The Daily Star
---- — STAFF REPORT
Oneonta State’s men are heading back to the NCAA Division III soccer tournament.
One season after advanced to the national semifinals, the Red Dragons earned a return trip to the D-III tournament with a 2-1 victory over host Plattsburgh State on Saturday in the SUNY Athletic Conference final.
Luke Halberg and Jake Sutherland scored goals a little over 11 minutes apart late in the second half to give O-State a 2-0 lead.
Plattsburgh (17-3-1) received a goal from Steve Zacharczyk with just under two minutes left, but O-State held on to avenge a 3-2 loss to Plattsburgh on Oct. 6.
“We showed tremendous character to win in a difficult environment,” said O-State coach Iain Byrne, whose 13-5-1 squad will find out who and where it will play when the 64-team NCAA bracket is announced at 1 p.m. today. According to O-State’s website, the Red Dragons will begin tournament play Saturday. “The game could have gone either way, but our class up front got us over the line with two great goals.”
Last season, O-State defeated Brockport, 1-0, in the SUNYAC championship. It went on to advance to the NCAA semifinals at San Antonio, where the Red Dragons lost, 4-2, to Calvin College.
The semifinals and final again are in San Antonio this season.
The Red Dragons won despite being outshot, 21-13, and they overcame a 13-3 deficit in corner kicks.
Halberg, a junior, opened the scoring in the 79th minute. Halberg received a pass from freshman Dylan Williams and penetrated into the right side of the penalty box on a counterattack. He shot low into the left corner of the goal. It was Halberg’s team-leading eighth goal of the season.
Another counterattack led to the Red Dragons’ second goal. Freshman Sutherland broke free down the left side before cutting into the middle. He then slid a shot past Plattsburgh keeper Andy Heighington with 2 minutes and 15 seconds left. Sutherland also scored in O-State’s 2-1 semifinal win over New Paltz on Friday. He has three goals on the season.
The Cardinals, whose roster includes Oneonta High graduate Sean Murphy, answered about 30 seconds later. Zacharczyk scored on a header that deflected off the crossbar and over the line.
O-State’s Daniel DeBottis made six saves _ five more than Heighington.
Senior defender Dan Scott earned tournament MVP honors for the Red Dragons. Sutherland, fellow freshman Colin Volpe and sophomore Mitchell Cain made the all-tournament team for O-State.
“We are looking forward to the tournament,” Byrne said. “We know what it’s about this time around and we will be ready to go as far as we can.”
Hartwick 2, FAU 1
Freshmen Nick Hills and David Styles scored seven minutes apart in the second half as Hartwick College rallied for a Mid-American Conference victory at Florida Atlantic University on Sunday in its season finale.
“It was a very well-deserved win for us and an important one,” Hartwick coach John Scott said in a media release sent by the school. “I don’t feel our record reflects the team that we have. We’ve had some difficult breaks this season and it was pleasing to get the victory today.”
As was the case in Wednesday’s loss against the University at Buffalo, the Hawks controlled play in the first half but trailed after 45 minutes. Jefferson Dias served a corner kick into the box and Joe Rodriguez scored in traffic 3:10 before halftime to give FAU (2-13-1, 0-7) a 1-0 lead.
Fourteen minutes, 53 seconds into the second half, Hills evened the score on an easy tap-in following some good ball movement from the Hawks.
Freshman forward Marc Russell started the play as he received the ball in the middle of the field inside the Owls’ end of the field. He played it wide to Hartwick senior Cleyon Brown, who served a ball across the goal mouth to Hills, who finished from a yard out.
A few minutes later, an FAU foul gave Hartwick a free kick from 25 yards. Styles hit a shot up and over the wall to the near post. The shot beat Owl goalkeeper Jeremy Crumpton despite a diving attempt to his right and the Hawks had the lead, 2-1.
Tom Buckner made three saves for Hartwick, which held a 14-9 advantage in shots.
Scott said the efforts of defenders Matthew Robertson and Jack Miller as well as the contributions of seniors Brown, Russell Oost-Lievense, Tyler Bailey and Jason Keefe played a big role in the victory.
“Robertson has struggled through injuries this season, but he was immense today for us,” Scott said. “It was pleasing to see the seniors go out with such a great effort. Cleyon set up the first goal and Russell worked tirelessly for us. Tyler gave a solid performance as always and Jason was a workhorse for us up top.”
The Hawks closed out the season with a 5-10-2 record and a 2-5 record in the Mid-American Conference.
Cortland 2, O-State 1
Tournament MVP Kelly Knight’s goal with 6 minutes, 14 seconds left in regulation lifted fourth-seeded Cortland State to victory in the SUNYAC final Saturday at Roberts Wesleyan University.
Second-seeded Oneonta State (12-7-1) tied the score at 1 in the 54th minute on a goal by freshman Kayla Ceschini.
Cortland (11-4-5) earned the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament. Oneonta (12-7-1) will find out at 1:30 today if it qualified for the 65-team tournament. If O-State gets an at-large berth, it would mark its 14th trip to the Division III tournament.
Cortland and O-State met for the conference title for the sixth time, with Oneonta prevailing the first five times the schools met in the final _ most recently a 3-1 O-State win in 2007.
Cortland opened the scoring in the third minute. Samantha Gardner scored from 25 yards.
Ceschini’s fifth goal of the season was set up by junior Karly DeSimone, who sent a short pass to Ceschini inside the box. Ceschini slipped a low shot past Cortland keeper Taylor Hudson, who finished with her college high of nine saves.
Knight’s winner came after a failed clear by O-State. She drove a shot from the top of the box that beat O-State keeper Rori Stark, who had two saves.
Cortland, which won its first SUNYAC title since 1991, also earned a 2-1 overtime victory over O-State on Sept. 22.
Oneonta held 13-9 advantage in shots.
Hartwick 28, Ithaca 7
Host Ithaca College intercepted Hartwick quarterbacks six times en route to an Empire 8 Conference victory Saturday.
Andrew Bashford and Mike Mathews were each intercepted three times by the Bombers (6-3, 4-3). Hartwick (3-6, 0-6) has lost six straight games.
Brian Garvey had three interceptions for Ithaca. His final interception resulted in a 4-yard return for a touchdown with 6 minutes, 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Bryan Schweitzer had 14 tackles to lead the Hawks, who dropped Ithaca for losses on 14 plays _ 3 ½ of those credited to Schweitzer. Jared Morrow contributed two interceptions for Hartwick.
Ithaca took a 14-0 lead, scoring twice after Bashford interceptions.
The Hawks pulled to 14-7 when Bashford hit Tanner Williams on a 39-yard scoring pass in the second quarter and Alex Tesoriero tacked on the extra point.
Hartwick will host Alfred at 1 p.m. Saturday in its season finale.
Hartwick’s men and women won by scores of 194-91 and 190-106, respectively, in an Empire 8 Conference meet against Nazareth on Saturday at Moyer Pool.
Both teams improved to 4-0.
The Hawks men won 14 of the 16 events. Cody Cupit, Brad Ranson, Luke Grunewald and Chris Willcox all won two events.
Cupit touched first in the 100-yard backstroke (54.26 seconds), and the 200 back (2:02.28);
Ranson won the 100 free (48.38) and the 200 free (1:46.07); Grunewald earned wins in the 500 free (4:52.67) and the 1,000 free (10:04.60); and Willcox placed first in the 200 butterfly (1:59.15) and the 200 IM (2:04.58).
Kenny Kleso (100 breaststroke, 1:01.40); Jeremy Torres (200 breaststroke, 2:16.70); Miles Blaney (100 butterfly, 54.37); and Lydon Schultz (50 free, 22.24) also earned wins for the Hawks.
Hartwick’s women won 12 events. Gwen Mathias earned three of those wins _ the 1,000 free (11:00.33), the 500 free (5:25.83) and the 200 backstroke (2:14.05). Jade Woodend contributed wins in the 100 butterfly (1:01.44) and the 50 free (24.89).
Kaitlyn Campbell (200 free, 2:02.30), Mallory Weber (200 butterfly, 2:18.59) and Imma Rutigliano (200 IM, 2:17.07) also earned wins for the Hawks.
Hartwick will host Oneonta State at 1 p.m. Saturday.
GCC Harvest Invitational
Matt Salle set a school and Mountain Valley Conference-record in 1-meter diving in leading SUNY Delhi to the team title in the Genessee Harvest Invitational on Saturday.
The Broncos finished with 296 points to beat the host school by 36 points.
Salle had a winning score of 285.45 over six dives. Former Delhi diver Mark Wood set the previous mark of 268.95.
Salle also won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:12.01.
Kenny Calamari and Mike Roeland also earned wins for the Broncos. Calamari touched first in the 100 backstroke in 1:02.77. Roeland was first in the 500 free in 5:55.39.
Delhi’s women finished second in the five-team field with 184 points. Jamestown CC won with 346.
Lily McEaney earned the Broncos’ highest finish. She placed second in the 200 IM, touching in 2:36.17.
Oneonta State finished fourth in the Monarch Invitational on Saturday at King’s College.
Sophomore Alex Pugh and freshman Shaun Gillen placed fourth at 125 and 165 pounds, respectively, to lead the Red Dragons, who finished with 77.5 points. Cortland State won with 147.
Junior Ben Mikac (133) and freshman Jacob Goddeau contributed fifth-place finishes, and sophomore Dan Romancyzk was sixth at 141.
Pugh won his first two matches before losing by technical fall in the semifinals. He then split a pair of matches in the consolation bracket.
Mikac entered as the top seed but lost his opening match.
Oneonta will travel to Wilkes University on Saturday for the John Reese Duals.
Delhi 68, Dutchess 49
Ibrahima Toure had a team-high 14 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead visiting SUNY Delhi to a non-conference road victory Saturday.
Freshman Sean Scott scored 10 points, and contributed nine rebounds and five assists.
Stefan Bock and DJ Nickelson scored 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Broncos return five players, including two starters, from last season’s squad that finished third in the NJCAA Division III tournament _ the Broncos’ best finish in school history.
“It’s still early, but our goal is to compete for a region title,” Delhi coach Rob Schoener said.
The Broncos (2-0, 1-0) visit Tompkins Cortland Community College at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Alfred State scored the final five points Sunday to beat host SUNY Delhi, 64-59, in the final of the Bronco Classic.
Yaya Soto scored a team-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists for Delhi.
With the score tied at 59, Alfred’s Destiny Brito hit a three-pointer with 48.9 seconds left. It was Brito’s lone basket of the game.
The Broncos had a chance to tie, but Gilbertsville-Mount Upton graduate Tanya Barnes’ three-point attempt rimmed out with 11.8 seconds left. Alfred then sealed with a pair of free throws.
“We called timeout and got the shot we wanted. It just didn’t fall,” Delhi coach Amber DeVantier said of Barnes’ three-point attempt.
Bainbridge-Guilford graduate Shania Vandermark had 16 points and 11 rebounds to earn all-tournament honors for Delhi. Soto also made the all-tournament team.
Alfred’s Karley Fanning scored 22 points and was named the tournament’s MVP.
On Saturday, Delhi defeated Finger Lakes, 60-55, in a first-round game.
The Broncos’ Jackie Bailey had a team-high 13 points. She also had nine rebounds and eight assists.
Barnes contributed 10 points and six rebounds, and Vandermark had eight points and 12 rebounds. Soto finished with 12 points, including three three-pointers.
Delhi (2-1) travels to Finger Lakes at 5 p.m. Tuesday.