Sophomore Dan Hunt's goal in the 68th minute proved to be enough for the nationally-ranked #19 St. Lawrence University men's soccer team to edge Plattsburgh State in a nonconference match at Sandy MacAllaster Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Saints improve to 12-2-2 (6-1) on the season as junior goalkeeper Aaron Costello tied the program's record for shutouts in a season with his 13th of the year.
Plattsburgh (12-5-1, 6-3) nearly tied the game in the final minutes, but Fabian Chaparro's bid from inside the box hit the crossbar. Meanwhile, sophomore goalkeeper Mitchell Jordon was solid in net for the Cardinals, making five saves but suffered the loss to move to 8-4 on the season.
St. Lawrence and Plattsburgh battled a slick field throughout the first half, with neither team being able to generate much offense, despite St. Lawrence controlling the majority of play. Plattsburgh's best opportunity in the opener was with about 3:00 minutes left as Steve Zacharczyk flicked the ball over the St. Lawrence defense to Joe Artari into the box. Saints' goalkeeper Aaron Costello came off his line to take the ball before Artari could gain possession.
The Saints opened the second stanza with more energy, getting off three solid chances in the first five minutes but still not being able to capitalize. In the 55th minute St. Lawrence had another dangerous series of shots that started with Morgan Smith's bid off a restart from about 30 yards out. Plattsburgh's goalkeeper Jordon made the initial save and then stopped two quick shots off the rebound from Jamal Samaroo to keep the Saints off the board.
St. Lawrence, however, finally broke through in the 68th minute as Dan Hunt scored his third goal of the season. Junior assistant captain Mark Provost took a hard shot from the top of the box that was deflected to Hunt, who beat Jordon low for what ended up being the game-winner.
Plattsburgh had a chance to tie the game in the final minutes when a scramble in front of the net kicked the ball out to Fabian Chaparro at the top of the box. Chaparro's hard shot beat Costello but ricocheted off of the crossbar.
St. Lawrence owned hefty advantages in shots (21-1) and corner kicks (5-0) in the contest. The Saints are looking to clinch the regular season Liberty League title on Saturday at 1pm with a win against Clarkson. Plattsburgh, meanwhile, will face Buffalo State in the opening round of the SUNYAC tournament on Saturday. The fourth seeded Cardinals host the Tigers at 1pm.