It was one giant step forward for the SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team. But the Bears finally concluded one of the program's most successful seasons with a 4-1 elimination loss at Brockport in the first round of the SUNYAC Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
Not since 1983 had the Bears won this many matches in program history.
Potsdam finished with a 9-9-1 overall mark to tied the school's mark for most wins in a single season.
Under head coach Adam Parker, Potsdam reached the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and had qualified as the SUNYAC tournament's sixth seed. It was just the third time that Potsdam had clinched a playoff berth.
On Saturday, the team had to dive directly into playing catch up mode as Potsdam fell into an early 0-2 deficit just 8:02 in the match and could not recover.
The third-seeded Golden Eagles (11-1-5) stayed unbeaten at home (7-0-1) and were led by Bobby Ross and Mark Sylvia, who each totaled a goal and an assist. Chris O'Gorman and Peter DiLorenzo added goals in the second half to make it 4-0 Brockport.
Potsdam freshman forward/midfielder Brandon Laurin (Chazy, N.Y. / Chazy) scored his first career goal and got the Bears on the board in the 79th minute on a shot from the lower right post. Laurin was an All-State First Team selection at Chazy High School.
Sophomore forward Tom Benedetto (Queensbury, N.Y. / Queensbury) and sophomore midfielder Kyle Cronin (Henrietta, N.Y. / Rush-Henrietta) each had valiant efforts for the Bears with shot attempts on goal, but Brockport goal keeper Casey Sullivan was able to come up with the save each time.
Potsdam kept it close in terms of shots and had their chances, but just was unable to find the back of the net. The Bears were only outshot 13-11 in the match and actual held an 8-6 shots advantage in the second half.
By and large, Potsdam improved in the majority of their team statistics from just a season ago.
The '13 team produced nine more goals, took 75 more shots, doled out eight more assists and won five more matches.