POTSDAM - With two goals midway through the second half separated by less than three minutes, the Clarkson University Men's Soccer team and LaVerne University battled to a 1-1 tie in the opening round of the LOTTO North Country Classic Friday evening at Hantz Turf Field.
The Golden Knights will play Endicott College Saturday at 4:00 pm, while LaVerne will take on St. Lawrence at 6:00 pm.
After a slow first half that had only four shots between the two teams, the offensive chances came more furiously in the second half. The Leopards broke through at the 63:00 mark when Ryan Estrada converted on a pass from Michael Reed.
However, Clarkson sophomore James Cowie (Malta, NY) was able to tie the game up just three minutes later. Sophomore newcomer Jason McMillan took a shot from deep and put pressure on the Leopards defense as the ball soared off the bottom of the crossbar. LaVerne goalkeeper was able to get his fingertips on the ball for a slight deflection, but Cowie ran through and was able to deflect the ball in at 65:56.
Several more chances came in the second half and in the lone overtime period, but neither team was able to come up with the game-winner.
LaVerne enjoyed a 14-7 edge in shots and a 3-2 lead in corner kicks. Clarkson keeper Scott Stuart (Ottawa, ONT) made six saves, while Jonathyn Lomeli made four key stops for the Leopards.
In the opening game of the tournament, St. Lawrence senior midfielder Sam DeMello scored a pair of goals, both on direct kicks from nearly identical spots outside the 18-yard box, only three-plus minutes apart as St. Lawrence University topped Endicott College 3-0.
Despite pressure in the first half, St. Lawrence was unable to get many shots on the frame. The Saints had plenty of scoring opportunities that went through the box but were kicked away. Ozzy Morales had the closest scoring chance when his first shot hit the crossbar, and the ricochet came right back to him, but Endicott goalkeeper Daniel Higgins made the save.
In the second half, St. Lawrence was able to wear the Gulls down and took advantage of some fouls at the top of the box. After three fakes on a direct kick, Sam DeMello completed the play with a hard shot to the left side of the goal from 25 yards out, and it rolled through for St. Lawrence’s first goal at the 57:07 mark. DeMello shortened the play on the next foul, from nearly the same spot, taking the very first chance when the Gulls were on their heels and unprepared. That goal came just three and a half minutes later at 60:37.
The Saints completed their scoring trifecta in the 77th minute with a pretty goal that had two assists. Mark Provost sent a pass deep into the box to Jeremiah Bunton near the end line. Bunton lured the defense in and sent a pass back to Shaka Pilgrim, who fired a shot into the top right corner from about 12 yards out.
St. Lawrence finished with a 17-5 edge in shots. Nate Goss-Woliner needed to make just two saves to earn the shutout for St. Lawrence, while Higgins was called upon to make four saves for the Gulls.