POTSDAM -- The Castleton State Spartans (2-0) shook off a late game-tying goal by the SUNY Potsdam men’s soccer team (1-1) to defeat the Bears 2-1 in double overtime Sunday.
Senior midfielder Trevor Kotrady (North Clarendon, Vt./Mill River Union) knocked home a loose ball in the 107th minute to give Castleton the win. Spartan junior goalkeeper Nate Koeneman (Montpelier, Vt./Montpelier) finished with five saves and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
The first half was dominated by great goalkeeping. In the 11th minute, Potsdam senior goalie Jake Gyder (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) stopped two Spartan attempts from point blank range. Castleton gained momentum from the chances and though they didn’t score, carried the play through the middle of the period. The Bears got two strong chances from sophomore midfielder Alex Minsker (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) and senior defender Vic Colasacco (Oceanside, N.Y./Oceanside) in the final 10 minutes of the half, but Koeneman turned them both aside.
The Spartans regained their momentum in the second half and challenged Potsdam’s defense. Castleton’s hard work finally paid off at the 64:56 mark. Junior midfielder Spencer Dandurand (Cochester, Vt./Colchester) slipped past the Bears defenders and blasted a shot on Gyder. Potsdam’s goalie made a great save, but Dandurand buried his rebound to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. Castleton’s defense smothered the Bears offense and the Spartans appeared to be heading for a shutout victory.
However, Potsdam was finally able to break through. In the 86th minute, Koeneman stopped a header from Bears sophomore midfielder Conor Engle. Sophomore forward Eduardo Figueroa (Rochester, N.Y./Dr. Freddie Thomas) collected a rebound and sent a shot that seemed destined for the right corner of the goal before it was deflected by a sliding Spartan defender. Freshman forward Chris Chiarella (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) buried the second rebound with just 3:24 left in regulation. Neither team threatened again in regulation.
Gyder smothered the only shot on goal in the first overtime and the teams spent most of the second in the middle of the field. At 106:14, Kotrady ended the contest with an assist from junior defender Dominic Heller (Glenville, N.Y./Burnt-Hills Ballston Lake).
Gyder finished a strong day with six saves. Castleton outshot the Bears 21-14. Chiarella, Figueroa and freshman forward Dylan Krueger were named to the all-tournament team. Heller, Kotrady and Dandurand earned the same honor for Castleton.
Potsdam looks to rebound on Saturday, Sept. 8 when the Bears travel to Old Westbury to take on the Panthers at noon.