POTSDAM -- The SUNY Potsdam men’s soccer team jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Morrisville State (0-1) and held off the Mustangs for a 3-2 victory in the first round of the Potsdam College Cup Saturday.
Sophomore forward Eduardo Figueroa (Rochester, N.Y./Dr. Freddie Thomas) and freshman forward Tom Benedetto (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) each scored for the Bears.
After an even start, Morrisville picked up some offensive momentum and was able to keep pressure on Potsdam.
The Bears finally broke out as freshman forward Stephen Sepowski (Castleton, N.Y./Maple Hill) sent a long pass ahead to Figueroa in the 37th minute.
Mustang freshman goalie Rob Larkin (Clinton, N.Y./Clinton) rushed out to challenge Figueroa, but the striker stepped around him and fired the ball into the net.
Potsdam doubled its lead six minutes later when a Morrisville defender redirected sophomore midfielder Conor Engle’s (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) header into his own net.
The Bears carried the 2-0 lead into the break. Benedetto tipped in a pass from freshman forward Chris Chiarella (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) just 4:03 into the second half to give Potsdam its largest lead of the afternoon. The three-goal deficit didn’t faze Morrisville as they finally got on the board 10 minutes later.
Freshman midfielder Jeffrey Hado (Tema, Ghana/Theodore Roosevelt) found sophomore midfielder Gilroy Alvarez (Guatemala/Mary Mitchell) at the left side of the net and he drove a shot between the legs of Bears senior goaltender Jake Gyder (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool).
At the 65:21 mark, Alvarez set up sophomore midfielder Joey Plummer (Gates, N.Y./Gates-Chili) to cut the lead to 3-2. The Mustangs continued to battle, but couldn’t solve Gyder again.
In goal, Gyder and Larkin each finished with five saves. Morrisville outshot Potsdam 23-17.
The Bears (1-0) are back in action tomorrow as they take on the Castleton State Spartans in the Cup championship.