Saxons Make Second Half Push to Defeat Hartwick in OT

ONEONTA, NY – The Alfred University men's soccer team was at Hartwick College on Saturday afternoon for a match against the Hawks. After the Saxons (4-8, 0-2 Empire 8) returned from an early deficit to defeat Hartwick in two overtimes by a score of 4-3.
 
Hartwick jumped out to a quick start over AU with two goals in the first 13 minutes of action. 
 
The Alfred defense was able to settle in as the first half progressed but the offense had trouble getting in rhythm.
 
At the end of the first half, the Saxons trailed the Hawks by a score of 2-0.
 
The second half brought the Alfred offense out as multiple early shots ended with an Alfred goal from Evan Merkey (Webster, NY / Webster Schroeder) with assists from Winston Thomas (Rochester, NY/University Prep) and Zachary Gloskin (New City, NY / Clarkstown South) on the play.
 
The Saxons tacked on another score just minutes later when a foul in front of the net allowed for Justin Eaton (Williamson, NY / Williamson) to line up for a penalty kick, which he converted, making the score 2-2.
 
The Hawks returned fire in the 72nd minute to regain the lead.
 
As the game went on, AU had multiple opportunities to tie the game but were unable to find the back of the net until Eaton was in the right place at the right time and buried a header past the Hartwick goal keeper with 56 seconds remaining to even the score. That goal forced the game into overtime.
 
The first overtime period turned out to be less action and more fouls. The match became stagnant and sent the teams to a second overtime period. 
 
The second extra period saw Alfred take multiple shots around the net. In the 103rd minute Eaton made his mark again and fed a pass to Saif Alseyofi (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia / AQS) for the game winning goal. 
 
"We didn't get off the bus until the second half and dug ourselves into a 0-2 hole in the first half," Head Coach Tracy Blake said. "The second half effort was what we needed to get back into the contest. Great result for our efforts and the team again showed their passion and fight." 
 
The 4-3 victory made it two in a row for the Saxons. AU will look to continue that streak as they head to Fredonia next Tuesday for a match with the Blue Devils at 7PM.