Casey Ryder, Contributing Writer |
The SUNY Oneonta men’s soccer team improved its record to 5-0-1 on Friday, Sept. 24 with a 3-2 victory over SUNY Geneseo. Two goals came from junior forward Lucas Fecci with the other coming from junior defender Ethan Brunell.
In the first half, the Red Dragons dictated the game and created most of the chances. They were rewarded for their good play in the 20th minute when Brunell, got forward from right back, and scored off what appeared to be an attempted cross to give Oneonta a 1-0 lead. For the rest of the half, the team created a few more chances but they were unable to convert any of them. At the other end of the half, goalkeeper Nate Hanna was rarely threatened by Geneseo.
The second half is where things became a bit nerve-racking for our Red Dragons. Set pieces would prove to be an area of vulnerability for the team and the first instance of that was in the 62nd minute when Geneseo’s Adam Astarita headed in a goal off a free kick to tie the score at 1. However, 3 minutes after that Brunell and senior forward Jeremy Pantoni combined on the right wing, allowing Brunell to cross the ball into the box and find Fecci. Fecci put the ball into the back of the net to restore Oneonta’s one goal advantage. However, just 3 minutes after that happened, Geneseo won a corner kick which lead to Matt Volz scoring to make it 2-2. In the 86th minute, Oneonta won a corner kick of their own. Brunel whipped the ball in and Fecci was at the back post to give the Red Dragons the lead. Fecci headed the ball in and Oneonta went up 3-2. They managed to hang on for the remaining minutes of the game and come away with the 3-2 victory.
“I thought we played really well at times,” SUNY Oneonta head coach Iain Byrne said after the game. “In the first half I thought we were very good, second half you just know that they’re going to come at you. It’s the first conference game, there are no easy conference games and they sure did. We conceded two set pieces which as a coach you’re never happy about, but we showed character, we came back twice and at the end we got the winner. It was Fecci’s day and he’s started the season fantastically well.”
As for the man himself, Fecci said after the game “It wasn’t the nicest win we could get but a win is a win. It’s the first game of the conference. They’re always going to be tough, the SUNYAC is a tough division and so we were able to just dig it out and get the win.” Speaking about his goals he said “Ethan made a great run. They (Brunell and Pantoni) had a little one two, I forgot who else he was with, but he played a good ball across and I was able to stick my foot in there and bang it in and for the second one it was a great ball and I was able to use the defender to my advantage and just put it back.”
Oneonta plays Plattsburgh on Friday, Oct. 1 at 4:00 on the Red Dragon Field. Go down and cheer on the Red Dragons!