Lakers fall short in home classic finals

Sophomore Mitch Brickman was a late switch from defense to midfield last season as Oswego State tried to add more speed up front.  (David Armelino | The Oswegonian)
Sophomore Mitch Brickman was a late switch from defense to midfield last season as Oswego State tried to add more speed up front. (David Armelino | The Oswegonian)

The Oswego State men’s soccer team started off its 2014 campaign with a second-place finish in the Oswego State Men’s Soccer Classic last weekend. The Lakers knocked off Cazenovia College in Friday’s first round before falling to Union College in the finals on Saturday.

After falling behind 2-0 due to an early second half goal as junior Jeff Cohen put the ball in the back of the net from substitute Kyle Strengel.

The Lakers were able to pull one back on a goal from sophomore Harrison Rieber. Rieber, who was named to the All-Tournament team, was able to beat a defender after a pass from fellow sophomore defender Brody Magro, and netted a shot past Dutchmen goalkeeper and MVP, junior Ryan Carter.

In the end, the Lakers’ effort was not enough. The Lakers applied immense pressure throughout the second half and had Union looking for answers. Despite creating a multitude of chances, the Lakers were unable to equalize and fell just short of tying the game.

The Lakers looked like the better side in the latter 45 minutes of the match. The Lakers were able to put five shots on target, making plays and threatening the Dutchmen goal all throughout the period. Carter stood tall in net, making saves on four of the five chances. Rieber’s lone goal was the only one allowed by Carter throughout the tournament.

It did not come easy for the Dutchmen though. The Lakers had two near misses as the second half drew to a close, hitting the post on both occasions. Sophomore Mitch Brickman came close on a set piece.

Looking back on the weekend, Rieber was honest, but still quite confident with the side’s performance.

Senior captain Michael Fuss has stepped up this season making hustle plays and scrambling form sideline to sideline as needed.  (David Armelino | The Oswegonian)
Senior captain Michael Fuss has stepped up this season making hustle plays and scrambling form sideline to sideline as needed. (David Armelino | The Oswegonian)

“We can take some positives and some negatives from the game today,” Rieber said. “We just have to turn those negatives into positives next time.”

The Lakers got off to a rough start. They were being dominated and had a few close calls. Ethan Strauss eventually put the Dutchmen ahead 1-0 on a deflected shot by Cohen.

After finally conceding, the Lakers started to turn the tide. They played a much better game afterward, even threatening the Dutchmen on some occasions. The Lakers went into halftime trailing 1-0.

“We just have to keep moving forward,” Brickman said. “We fought back and we pretty much won the second half, in my opinion.”

In the first game of the tournament, the Lakers faced the Cazenovia Wildcats.

In the second half the Lakers were the stronger side. Brody Magro scored the winner in the second half to put the Lakers up 2-1. Oswego State would not let the Wildcats threaten it for the remainder of the match.

Countless opportunities were created by the Lakers’ solid midfield play and an influx of creativity.

The Lakers got off to good start as both teams played evenly throughout most of the first half. The Lakers got on the board first with a goal from Rieber.

Rieber was able to settle a low cross off his chest from fellow sophomore, Mitch Brickman, and put the ball in the net to give the Lakers the lead.

Both squads attempted to gain control of the game as they continued to threaten the opponent’s defense. The Lakers held the lead for just under seventeen minutes until junior Conor Cahalan delivered an equalizer at the 28:01 mark of the first. Calahan scored on the far side of the goal off a cross from senior Corey McNair.

The game went into halftime tied, and it was turning into quite the chippy affair. The Lakers were called for multiple fouls in the first 45 minutes, including two yellow cards that were given to freshmen Connor Lunduski and junior Andrew Moorman.

Freshmen Tom Bartyzel joined his teammates with a booking of his own at the 76:23 mark. The Lakers entered the second half with plenty of motivation and energy, determined to take the victory.

Lakers’ head coach Bob Friske was pleased by how his team performed in both games this weekend and believes in his squad.

“I’m encouraged, and there is a lot to be looking forward to in this SUNY Oswego team,” Friske said. “All of these guys are good.”

Joining Rieber and Carter on the All-Tournament team were Union’s Sam Hunter, Cazenovia’s Taner Antonakos and Hilbert’s Matt Hamister.