Red Dragons Capture SUNYAC Championship
The SUNY Oneonta women’s soccer team soundly defeated SUNY Geneseo, 4-1, on Saturday to capture the 2013 SUNYAC title. It’s the Red Dragons’ 12th championship–the most of any school in the SUNYAC. With the victory, Oneonta (12-4-3) earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament, which begins next weekend.
“I am so proud of the girls,” said coach Liz McGrail. “We really came together and played well for 90 minutes. It is exciting to watch the team playing their best as a team right now.”
The announcement of this year’s field will be made today at 1:30 pm on NCAA.com. The Red Dragons, who will be making their 14th appearance in the tournament and first since 2010, will find out then when and where the next game will be played. The Red Dragons won the 2003 National Championship.
Saturday’s offensive output was the sixth time that the Red Dragons scored four or more goals in a match. The leader offensively in the final two games was senior Karly DeSimone of Clifton Park, who has been on a tear over the last two weeks. In the championship game, she scored the first goal to get things started for the Red Dragons. DeSimone collected a ball that was not cleared by the Geneseo (7-8-5) defense and one-timed it to the back of the goal for the 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.
DeSimone was named the Most Valuable player of the tournament and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by teammates Liz Lasota of Cutchogue, Krystal Scott of Centereach and Erica Berry of Bellmore.
“This team has chemistry and talent, and winning the SUNYAC championship was our goal from the beginning,” said DeSimone. “This team is very special and I am looking forward to going deep into the NCAA tournament.”
Four minutes after DeSimone’s goal, sophomore Elise Moinzadeh of Clifton Park was in the right spot to touch home a ball that got behind the Geneseo keeper after she had made a save. Julia Sanger had made a save off a shot by Melissa Guglielmo of Somers, but the ball deflected high into the air and behind her, heading for the goal, where Moinzadeh just had to help it across the goal line for the 2-0 lead.
A pair of goals just over three minutes apart early in the second half put the game out of reach for Geneseo. Lasota, who scored directly on a corner kick, scored the first goal. Her kick floated and bent toward the goal, where it sailed over the keeper’s head into the back corner.
The second goal was set up by a corner kick as well, as senior Amanda Regensburger of Selden sent the ball in from the corner flag. The ball was headed by Guglielmo first, but it hit the cross bar and came back out before sophomore Jessica Lyden of Burnt Hills got her head on the ball and finished off the play.
The lone goal for the Blue Knights came in the 72nd minute by freshman Erin O’Connor, who took a crossing pass from classmate Laurie Knapp before putting it by Oneonta keeper Kelley Murphy of Albany. Murphy only had to make three saves for Oneonta, as she picked up her eighth win of the season.
Saturday’s game was the 11th meeting in the SUNYAC tournament between the two teams. This was the fourth time that the two have locked up in the championship game and the first since 2003. With the win, Oneonta remains unbeaten (3-0-1) against the Blue Knights in the final.