Athletic year filled with excitement


"The 2010-11 academic year proved to be memorable for Oswego State athletics. Some programs experienced their most successful seasons in school history, while others captivated fans with incredible moments. This year gave rise to a few fabulous freshmen and a troop of talented transfers, and it capped off the careers of many spectacular seniors.


"It all started in the fall, as the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the women’s field hockey team took their respective fields looking for successful campaigns. The men’s soccer team started off slowly, losing in the championship game of the inaugural Oswego State Men’s Soccer Tournament to Sage Colleges, 2-1. The Lakers started off 1-5-1 in their first seven games before rallying around head coach Bob Friske to win four of the team’s first six conference games. The Lakers would lose their remaining four conference road games to finish 5-10-1 overall.


"The women’s soccer team’s season was polar opposite to the season that the men’s soccer team experienced. The women’s soccer team won five of its first eight games, including an 8-1 victory over D’Youville College to open the season. Michelle Bateman served as last year’s freshman phenom of the Lakers, scoring 16 goals and collecting five assists. This year’s freshman phenom was again a product of the women’s soccer team, as Nikki Liadka led the team in scoring with 13 goals and three assists. Liadka recorded three game-winning goals, including her double-overtime goal with just 6.7 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 2-1 victory over visiting Nazareth College. Liadka and the Lakers ended the season on a sour note, finishing 1-7-1 in conference play.


"The women’s field hockey team struggled out of the gate and limped to the finish, but that did not mean the team did not give its full effort. Perhaps the most crushing defeat for the Lakers came against Utica College on Sept. 8, when Oswego State squandered a three-goal halftime lead, allowing four second-half goals to the Pioneers in a 4-3 loss at Laker Field. Head Coach Brandi Ostrander summed up the defeat by saying "What I’m hoping is that this never happens again…never again." Despite the 4-11 overall record, the Lakers had their share of exciting games. The women’s field hockey team found itself on the winning end of a 2-1 overtime game against SUNY Brockport. Sophomore Alyssa Hare tied the game at one with four minutes remaining in regulation before senior Brittany Roetzer scored the game-winning goal 2:45 into overtime for Oswego State’s only conference win of the season. Between Oct.1 and Oct.7, the Lakers compiled a 3-1 record, but went 1-10 in the rest of their games.


"Following a difficult loss to St. Norbert in the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four, the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team took the ice on Oct. 16 in a friendly exhibition against the Greater Metro Hockey League All-Stars. The Lakers routed the All-Stars, 17-0, in front of a sold-out Campus Center Ice Arena. Oswego State started its season strong, winning its first 12 games and first eight conference games. The student body fell in love with junior transfer Ian Boots, who netted the game-winning goal with 1:39 remaining in the third period against archrival SUNY Plattsburgh on Nov. 6, as part of the annual "Whiteout" game. Boots, a transfer from Division I Ohio State University, led the team in goals, assists and points. Boots finished the season with 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points. The Lakers struggled after losing starting goalie Paul Beckwith to a collarbone injury after a 4-0 win at SUNY Geneseo on Dec. 4. Oswego State lost back-to-back games against Hobart College and Hamilton College, allowing five goals in each game. The loss to Hamilton in the first round of the Pathfinder Bank Oswego Hockey Classic snapped a 25-game home winning streak. The Lakers recovered with eight straight wins, including two overtime wins on the road against SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Cortland. The Lakers completed the season sweep of the Cardinals for the second straight year with a 4-3 victory on Jan. 29 at the Ronald B. Stafford Arena. Morrisville State handed Oswego State its only conference loss on Feb. 12, a 5-2 decision at the Campus Center Ice Arena. Despite the loss, the Lakers finished 15-1-0 in conference play and earned home ice in the playoffs. The SUNYAC playoffs did not last long for the Lakers, as Fredonia’s Ben Waldman netted the game-winning goal for the Blue Devils in overtime to stun top-ranked Oswego State in the SUNYAC Quarterfinals. The Cardinals would claim the SUNYAC Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament the following week. The Lakers earned their second consecutive trip to the Frozen Four after defeating Bowdoin College in the NCAA Quarterfinals, but again came up short, losing to Adrian College, 5-3, in Minneapolis.


"Although its season may have ended in heartbreak, the Oswego State women’s ice hockey team experienced its most successful season in program history, finishing 13-10-3 overall and 8-7-3 in conference play. The Lakers opened their home schedule with a bang, tying seventh-ranked Elmira College, 1-1, thanks in part to senior goalie Emi Williams, who made 42 saves to preserve the tie. However, the season hit a sour note the following week after back-to-back ties against SUNY Cortland, games the Lakers thought they should have won. The two ties did not deter the Lakers, as they went undefeated in the month of December, sweeping a pair of two-game series against SUNY Potsdam and Sacred Heart University. The Lakers nearly recorded a huge upset against third-ranked Plattsburgh on Jan. 29, but came up just short in a 2-1 loss on the road. Two weeks later, the Lakers capped off conference play with a stunning 2-1 victory over top-ranked Rochester Institute of Technology during the Tigers’ Senior Night. Freshman Olivia Boersen scored the eventual game-winning goal 3:45 into the third period and Williams made 46 saves to notch the biggest win in program history. Besides Williams’ strong goaltending throughout the season, junior transfer Mackenzie Lee provided the Lakers with much needed offense. Lee, a transfer from Plattsburgh, led the team in points with 24 on 15 goals and nine assists. Oswego State’s season ended in double overtime during the first round of the ECAC West playoffs after Neumann’s Mariah Fairgrieve scored the game-winning goal at 13:18 of the period.


"The women’s hockey team was not the only program who experienced firsts, as the men’s basketball team qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Lakers defeated Wells College, 64-58, in the first round of the tournament before losing to Rhode Island College the following night, 71-63, at Max Ziel Gymnasium. Oswego State lost just five games all season and just once in conference play during the regular season. The Lakers’ lone conference loss during the regular season was a 75-73 double-overtime loss at SUNY Oneonta on Jan. 11. The Lakers ended the regular season on a 15-game winning streak that included a one-point win over Cobleskill, three-point wins over SUNY Brockport and Plattsburgh and a four-point win over Geneseo. Junior Chad Burridge led the team with 18.5 points per game and 50 blocks, and added 6.6 rebounds per game. Burridge was selected as the 2011 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) East District Player of the Year and was named to the Division III Men’s Basketball All-America Fifth Team. Second-year head coach Adam Stockwell was awarded with the NABC East District Coach of the Year. The Lakers came up short in their attempt to capture their first SUNYAC title in program history after losing 74-70 against Brockport in the SUNYAC Semifinal on Feb. 25. Buffalo State would go on to win the SUNYAC Championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


"The women’s basketball team did not experience the same type of success the men’s team did during the winter months. The Lakers started off strong, winning the first five games of the season, including the Max Ziel Women’s Basketball Tournament. But the Lakers struggled during conference play, going 8-10 and losing in the SUNYAC Quarterfinals to SUNY New Paltz, 69-54. Kayla Ryan led the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game, while Colleen McCready led the team in rebounds with 6.6 rebounds per game. Ryan became the ninth player in Oswego State women’s basketball history to join the 1,000-point club during a 68-53 loss to New Paltz on Feb. 15. The Lakers outscored opponents 748-746 during the first half, but were outscored by opponents 790-758 during the second half. The Lakers fared better on the road than at home, compiling a 5-5 road record and a 6-8 record at Max Ziel.


"The Oswego State men’s lacrosse team began its first season under new head coach Ryan Martin during the spring semester, starting off on a three-game losing streak, including blowout losses at St. John Fisher College and Wesley College. The Lakers would go on to win their next four games to climb above .500. The Lakers opened their home portion of their schedule with a 21-7 blowout win against Cazenovia College. Oswego State’s most memorable game came on March 30 at Utica College when senior Eric Zerrahn scored the game-winning goal 30 seconds into double overtime to give the Lakers a 7-6 victory. The Lakers finished 5-4 in non-conference games, but, like other athletic programs at Oswego State this season, struggled against conference opponents. Conference opponents have outscored the Lakers 81-41 in five games this season. The closest conference game this season took place on April 16, when the Lakers lost 10-9 against SUNY Oneonta. The Lakers overcame a five-goal deficit after the first quarter, but allowed Oneonta’s Mike Salerno to score the game-winning goal with just 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation to keep the Lakers winless in conference play.


"The women’s lacrosse team was eliminated from postseason play after an 18-7 loss at home against Geneseo on April 26, but the team has improved over the past few seasons under head coach Brandi Ostrander. The Lakers started the season off with a 16-11 overtime victory at Kean College on March 15. The win was followed by a close 15-14 victory over Clarkson University during the home opener on March 29. The Lakers got off to a slow start in conference play, losing 20-5 to SUNY Cortland and 19-6 to Buffalo State, but earned their first conference victory on April 12, with a 13-12 double overtime victory over Potsdam. The Lakers trailed 7-2 in the second half and battled back with seven unanswered goals to take a two-goal lead. Junior Rachael Raffa scored the game-winning goal with 1:34 remaining in double overtime. Raffa leads the team in points, goals and assists with 52 points on 36 goals and 16 assists.


"The youthful baseball team, with eight freshmen and 11 sophomores on the roster, started off hot in South Carolina and Florida, going 7-2 during the spring break trip. But when the team returned to New York, the Lakers went cold, going 8-15 overall and 1-14 in conference play. The Lakers only conference victory came against SUNY Cortland, a 3-1 win on April 14. If the Lakers only had to play non-conference opponents, Oswego State would be sitting pretty at 14-3 overall. Freshman outfielder Scott Buniak has been a bright spot on the roster, hitting .324 with 35 hits, 21 RBIs and 16 runs scored. Dan Erne has paced the pitching staff, compiling a 6-2 record in eight appearances. Erne has a 3.24 ERA, allowing 34 hits, striking out 32 and walking eight.


"Things looked promising for the softball team this season under first year head coach Casey Price, completing its spring break trip to Florida with a 4-5 record. Last season, the Lakers won just five games, two of which came in conference play. This season the Lakers have been able to surpass that win total, winning their sixth game during an 8-4 win in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Nazareth College. The Lakers have struggled since returning to New York, going 2-19 in their last 21 games. Although the team has struggled again this season, freshman pitcher Jessica Palmitesso tossed a no-hitter in Game 2 of a doubleheader against New Paltz on April 3. Palmitesso tossed the first no-hitter for Oswego State since 2002 and the first shutout since March 12, 2009.

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