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Blue Devils advance with shootout victory
Monday, October 31, 2016

Blue Devils advance with shootout victory

Sam Greco is exultant and Plattsburgh goalkeeper Patrick Feeley crestfallen after Saturday's shootout.

Sam Greco (Lockport/Lockport) scored the decisive goal in the sixth shootout round to send Fredonia past Plattsburgh and into the semifinals of the SUNYAC Men's Soccer Tournament.

Seconds earlier, freshman goalkeeper Ty Bentham (Columbus, Ind./Columbus North) stopped Plattsburgh's Connor Nembach to keep the shootout tied at 4-4 and set the stage for the senior Greco.

Ryan Keller (East Aurora/East Aurora), Brian Theuerkauf (Lancaster, N.Y./Lancaster), Bryan Sibble (Liverpool/Cicero-North Syracuse), and Jimmy Ritchie (East Aurora/East Aurora) also had successful shootout kicks for the Blue Devils.

Alex Price, Chris Robertson, John Latouche, and Sean Marusczak connected for the Cardinals. Patrick Feeley was in the net.

The game is recorded as a 0-0 tie and left Fredonia with a record of 11-6-2. Plattsburgh departed at 12-5-2.

Bentham made nine saves and Feeley three during regulation and overtime periods. The teams traded scoring chances, with the Blue Devils holding a territorial advantage and a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks in the first half. The Cardinals picked up the pace and held the advantage during the second half as Bentham was called on to make a handful of difficult stops. He faced 20 shots total to 12 shots for Blue Devils.

The Cardinals gained the first advantage in the shootout -- initially set to go five rounds -- when Price scored and Fredonia's Brandon Butts (Schenevus/Charlotte Valley) clanged his shot off the crossbar.

The Blue Devils pulled even in the third round, 2-2, when Plattsburgh's Jon Cabeca banged one off iron and Theuerkauf countered with a successful kick.

The teams traded successful kicks in rounds four and five. In the first extra round, Bentham broke the ice with a diving stop on a shot by Nembach. Greco's game-winner followed and set off a wild celebration along the Fredonia sideline and in the stands.

Fredonia moves on to meet Oneonta at 1 p.m. Wednesday in one of two SUNYAC semifinals. The Blue Devils defeated the Red Dragons, 2-1, when the teams last met on Oct. 22. That game was -- and Wednesday's semifinal will be -- played in Oneonta.

It was the first SUNYAC men's tournament game at University Stadium and the Blue Devils first playoff game since a 1-0 loss to Brockport in 2010.

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