Canton, NY – The SUNY Canton men's soccer team jumped on visiting Alfred State early and never looked back downing the Pioneers, 3-1, Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Kangaroos to an 8-5 mark on the season, while the loss drops Alfred State to 2-9.
The hosts were the first to get on the scoreboard just over four minutes in when Nick Escalante (Whittier, CA) took the ball down the left sideline and put Tyler Gallagher (Potsdam, NY) in toward goal as he split the defense. Gallagher beat the keeper low and left for his sixth score of the season to give the Roos the early 1-0 lead.
SUNY Canton continued to press forward and it paid off in the 12th minute when Escalante stepped in the passing lane to intercept the ball in the Alfred State defensive third. He used quick acceleration to beat the defender left and fired a shot inside the left post for his 12th goal of the season beating Pioneer keeper Nick Smith.
Alfred State would get within one 15 minutes later when Damon Allen fed Nick Peraino in the middle of the field. The junior midfielder drilled a bending shot from 20 yards out that just beat Roo keeper Evan Drew (Elizabethtown, NY) into the left side netting as he dove to his right. SUNY Canton held a 5-3 shots on goal edge and 2-1 lead on the scoreboard at break.
Less than a minute out of half Jose Menendez (Maracay, Venezuela) struck for his third goal of the season off a set piece. Escalante took the corner from the right sideline and found his tall defender in the center of the six yard mark. Menendez redirected a low header past Smith for an important insurance marker.
The Roos played sound defense the remainder of the contest for the 3-1 victory. SUNY Canton held large advantages in shots (21-7), shots on goal (10-5) and corner kicks (7-3) in the game. Drew made four saves in his seventh win of the season improving his goals against average to 1.72. Smith stopped seven shots for Alfred State.
The men's soccer team returns to the pitch tomorrow when it hosts crosstown rival St. Lawrence University in a showdown at 2:00 p.m. The Saints come into the contest ranked 19th nationally in NCAA Division III and on a 10 match unbeaten streak.