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Women's soccer remains in hunt for playoff berth

by Carson Werner - Staff Writer
Tue, Oct 8th 2019 03:00 pm
Freshman Frenchesco Polcaro leaves a defender in the dust.
Freshman Frenchesco Polcaro leaves a defender in the dust.

After finishing 1—1 in last week’s opening SUNYAC homestand, The College at Brockport women’s soccer team tested its luck against conference foes yet again, this time on the road.

Following a common theme of the current season, both matches worked out to be low-scoring-affairs, giving Brockport its 10th and 11th matches with two or less goals scored. Over the two games against SUNY Potsdam and Plattsburgh State, the green and gold’s defense made its presence felt, but the offense failed to carry its weight. 

The Golden Eagles first faced the Potsdam Bears, who handed them a 2-1 loss in the 2018 regular season. It was only the second time Potsdam had beaten Brockport in the past decade. 

Looking for redemption, Brockport opened the game with a vengeance, scoring seven and a half minutes into regulation to take the early lead. Unassisted, freshman forward Kiley Longin scored her fifth of the year on the team’s first shot of the game. Just over 20 minutes later, Longin collected her second tally on an assist from junior defender Courtney Franz. 

Potsdam cut the deficit in half on a penalty kick with under eight minutes left before the end of the first half.

The second half was overrun with defense, causing the 2-1 score to remain until the final horn sounded. The Bears sent five shots at freshman goaltender Kayla Usborne, but only one went on net and Usborne held Potsdam without a goal in the second. The freshman goalie finished with five total saves. 

“We learned from some of the mistakes that we made in the first half,” sophomore midfielder Emily Davren said. “We realized that their strengths were in their center midfield so we used the outside of the field where they were weak.”

The victory made it two straight for the Golden Eagles and increased their record to 6—4—1. What used to be an automatic record-booster for Brockport has now become a thorn in its side as the two teams are now 2—2—1 over the past five seasons. Before suffering a loss in 2015, the Golden Eagles possessed a win streak that stretched over 12 years. 

Following the win, Brockport immediately traveled to Plattsburgh for a midday match against the struggling Cardinals. Like Brockport, Plattsburgh entered the game with three consecutive SUNYAC matches under its belt. The biggest difference between the two sides was Plattsburgh was still in search of its first conference win. 

The Cardinals opened with seven unanswered shots, including a goal, before Longin forced the opposing goaltender to make a save. In the 33rd minute, junior defender Marissa Greiner scored her second of the year to tie the game 1-1. Usborne made nine saves to reject Plattsburgh before heading into halftime. 

Similar to the day before, Brockport and its opponent held a strong defensive stance throughout the second half. Both sides managed five shots in the half and Plattsburgh was able to convert one into the game winner. With less than six minutes left in regulation, Plattsburgh senior forward Katie Matott drilled her second of the game to eliminate any chance of a Brockport comeback. 

After being a game ahead, the Golden Eagles evened out their SUNYAC record at 2—2 following the loss to Plattsburgh. The defeat was also Brockport’s second in a row at the Cardinals’ home field.

“It was a tough loss, but that’s the thing with the SUNYAC conference,” sophomore midfielder Ellen Walpole said. “Any team can beat any team, so it makes losses even tougher because we were so close to winning. That’s a huge thing for our team, it’s always about how we respond and learn from the past, not let the past dictate our future.”

Brockport’s next matchup will be on Friday, Oct. 11 at Buffalo State. Despite having have an identical record as the green and gold, the Bengals are in the midst of a three game win streak, including a double overtime victory over Plattsburgh. The Golden Eagles will close out the weekend with a game at SUNY Fredonia the next day. The Blue Devils are currently 4—5—2 on the season, but have defeated Brockport the past two years.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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