GENESEO, N.Y.—Junior midfielder Conor Engle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) scored and senior goalkeeper Stefan Sloma (Niskayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna) made eight saves as the SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team (9-7-1, 3-4-1 SUNYAC) defeated SUNY Geneseo (6-8-3, 3-4-1) 1-0 on Friday afternoon. The victory was the Bears first over the Blue Knights since 1991 and matched the program's single-season wins mark set in 1983 (9-6). Most importantly it keeps Potsdam in the playoff hunt.
Geneseo came out firing in the first 20 minutes, but Sloma made several big saves to keep the Potsdam in the contest. Eventually the defense raised its game and the play evened out. The Blue Knights edged Potsdam 14-11 in shots in the first half, but the chances were nearly even. Sloma finished the half with six saves in the opening 45 minutes, while his Geneseo counterpart, Logan Calvey stopped four shots.
The Bears turned up the pressure in the second half and were rewarded. Just over eight minutes into the period, junior midfielder Alex Minsker (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) sent a corner kick into the box and Engle headed it home for the decisive tally. The Blue Knights controlled the play the last 20 minutes, but couldn't draw even.
Calvey finished the contest with seven saves. Geneseo outshot Potsdam 18-11 on the contest, but the shots on goal were 8-8. The Blue Knights doubled up the Bears 6-3 on corner kicks.
"They were much better than us during the first 20 minutes," said Potsdam Head Coach Adam Parker. "But the game evened out and we put Conor in at halftime. He's bigger than anyone else and headed it into the corner of the goal. They (Geneseo) controlled the play for the last 20 minutes, but we battled. It wasn't pretty, but we got it done. Stefan Sloma was very good for us tonight."
If the Bears can defeat Brockport tomorrow, they can clinch their second playoff berth in three years and third in school history. Potsdam can still get in with a loss and a combination of several other outcomes.
The Bears face the Golden Eagles at 10 a.m. tomorrow.