 points) and The College at Brockport (10 points).

The Lakers have played all their home games this season and have three road contests remaining before the postseason.

Oswego State has a chance to make up some ground in the SUNYAC standings when they travel to Brockport today for a conference match against the Golden Eagles at 3 p.m.