Bears, Red Dragons women's soccer battle to 1-1 draw
POTSDAM, N.Y.--- The SUNY Potsdam women's soccer team (9-2-1, 2-1 SUNYAC) battled with the Cortland Dragon's (6-3-2, 2-1) for 110 minutes in a game that ended in a 1-1 draw. The Bears defense was on point for the majority of the game with sophomore goalkeeper Gabby Hobika (New Hartford, N.Y./New Hartford) leading the way with four saves, three coming in the crucial moments of the first and second overtimes. Although Cortland struggled in the first half, they kept their composure and it led to scoring opportunities in the first overtime. However, the teams were evenly matched and neither had a significant advantage in shots (13-11), thought the Bears finished with a 6-1 edge in corner kicks.
Potsdam jumped in front early in the game with a bit of luck when a Cortland defender deflected the ball into the goal after an attempted cross by senior fielder Rylie Murray (Berkley, Mitch./Berkley) at the 1:18 mark. The own goal helped take the Red Dragons out of their rhythm, which along with the Bears stifling defense contributed to their struggles early in the period. The visitors began to pick up the tempo in the middle of the half with a couple of good scoring opportunities and was able to score with 18 minutes to go. Senior midfielder Casey Schmitt (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Mount Sinai) broke free from the Bears defense. Her breakaway drew out Potsdam sophomore goalkeeper Gabby Hobika (New Hartford. N.Y./New Hartford) and Schmitt capitalized to even the game. The Dragon's nearly completed their first half comeback when sophomore fielder Erin Valente (Latham, N.Y./Wantagh) got a good angle at the goal and delivered a bullet, but Hobika read the play well and dived in front of the ball for her first save of the afternoon. The period ended at a goal apiece heading into the second half.With the game tied, both teams came out more aggressive, but Potsdam was more consistent due to their continuous attack on while moving the ball well. On the defensive end, Cortland sophomore goalkeeper Danika Svendsen (Stillwater, N.Y./Stillwater) had a couple of great saves in the second half. One coming when sophomore Lexi Dean (Marlboro, N.Y./Marion) chased down the ball and got past a Cortland defender and kicked a fastball through a crowd of red jerseys. However, Svendsen was there to scoop up the ball. The speed of the Dragon defense also was able to get them their first corner at the 79:35 mark, but the attempted didn't create a shot and the teams hung tough as time expired.
Cortland went into overtime with a great amount of energy and intensity as they got their first scoring opportunities since early in the first half. The most notable coming when Valente sent a long ball to Hobika but the keeper blocked it. Potsdam had one last opportunity to seal the game in the first overtime with a corner kick by Dean, but Svendsen was there to keep the game even after 100 minutes.
Hobika continued to stop Cortland in the second overtime. Senior fielder Vanessa Romero (Valhalla, N.Y./Valhalla) challenged her but the Bears keeper was able to scoop up the ball once again. On Potsdam's end, their best scoring opportunity came at the very end of the period when Murray fired a long shot but it ended up in the hands of Svendsen.
Cortland keeper Svendsen finished with six saves. Potsdam is 2-1-1 in its last four meetings with the Red Dragons.
The Bears will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as they host the Oswego State Lakers at 1 p.m.