Oneonta Ends Saint Season in Double Overtime
Freshman midfielder Justin Rivera scored his fifth goal of the season with 3:31 left in the second sudden-death overtime period, giving Oneonta State a 2-1 win over St. Lawrence University in game one of the NCAA Division III Northeast Sectional, advancing the Red Dragons to Sunday's quarterfinals.
The Red Dragons, who lost their season opener to St. Lawrence on Sandy MacAllaster Field, handed the Saints their first loss of the season and ran their own unbeaten streak to 18 games. Oneonta will play the winner of a game between Babson and Rutgers-Camden in Sunday's quarterfinal game at 1 p.m.
"Its been a pretty good run," said Oneonta coach Ian Byrne following Saturday's rematch with the Saints. "We were kind of hanging on in the first half, but we did have some chances. We are two evenly matched teams and either team could have won either game this season."
"For some reason we came out a little bit slow," said Saint coach Bob Durocher. "It took a while to get in rhythm, but we started to move the ball better in the second half. It is tough to lose, but the guys had a helluva season. People stepped up all season long, and for what we lost due to injuries, getting this far surpassed by expectations."
Neither team scored in the first half with Oneonta playing with the wind. The Red Dragons got just one shot through to SLU goalie Brian Abernethy, which he saved, and while the Saints had some chances, Oneonta goalie Max Siegelman was able to stop all four shots on goal.
The Saints came out strong to start the second half, but Brian Gilloran was just wide on a header with 30 minutes left in the half and Siegelman knocked aside a shot by Sam DeMello on a restart six minutes later. The Dragons finally opened the scoring at the 73:08 mark as junior midfielder Jeff Christian hit a hard shot from 22 yards out which went over a leaping Abernethy and into the upper right hand corner of the net.
St. Lawrence, which finishes its season 18-1-1, came back to tie the game just over four minutes later as DeMello scored his 14th of the season off a corner kick play. JJ Tipton made a short corner kick out to senior Mike Manfredi about 20 yards out and Manfredi sent a ball into the goal area which DeMello headed past Siegelman to tie the game at 77:20.
The Saints nearly went ahead minutes later in a wild scramble following a corner but Siegelman managed to keep the ball out of the net while on his back and his defense cleared a second SLU scoring attempt. SLU nearly found the go-ahead goal again with 5:30 left in regulation when Gilloran went in alone, but his shot sailed outside the far post.
Neither team scored in the first overtime period with Oneonta getting off three shots to one for the Saints. Rivera's game-winning play came as a ball deflected off a Saint defender and he turned inside at the top of the penalty area and rifled a shot to the left corner for the win.
Siegelman finished with nine saves for the Red Dragons while Abernethy had six for the Saints. SLU had a slight 19-18 edge in total shots and the Saints had an 8-7 edge in corner kicks.