READING, Pa. – The SUNY Poly Men's Soccer Team (5-9-2, 3-4-1 NEAC) endured two close losses over the weekend, each by the score of 3-2. On Saturday it was at the hands of the Lancaster Bible College Chargers, while on Sunday it was the Penn St.-Berks Nittany Lions dealing the Wildcats a brutal double-overtime defeat.
SUNY Poly held a lead on two separate occasions in Saturday's game. Bazo Coulibaly (Bronx, N.Y. / Marble Hill) scored just 54 seconds into the game on an unassisted strike. The Wildcats held onto that lead for the next 51 minutes, parrying 10 first-half shot attempts from the Chargers before Nathan Grimley broke through with the equalizer (51:58).
In the 66th minute the Wildcats answered with a score from sophomore Nick McBride (Rotterdam, N.Y. / Mohonasen), but this time the advantage was short-lived as the Chargers responded just 39 seconds later (65:52) to tie the game.
The Chargers out shot SUNY Poly 20-9 on the game and 10 to 3 in the second half, with the barrage ultimately proving too much for the visitors when Josiah Groff's game-winner found the back of the net in the 78th minute.
On Sunday the Wildcats found themselves in almost the opposite position, going down early to the Nittany Lions on a score just 4 minutes and 20 seconds into the game by the home team. Mike Korszun (Schenectady, N.Y. / Mohonasen) then responded in the 29th minute to tie the game, however the Wildcats gave back the lead a minute later on a header by T.J. Yurkovic.
Down 2-1, the Wildcats were held scoreless for much of the second half despite out shooting their opponent 10 to 1. As often happens, though, the shot volume eventually paid off, with Nick McBride delivering a header in the 82nd minute to tie the game at 2-all. Austin Roney (Middleburgh, N.Y. / Middleburgh) assisted on the play.
Even the most unbiased reporting would concede the Wildcats have been snake-bitten with above average frequency this season, and Sunday's game functioned as roughly Exhibit C or D. The Nittany Lions, who SUNY Poly out shot a whopping 25 to 8 on the game, were able to muster only one shot in both the first and second overtime periods. Unfortunately for the Wildcats that one shot proved to be the difference maker – a strike to the right side of the net by Isaiah Danner in the 113th minute, giving the Nittany Lions a 3-2 victory in double-OT.
The Wildcats will now look ahead to key conference matchups with Morrisville and Cazenovia to close out their conference schedule. Both games could have playoff implications. The first of these contests will take place against the Mustangs on the road, as the Wildcats travel this Wednesday for a 6:00 pm matchup.