One goal proved to be the difference maker as the SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team was stymied in a 1-0 loss to Skidmore College in the Liberty League-SUNYAC Challenge in Saratoga Springs on Friday night.
Potsdam (4-2) had entered with a solid reputation for getting off to strong first halves by outscoring the opposition 9-2 in such instances.
Against Skidmore, the roles became reversed as the Thoroughbreds (3-2) took the lead into halftime on an unassisted goal from freshman midfielder Adebare Oyeniyi, who sailed it from the top of the box about 25 yards out at 19:23 into the first half.
Skidmore protected that lead for the balance of the match with a slight 13-10 shots advantage. The loss also snapped Potsdam's three-match winning streak.
"The goal they scored deflected off Alessio's [Vitale] foot and it had a lot of top spin and went right into the goal," said Potsdam coach Adam Parker.
"They've got a lot of speed and a lot of good players in the middle of the field. It hurt to lose, but I thought we did a lot of good things tonight. We really competed. I thought we just needed a little more confidence. But this one will prepare us for conference games."
Bears' leading shot takers Eduardo Figueroa (Rochester, N.Y. / Dr. Freddie Thomas) and Alessio Vitale (Liverpool, N.Y. / Liverpool) were at the forefront of the Potsdam attack once again, but could not convert.
Figueroa, a junior forward who entered with a team co-leading eight points, took aim with five shots and had one look on goal. Vitale, a senior midfielder who also has eight points on the season, fired three shots and took one shot on goal. Coming off the bench, Kyle Cronin (Henrietta, N.Y. / Rush-Henrietta) also took a shot on goal for the Bears.
Freshman goal tender Nick Davies (Webster, N.Y. / Webster Thomas) showed another consistent effort as he faced 13 shots and made four saves.
Potsdam also received a boost from junior Connor Engle (Auburn, N.Y. / Auburn) who filled in at defensive midfield for Eric Cassidy (Queensbury, N.Y. / Queensbury), who was sidelined because of injury.
"He [Engle] played with a lot of fire," coach Parker said. "He won a lot of balls tonight so he definitely deserves a mention."
Potsdam will continue play in the Liberty League-SUNYAC Challenge on Saturday 4 p.m. against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Saratoga Springs.