Casey Ryder, Contributing Writer |
This past Saturday, the SUNY Oneonta men’s soccer team unfortunately lost to Oswego 5-4 in penalty kicks during the first round of the SUNYAC conference tournament.
As reflected by the score line, it was an extremely competitive encounter. Oswego dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes of the game which culminated in Oswego’s Kyle Gehnrich forcing a save out of Oneonta goalkeeper Nate Hanna. After that initial spell of dominance from Oswego, the Red Dragons were able to fight back. In the 19th minute, junior midfielder Ian Zingaro fired a shot from just outside the 18-yard box, but Oswego goalkeeper Brian Terra was equal to it, tipping it over the bar.
Then in the 27th minute, the Red Dragons were able to strike first as junior midfielder Ethan Brunell who, after some nice build up play from the team, received the ball from Matt Howe and ripped it from a distance into the bottom right corner past Terra to open the scoring. Just one minute after that, Oneonta had a chance to double their advantage when junior forward Lucas Fecci got on the end of a cross. Fecci hit it the on the volley but couldn’t get the right connection on and put it wide.
Through the rest of the first half, the game was mostly controlled by the Red Dragons and the team managed to create a few more opportunities. However, they were unable to strengthen their lead as all these chances either went over the bar or were stopped by Terra and as a result, the team went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
In the early stages of the second half, the game was pretty even between both teams. Then, in the 63rd minute Oswego won a throw-in near the corner flag in Oneonta’s half of the field. On the subsequent throw-in, Oswego’s Caleb Munski launched the ball into the 18-yard box and after the ball was initially headed away, it fell kindly to Oswego’s Hajoon Lee at the top of the box who hit it into the bottom left corner past Hanna to level the scoring.
The game remained extremely even for the rest of the second half with both teams creating goal scoring opportunities. However, neither team was able to capitalize and at the end of 90 minutes, the game headed to overtime.
Overtime is played in two 10-minute intervals and Oneonta had most of the possession in the first period. Ultimately, they couldn’t do much with their possessions and the game remained tied going into the second period. In the second period, Oswego managed to create a couple of opportunities for themselves, but Hanna was up to the task.
Subsequently the game headed to penalties. In the first four rounds every kick was converted. Then in the 5th round, junior defender Malcolm Swett stepped up for Oneonta and unfortunately his attempt hit the crossbar. This gave Brendan Murphy the opportunity to win it for Oswego. He made no mistake and scored Oswego’s fifth penalty kick.
Despite this disappointing end to the season, we couldn’t be prouder of the fight and courage that our boys showed in every single game this season. They are a phenomenal group of young men who can take tremendous pride in what they have achieved both on and off the field. Go Red Dragons!