SUNY Potsdam men's soccer downs Fitchburg State for season's first win
Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 8:16 am

PLATTSBURGH -- The SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team (1-0-1) downed Fitchburg State (0-2) 2-0 in the second round of SUNY Plattsburgh's Cardinal Classic on Saturday afternoon.

Junior strikers Stephen Auyer (Oswego, N.Y./Oswego) and Ben Firlit (South Glens Falls, N.Y./South Glen Falls) each scored for the Bears and Auyer added an assist. Auyer and junior defender Eric Cassidy (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) were each named to the all-tournament team. Misericordia University downed Plattsburgh 2-0 in the other game to claim the title.

The Bears controlled much of the play during the contest and outshot the Falcons 9-3 in the first half. However, Fitchburg's disciplined defense kept the game scoreless until late in the half. In the 41st minute, Auyer knocked down a corner kick from junior midfielder Tom Benedetto (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) and fired it past Falcon goalie Aiden Hanratty.

"The wind was at our back in the first half," said Bears head coach Adam Parker. "So we were starting to feel pressure to score and Stephen came through."

The second half was a little tighter. Fitchburg was still unable to build much offensive pressure, but its defenders never broke. It remained a one-goal game until the 73rd minute.

"Stephen played a ball ahead and it died in the wind," added Parker. "Ben Firlit never gave up on it, beat the goalie to the ball and finished it. With our insurance goal we played relaxed the rest of the game."

In addition to Auyer and Cassidy, Parker was pleased with the play of several other Bears.

"Nick Davies (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas) was solid all weekend and Alex Griffith (Henrietta, N.Y./Rush-Henrietta) played well in both games"

In goal, Davies stopped six shots to earn his seventh career victory. Hanratty made seven saves in a losing cause.

Potsdam outshot Fitchburg 14-7 and finished with a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.

The Bears are back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 2, when they host Johnson State at 7 p.m.