Andrew Dawson, Staff Writer |
The Oneonta men’s lacrosse team kept their undefeated streak alive after they played SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday, Apr. 16. It was a home game for the Red Dragons, and they didn’t disappoint by playing strong defense and creating open looks at the goal. The final score was 13-6, improving the Red Dragons’ record to 4-0.
One of the keys to the Red Dragon’s hot streak is by starting off the games strong. In the first three games of the season, the Red Dragons took first blood at the beginning of the game. However, the start to this game didn’t go as planned. Plattsburgh’s Brian Pohoreckyj recorded his third goal of the season within the first four minutes of the contest. Some of the players looked surprised by how fast the goal was scored. It was the quickest Oneonta has given up a goal this entire season.
Oneonta answered back later in the first quarter. Two minutes after, Oneonta tied the game when senior Andrew Hodgens ripped the ball into the upper right corner of the goal. This was Hodgens’ second goal of the season and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. The goal rejuvenated the Red Dragons and gave them all the momentum.
The Red Dragons took control of the game later in the first quarter and never looked back. With only six minutes left to go in the first, senior Thomas McRae scored an unassisted goal. McRae plays the attack position and he didn’t disappoint, recording his ninth goal in only four games. Then Oneonta added another point to their lead by scoring a goal only a minute later. Oneonta’s other attack player, sophomore Connor Gallagher, scored after a great pass by his teammate McRae. The Red Dragons would then add one more point to their lead after junior Dean Cannon squeezed the ball past Plattsburgh’s goalkeeper. This goal helped give Oneonta a comfortable lead, but this game was not over. The last time Oneonta faced Plattsburgh, the Red Dragons won the game 10-9 on a last-minute goal in the fourth quarter.
Oneonta ensured it wouldn’t make the same mistakes it did in the first game against Plattsburgh by keeping their foot on the gas early in the second quarter. Oneonta scored four additional runs in the second, two by Cannon. Cannon’s first goal in the second quarter ruined any hope Plattsburgh had to win this game. Cannon’s goal came quickly with only three minutes passing in the quarter. His goal gave Oneonta a comfortable 6-1 lead. While it was still early in the contest, Plattsburgh seemed to have lost all hope in beating the undefeated Red Dragons.
Oneonta added to their lead by scoring five more points in the final two quarters to beat Plattsburgh 13-6. Plattsburgh tried to mount a comeback in the second half by matching Oneonta’s two goals in the third and three goals in the fourth. However, Plattsburgh couldn’t overcome their poor defensive performance in the first half.
The player of the game for the Red Dragons was Cannon. Cannon had an outstanding performance, scoring five goals on 15 shots. Another player that had an impressive game for Oneonta was junior Jordan Berson. Berson is Oneonta’s goalkeeper, and he was one of the main reasons Oneonta was able to beat Plattsburgh. Berson played all 60 minutes and recorded 15 saves.
Head coach Pete Owens said in an interview after the game, “Another quality defensive performance anchored by our goalie Jordan Berson.” Owens later said, “We shot the ball better today, which we needed to and Dean’s skills that we have seen in practice showed up on game day. But today was about our seniors who led us to victory. I am so proud of them.”
Oneonta’s lacrosse team proved once again that they are a powerhouse team in this division. They have outplayed every team in their path so far and clinched their first playoff berth since 2015. Oneonta looks to continue their success when they play SUNY Potsdam on Friday, Apr. 23. The game will be played in Potsdam at 4 p.m. If you would like to watch the game, visit the Oneonta Athletics website and they will provide the link to the game.