PLATTSBURGH -- The SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team (0-0-1) got an early goal and fought to a draw with defending MAC Freedom Conference Champion Misericordia University (0-0-1) in the first round of SUNY Plattsburgh's Cardinal Classic to open the season.
Sophomore defender Chris Schrum (Manhattan, N.Y./Millennium) scored his fourth career goal for the Bears and sophomore goalie Nick Davies (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas) finished with five saves.
Potsdam didn't take a shot until the 10th minute, but made the most of it. At the 9:58 mark, Schrum headed home a corner kick off the foot of senior captain Alex Minsker (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) for a 1-0 lead. The defenses took control of the contest after the goal. Each team's defenders allowed just four shots the entire half, including Schrum's tally. The score remained the same at the break.
The Cougars' Nick von Egypt tied the score in the 54th minute after knocking down and burying a cross from in front of the goal. Shots were easier to come by in the second half, but the goals were not. Each team created a few chances with Potsdam holding an 8-7 shot advantage, but the score remained knotted at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Through the two 10-minute overtime periods, each team managed just two shots apiece and was feeling the heat. Misericordia came out on top by a 5-4 margin in the ensuing penalty kicks, which will serve as a tie-breaker if necessary.
Bears head coach Adam Parker was pleased to come away with the draw against a quality opponent, but saw a lot of chances for improvement.
"They are a really good team," said Parker. "But it was t typical first game of the season. There wasn't a lot of pretty soccer. Both teams played very hard and physical in the heat and were pretty spent by overtime. Eric Cassidy (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) came off the bench to play very well for us and Matt Parsons (Glens Falls, N.Y./Glens Falls) also looked good in his first game."
The Bears edged the Cougars 14-13 in shots, but Misericordia finshed with a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks. Cougar goalie Barry Fitzgerald stopped six Potsdam shots on the afternoon.
Potsdam is back in action for the second round tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. against Fitchburg State.