Lakers grab first SUNYAC win in dramatic fashion

The Oswego State men’s soccer team defeated SUNY Potsdam in overtime on Friday afternoon at Laker Soccer Field to get its second win of the season and its first in SUNYAC play. In a match filled with late drama, the Lakers scored a goal in the first overtime period to walk off with a hard fought 2-1 victory.

After playing to a 1-1 draw in regular time, the Lakers and Bears had to go overtime to settle the game. Sophomore defender Josh Yager scored off a long throw in by senior Eric Widanka. He tapped the ball in with just 33.9 seconds remaining on the clock in the first overtime period.

In the beginning, both teams were trying to establish control of the game. The Lakers had some chances early, but it was the Bears that seized control of the match for a good chunk of the first half. No team scored in the first half, though some chances were created.

The second half would see both sides going back and forth to look for chances. Then, in what could be seen as the goal of the match, Lunduski took the ball in midair, deflected it once back in the air over a defender, and then before it came down, struck the ball on the volley right past Davies into the Potsdam net to put the Lakers up, 1-0. It was one of Lunduski’s three shots on the match, and it was the one that mattered most.

“It felt great to get that goal, especially since we’ve been struggling to score,” Lunduski said. “The team came out ready to play, ready to win, we knew we had to put our opportunities in. We’ve been struggling, but hopefully this turns it around. We have confidence now and we know we can compete against any team.”

After Lunduski’s goal, the Lakers had to dig in to protect their lead. With 15 minutes left in regulation, the Bears hit the post on a shot off a set piece. It was a close call for the Lakers as they were taking all the pressure they could get from the Bears.

The Bears tied the game on a goal from Alex Minsker two minutes later. The senior cut through the Laker defense and put one past Oswego State’s junior keeper Todd Lawson, who had four saves on the match, to tie the game at 1-1.

Drama ensued earlier in the overtime period as freshman Connor Lunduski, the Lakers other goalscorer on the day, was yellow carded for a rough challenge on Bears’ goalkeeper Nick Davies. The challenge was hard and left Davies on the ground for some time. Bears’ fans were clamoring for a red card. Fortunately for the Lakers, the referee did not see it that way and decided that Lunduski could continue. Sophomore Mitch Brickman also had a shot stopped by Davies earlier in the period.

After the game, Brickman was very pleased with the result and understood the implications of get the win heading into Saturday’s game at Laker Soccer Field against the SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals.

“It’s just fantastic, it was what we’re looking for, picking up those wins,” Brickman said. “I feel very confident going into the game tomorrow.”

The match between the Lakers and Cardinals is set to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.