By Skyler Cain
FREDONIA — The State University of New York at New Paltz Men’s Soccer team headed to Fredonia on Saturday afternoon for a match against the Blue Devils of Fredonia State in its second SUNYAC game of the season.
“It’s never easy going to Fredonia. They work hard, and make things challenging as the game goes on,” said Hawks coach Kyle Clancy. “I was proud of the teams resilience and ability to respond to the challenges that were presented today. They showed an ability to capitalize on big moments when the game wasn’t always going their way. A good sign.”
The Hawks (5-2-2 overall) went down early after an assisted goal by Fredrick Bulter put the Blue Devils (1-5-2 overall) ahead 1-0 in the eighth minute with Kaleb Steward assisting on the play. Scoring seemed to slow down, but after a corner kick in the 40th minute, Hawks senior Sean O’Neil placed a pass for Colin Brant to finish the assisted play and tie things up at 1-1. Almost immediately after knotting the score, SUNY New Paltz senior Philip Varner had a clean look and scored right before the half in the 42nd minute.
“Joey’s finish was struck very well and I hope he shoots more as he has that ability in him,” Clancy said. “Also nice to see Phil score again with a great individual effort and Colin getting his first collegiate goal to help get us back into the game.”
The second half scoring opened up after an assisted goal from Chance Lacroix to Michael Ranieri, knotting the game once more at 2-2 in the 68th minute for the Blue Devils. The Hawks once again responded with what would end up being a game winning goal from Joseph Dipreta in the 69th minute, less than a minute after a Blue Devils goal.
Defense was key down the stretch as the Hawks were able to limit Fredonia to just two shots in the final 25 minutes of the game, giving the Hawks their second straight SUNYAC win in conference play. Hawks goalkeeper Christian Micheli allowed two goals and had six saves on the day after tallying 90 minutes of hard work and getting the win. Brant, DiPreta and Varner finished with a goal each and O’Neil finished with the only assist for SUNY New Paltz on the day.
“Getting these three and six points in two road games is a great start and shows the ability of this group. No matter the opponent, any SUNYAC game is a big test and we will be ready for the opportunity ahead on Wednesday,” said Clancy.