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Kleine's hat trick carries the day for Devils
Monday, October 19, 2015

 Kleine's hat trick carries the day for Devils

Kristie Kleine celebrates after scoring one of her three goals Saturday vs. Potsdam.

Kristie Kleine (Cazenovia) scored all three goals, including the game-winner during the second overtime, as Fredonia claimed a crucial 3-2 SUNYAC win Saturday over Potsdam at University Stadium.

A throw-in by Audrey Yokopovich (Webster) to Alexis Moreland (Newfane) started the game-winning play. Moreland received the ball in the far right corner, then muscled through two defenders while running parellel to the end line. Moreland made a short cross into the box, where Kleine -- a half-step ahead of her mark -- chipped the ball over and past Potsdam goalkeeper Bri Thibeau in the 105th minute.

The overtime win put the Blue Devils -- 2-4-1 in the SUNYAC with two league games left -- into a tie with Oswego for the sixth and final playoff spot. On the other hand, the loss dropped the Bears to 1-5-1 in the SUNYAC, 8-6-1 overall. They would have enjoyed Fredonia's fate -- a current tie for sixth -- by winning.

The teams traded near-misses and goals during the first half. Potsdam's Brooke Falsion rattled a shot off the cross bar as part of a flurry of activity in the 18th minute in front of Fredonia goalkeeper Kendall Owczarzak (Depew). Moreland followed suit in the 26th minute when she clanged the crossbar over the head of Thibeau, the ball ricochetting away.

The Bears took a 1-0 lead on a shot by Amber Hyatt off a short cross by Rylie Murray in the 36th minute. Fredonia countered in the 39th on Kleine's first goal, who received a chip over defenders from Michelle Hale (Lockport).

Each team had chances to break the tie early in the second half. Potsdam's chance came when a long through ball into space brought Owczarzak far out of her net, only to see a contested shot by Hyatt roll just wide of the right post. Fredonia's chance came when Moreland split defenders, then shot wide left.

The Blue Devils took their first lead, 2-1, on a three-way scoring play in the 56th minute. Karly Torppey (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) delivered a pass out of the midfield ahead to Moreland, who then moved the ball farther ahead to Kleine. The latter split defenders to get off her goal shot.

Owczarzak stopped Falsion from close range in the 81st minute, only to have Falsion even the score 2-2 in the 83rd minute when -- after receiving a teammate's cross -- dribbled to her right into shooting space and struck a low shot into the open left third of the net.

Neither team managed much of a threat until Kleine's game-winner. The three goals give her five this season.

Fredonia took 22 shots, compared to 23 by Potsdam, while Fredonia had a 5-4 edge in corner kicks. Fredonia's Owczarzak was credited with eight saves, Potsdam's Thibeau with none.

The Blue Devils close out the conference portion of their season with games at Oneonta next Friday and at New Paltz next Saturday. They are also scheduled for one more home game, a non-conference match Oct. 27 vs. Elmira.

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