ONEONTA – Remnants of the last SUNY Athletic Conference championship team are sparse on this year’s Oneonta State women’s soccer team.
Not since 2010 have the Red Dragons won a SUNYAC title, but O-State senior Karly DeSimone remembers that squad that went on to advance to third round of the NCAA Division III tournament.
“I say it all the time, these girls remind me of my freshman year team,” DeSimone said Wednesday after scoring two goals in the Red Dragons’ 2-1 SUNYAC semifinal victory over visiting Brockport.
Top-seeded O-State (11-4-3) will host sixth-seeded Geneseo at 1 p.m. Saturday in the conference final. The winner will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA D-III tournament. Geneseo earned a 2-1 victory over No. 2 Buffalo State in Wednesday’s other semifinal. The Red Dragons are seeking their 14th conference title.
DeSimone, one of four seniors on O-State’s roster, opened the scoring 18 minutes, 16 seconds into play. Classmate Melissa Guglielmo’s header was blocked by Brockport goalie Laura Thompson. DeSimone then volleyed the rebound into the middle of the goal.
“I was just there to follow the shot up,” DeSimone said of her ninth goal of the season. “It was a great all-around play.”
Then 4:41 before halftime, DeSimone made it 2-0. She shot from 25 yards. The ball deflected off a Brockport defender before scoring into the left side of the goal.
“I had an open shot, and fired it,” DeSimone said. “Luckily, the defender read it wrong and it went in.”
It stayed 2-0 until Katie Dykes scored for Brockport with 5:04 left in the second half. Dykes’ first goal of the season came from 15 yards.
The Red Dragons, who also beat Brockport, 2-0, on Oct. 5, held advantages of 10-4 in shots and 8-3 in corner kicks.
As a freshman in 2010, DeSimone earned SUNYAC Rookie of the Year honors in helping O-State to a 2-1 win over Plattsburgh in the conference final, along NCAA victories over Roger Williams and the University of Rochester. The Red Dragons’ 2010 season ended with a 2-1 loss to William Smith in the round of 16.
“It will be a great way to go out with a bang and go as far as I can for this program,” DeSimone said.
On Oct. 4, O-State traveled to Geneseo and left with a 1-all tie.
“We have to play a little bit smarter than we did today.” O-State coach Liz McGrail said of Saturday’s title game.
Red Dragons goalie Kelley Murphy made two saves. Brockport (12-5-1) received five saves from Thompson.
Oneonta 2, Brockport 1
Brockport 0 1 – 1
Oneonta2 0 – 2
Brockport (12-5-1): Katie Dykes 1-0.
Oneonta (11-4-3): Karly DeSimone 2-0.
Shots-corner kicks: B 4-3; O 10-8.
Goalies: Laura Thompson (B) 5; Kelley Murphy (O) 2.