Gaining momentum

Special to the OBSERVER

Fredonia State moved up one spot in the SUNYAC women’s soccer standings and closer to a SUNYAC playoff berth with a 2-1 home win Saturday over the Plattsburgh Cardinals.

“I thought we played well today for the second day in a row,” Fredonia State coach Chris Case said. “We continued to create numerous scoring chances; we struggled with that early in the season. Overall we played a solid game.”

The Blue Devils, 3-0 winners Friday over Potsdam, improved to 2-4-1 in the conference and 4-9-2 overall. They also moved past Potsdam and into a tie with the Cardinals for seventh place, one point behind sixth-place Geneseo. Each team has two conference games remaining. The top six teams make the SUNYAC Tournament.

Freshman midfielder Kristie Kleine broke a 1-1 tie in the 60th minute following some nifty passing by her teammates. Freshman forward Alexis Moreland scored the Blue Devils’ first goal and freshman goalkeeper Hannah McGlinchey was credited with eight saves.

Vicky Scott scored for the Cardinals, who fell to 2-4-1 in the SUNYAC and 4-9-2 overall. Plattsburgh goalkeeper Kristy Kirkpatrick made seven saves.

Moreland opened the scoring with her fourth goal of the season in the 22nd minute. Kleine set up the play when she turned with a ball in the midfield and sent a lead pass into Fredonia State’s offensive end.

Moreland outran the Plattsburgh goalkeeper into open space and popped the ball over her right shoulder into the open net.

Kleine was credited with an assist.

The Cardinals took advantage of a free kick to pull even at 1-1. McGlinchey came off her line to play a high ball into the box. When she mishandled it, Scott pounced and drilled a low shot into the vacated net in the 40th minute.

Plattsburgh took the momentum into halftime and came out strong in the early stages of the second half. Fredonia State regained traction nearing the midway point and retook the lead on a play in which four Blue Devils touched the ball.

First, senior midfielder Maria Green played the ball wide up the right sideline, where junior defender Maggie Horan ran it down. Horan sent a cross into the middle of the field, where Moreland touched it off and kept it moving along. Kleine completed the play with a quick shot for her seventh goal of the season – and her third game-winner.

Horan and Moreland were given assists.

The Blue Devils had five other excellent scoring chances later in the second half, including a shot off the cross bar by Horan and a breakaway by Kleine, which Kirkpatrick thwarted. The late flurry enabled the Blue Devils to own an 18-13 advantage in shots. Plattsburgh had a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.

Six Fredonia State seniors were recognized during a pre-game ceremony. Appearing in their final regular-season home games were Green, defender Mary Bruton, midfielder Catie Hale, forward Kristi Putzig and defender Shannon Letina. Idled by injury, yet also recognized, was senior midfielder Zanna Barth.

“Today was senior day and we honored six seniors,” Case said. “Each of them had a good day. I was excited to see them play well in their final game at University Stadium.”

The Blue Devils will take final aim on securing a SUNYAC playoff spot with road games next Friday at New Paltz and next Saturday at Oneonta.

Cross Country

Men 8th at Oberlin, women finish 14th

OBERLIN, OHIO – The Fredonia State men’s cross country team finished 8th out of 31 teams at the Oberlin Inter-Regional Rumble on Saturday.

Junior Zakk Hess was the top finisher for the Blue Devils, placing 21st in a field of 277 competitors. Hess crossed the finish line in 26:01 on the 8k course.

Other finishers were Chris Shartrand (32nd, 26:20); Kyle Collins (43rd, 26:27); Collin Mulcahy (80th, 26:52); and Patrick Shenal (104th, 27:07).

Displacement runners were Steve Whittemore (116th, 27:17) and Cody Martini (128th, 27:26).

Bobby Over of Allegheny College was the top finisher in 25:01. New York University had the lowest team score.

Meanwhile, the Fredonia State women finished 14th out of 34 teams.

Senior Kim Foltz was again the top finisher for the Blue Devils, placing 35th in a field of 284 harriers. Foltz crossed the finish line in 22:38.

Other finishers were Anna Hourihan (58th, 23:06); Amanda Cocchiara (64, 23:13); Becca List (97th, 23:43); and Alissa Conti (106th, 23:50).

Displacement runners were Emily Palmeri (148th, 24:24) and Lauren Kotas (160th, 24:40).

NYU was the top team and Emily Cousens of NYU the top finisher in a time of 21:54.

Both the men and women’s teams will compete at the SUNYAC Meet in two weeks.

Men’s Soccer

Blue Devils fall Plattsburgh, 2-0

PLATTSBURGH – The Fredonia State men’s soccer team fell 2-0 on the road at Plattsburgh on Saturday.

The Devils dropped to 1-4-1 in SUNYAC play and 4-9-1 overall. Plattsburgh improved its record to 5-2-0 and 11-3-1.

Plattsburgh scored one goal in each half. The Cardinals outshot the Devils 18-12 and both teams had five corner kicks.

A.J. Grecco had 10 saves for Fredonia State.

The Devils are home next weekend to take on New Paltz and Oneonta.