POTSDAM -- Senior Mark Secko (Shoreham, NY) came on as a substitute in overtime and immediately produced dividends for the Clarkson University Men’s Soccer team, depositing a shot off the post only 29 seconds after entering the game to lift the Golden Knights to a 2-1 victory over Roberts Wesleyan in the LOTTO Tournament Classic Saturday afternoon at Hantz Turf Field.
The Golden Knight moved to 1-1-0 on the season with the victory, while Roberts Wesleyan dropped to 1-3 overall. St. Lawrence claimed the title as tournament champion, holding on for a 1-0 shutout against Houghton College in Saturday’s opening contest.
After being held scoreless on Friday against Houghton College, the Golden Knights took little time breaking the ice Saturday afternoon. Freshman Kurt Knolle (East Aurora, NY) sent a long pass from near the sideline, approximately 30 yards out, into the box where it found senior Christopher Bates (Schenectady, NY). Bates was able to get a piece of the ball and is rolled past Roberts Wesleyan goalkeeper Eric Read, giving Clarkson a 1-0 lead at 7:05 in the first half. The goal was the first of Bates' career at Clarkson.
Immediately after the goal, Roberts Wesleyan began to assert itself offensively, getting several chances at the Clarkson goal, but sophomore goalkeeper Scott Stuart (Ottawa, ONT) made three stops to keep the shutout intact.
In the second half, Roberts Wesleyan had several chances in close with headers, but the opportunities were cleared by the Clarkson defense. It wasn’t until the 62nd minute that the Raiders tied up the contest. Mike McGinnis found Zach Swan inside the box, and Swan was able to hit a medium-paced groundball to the far post.
Over the course of the next 20 minutes, both teams had goals waived off. Clarkson’s was nullified due to a foul inside the six-yard line, while the Raiders saw a goal called back because of an offside.
In the first minute of overtime, Clarkson striker Brian Buckner (Farmington, NY) limped off with an injury, and Secko replaced him at the forward position. Just 29 seconds after his re-entry, the game was over. Junior Elliott Carter (Ottawa, ONT) gained possession in the Clarkson end at the far sideline and sent a long groundball pass to Secko, who was being covered by two defenders. The senior striker outraced the pair of backs and was able to hit a groundball off the post from approximately 20 yards away after the goalkeeper came out to cut down the angle.
The Raiders had a 17-9 edge in shots and a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Stuart made six saves to earn his first win of the season, while Read made three saves for Roberts Wesleyan.
In what proved to be the championship game of the tournament, St. Lawrence held off Houghton College, 1-0. Houghton had the first two shots of the contest, but both attempts were blocked in the box. From there, St. Lawrence had a handful of shots in the first half as well, but the two teams remained scoreless at the half.
It wasn’t until early in the second half that the Saints were able to get on the scoreboard. Sean Scott sent a corner kick pass into the box, where the ball bounced around for a few seconds before it made its way down to Sam DeMello’s feet. DeMello took one shot, which was initially stopped, and the rebound then rolled in off his right foot at the far post.
Though the Saints had a few more chances in the second half, Houghton nearly tied the contest in the 73rd minute when Paul Seddon hit a hard shot from outside the area that hit the crossbar and bounded out of play. St. Lawrence also nearly picked up an insurance goal in the final minute, but a mistimed run created an offside situation that nullified the chance.
St. Lawrence finished the game with a 9-6 edge in shots, while Houghton possessed a 7-6 advantage in corner kicks. Brian Abernethy made one stop for his second shutout of the season, while Steve Zacchigna made three saves for Houghton.