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November 7, 2009

 

Shootout gets Dragons to final

ONEONTA — First, SUNY Cortland women just had to get into overtime.
That soccer task was accomplished when junior defender Maura Martin scored with just 2:54 left in regulation Friday afternoon, that goal getting the sixth-seeded Red Dragons into a 1-1 tie with second-seeded Fredonia in this SUNY Athletic Conference playoff semifinal game.
Then after two scoreless overtime sessions, the Red Dragons had to prevail in a penalty kick shootout in order to advance into today’s title game back at SUNY Oneonta. Cortland did just that by a 3-0 margin to keep this season alive.
The Red Dragons (12-4-3) will face fifth-seeded Geneseo (13-4-2) in the title game this afternoon at 1 p.m. Geneseo upset top-seeded Oneonta 1-0 in yesterday’s opening semifinal game.
In the penalty kick shootout, Cortland’s first attempt was stopped by Fredonia goalie Meaghan Meszaros. The Red Dragons then converted their next three attempts on successful shots by junior Laura Boucher, freshman Stacey Wood and sophomore Jordan Miller.
Red Dragon junior goalie Pam Monnier saved all three penalty kicks that she faced, including a nice diving stop to her right on Fredonia’s first attempt. Monnier officially finished with two saves during regulation and the overtime periods, while Fredonia’s Meszaros made 11 saves.
Cortland out-shot Fredonia 23-5, but the Blue Devils (11-5-3) took a 1-0 lead on an Emily Beh goal in the 67th minute. Melissa Cummiskey crossed a pass from the left side to Beh in front of the net for the go-ahead goal.
That goal appeared to be enough before Cortland was awarded a direct kick after a player was dragged down just outside the top of the Fredonia box. Martin took the kick and lifted a shot over a wall of Blue Devil defenders and just under the crossbar to knot the game.
Cortland took eight shots in the pair of 10-minute overtime sessions to Fredonia’s two.
Cortland sophomore Bridgette DeSantis almost ended the game in the first overtime when her shot from the left side ricocheted off the crossbar. The Red Dragons also had a shot just go wide off a corner kick just as the second overtime expired.
Cortland is searching for its first SUNYAC championship since 1991. The Red Dragons have been to the SUNYAC finals three previous times under sixth-year head coach Heidi Woodcock, losing to Oneonta in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Saturday’s SUNYAC champion will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament. Cortland’s last NCAA appearance was in 1998.
Geneseo 1, Oneonta 0: With 10:20 left, Melissa Beale sent a 20-yard shot into the left-corner of the net to give Geneseo the upset victory. Oneonta had an 11-7 shot edge but could not got anything past Katie Clerkin, the Knights’ goalie who finished with four saves.
— In SUNYAC men’s semifinal play Friday, host Plattsburgh topped Oneonta 1-0 and Brockport blanked Geneseo 1-0. Plattsburgh and Brockport meet at 1 p.m. today in the title game.