Oneonta State’s men and women will play for automatic NCAA Division III Tournament berths Saturday as both soccer teams advanced to the championship matches of their respective SUNY Athletic Conference tournaments Friday.
Oneonta’s men earned a 2-1 semifinal victory over New Paltz for a chance to defend their SUNYAC Tournament crown against top-seeded tournament host Plattsburgh (17-2-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday. Plattsburgh beat visiting Cortland State, 4-2, in Friday’s other semifinal.
The Red Dragons’ women won their semifinal against Fredonia, 3-1, at Roberts Wesleyan University. O-State will attempt to win its first conference tournament championship since 2010 at 1 p.m. Saturday back at Roberts Wesleyan, where it will face Cortland (10-4-5) – a 1-0 semifinal winner over 18th-ranked Brockport.
Both Oneonta teams are seeded second and lost to their respective championship opponents during the regular season. O-State’s men fell, 3-2 in overtime, to Plattsburgh on Oct. 6. O-State’s women lost, 2-1 in overtime, to Cortland on Sept. 22.
O-State 2, Fredonia 1
Freshman Jake Sutherland scored the decisive goal in the 55th minute for the Red Dragons (12-5-1), who reached the NCAA Division III Tournament semifinals after winning the SUNYAC Tournament last season.
O-State fell into a 1-0 hole when Harrison Lane converted a pass from Mateo Cordini in the 15th minute for New Paltz (11-8-1).
Oneonta junior Luke Halberg scored the equalizer off a cross from freshman Colin Volpe in the 30th minute.
Sutherland followed with the go-ahead goal in the second half, winning a header before beating a defender and sliding a shot past the keeper.
“We responded well after falling behind early, but we were far from our best today,” O-State coach Iain Byrne said. “While there were many disappointing performances, Jake turned our team around with a virtuoso performance off the bench.”
Winning goalie Daniel DeBottis made two saves for his sixth victory of the season.
O-State 3, Fredonia 1
Junior Karly DeSimone had a goal and an assist to lead the Red Dragons, who took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Freshman Kayla Ceschini opened the scoring with a 6-yard, unassisted goal into the lower-right corner in the 14th minute. DeSimone then set up classmate Alaina Greco for a 2-0 lead in the 27th minute.
Reilly Condidoria scored on a rebound off the post in the 60th minute for Fredonia (12-4-4), but DeSimone had an unassisted goal in the 88th minute for the final margin.
“It was a total team effort today,” O-State coach Liz McGrail said. “Our goals came from three different players and our defense gave us a solid effort. It was nice to avenge our earlier loss to Fredonia.”
Oneonta is 9-1-1 in SUNYAC Tournament title matches, including a 5-0 record against Cortland.
New Paltz 3, O-State 1
Senior forward Morgan Lizotte scored twice for top-seeded host New Paltz (15-4), which beat the fourth-seeded Red Dragons (12-7) in a SUNYAC Tournament semifinal.
The Hawks advanced to the final for the first time in program history and will meet Cortland at 1 p.m. Saturday. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Lizotte scored in the 21st minute, and junior midfielder Lauren Link scored in the 32nd minute as the Hawks took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Sophomore Andrea Day converted a feed from Ashley Morgan in the 46th minute for Oneonta, which gave up another goal to Lizotte in the last minute.
Losing goalie Tess Tracy made one save for O-State, which received a defensive save from Bridgette Robinson.
‘Wick player honored
The National Field Hockey Coaches Association selected Hartwick senior forward Kelsey Kimble to play in its Division III Senior All-Star Game, the Hawks announced Friday.
Kimble is one of 60 players selected to play in the showcase game, which will start at 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at William Smith College.
Kimble finished her fourth season at Hartwick with 94 all-time points, including 31 this season on 12 goals and seven assists.
The Hawks went 6-11 overall and 3-4 in the Empire 8 Conference this fall.
Potsdam 3, O-State 1
Brittany Calvello had 14 kills 22 assists and 10 digs, but Oneonta State lost a SUNYAC Tournament play-in game to Potsdam at Buffalo State.
Becca Horton contributed 24 assists and Kristina Pelaccio finished with 15 digs for the Red Dragons (21-13), who fell, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 28-26.
All-NEAC for Tiger
SUNY Cobleskill junior outside hitter Amber Baker earned Second Team honors from the North Eastern Athletic Conference for averaging 1.65 kills and 2.71 digs and finishing this season with a .124 hitting percentage and a team-best 49 aces.
Baker helped the Fighting Tigers to a 14-17 overall record and a 4-7 mark in the NEAC.
Delhi 68, Corning 55
Stefan Bock had 20 points Thursday to lead SUNY Delhi – the second-ranked NJCAA Division III team – to a season-opening victory at home.
“It is a nice honor,” Delhi coach Rob Schoener said of the early ranking. “But preseason polls measure where your program has been. It didn’t mean anything (Thursday) at 7 p.m. and it won’t mean anything (Saturday) at 1 p.m.”
Quayshaun Mitchell scored 13 points and Arif Mehmetaj contributed 11 for the Broncos, took a 37-18 lead into halftime.
Will Griffin’s 17 points paced Corning.
Delhi visits Dutchess Community College on Saturday.