Men's Soccer Team Wins Barkeater Cup in 2OT
Electric game marked by loss of Bobcats' captain
The fourth annual men's Barkeaters Cup game held at Paul Smith's College Oct. 11 was overshadowed by the death of the Bobcats' captain, Mark A. "Max" Calderone, who tragically passed away the previous day in a car accident.
Despite the loss of their captain, the Bobcats opted to play the game. The Mighty Oaks wore black armbands in a tribute to Calderone.
The game got off to a fast and furious start with both teams attacking. The Mighty Oaks broke the ice first at the 31st minute when senior Dillon Buchberg took a direct shot on goal that was deflect by the Bobcats' goalie and then kicked back in off the rebound by sophomore Owen Hennigan, his fifth goal of the season.
The Bobcats responded 10 minutes later with a goal of their own, sending the game into a 1-1 tie at halftime.
The same pace continued throughout most of the second half, with both teams playing with lots of emotion. The Mighty Oaks had a chance to take the lead with a free kick at the 10-minute mark of the second half but the shot was corralled by the Bobcats' goalie. The Mighty Oaks were led in the second half by strong play from senior Kyle Bardwell and juniors Dan Mcgraw and Zack Reda.
Regulation ended in a 1-1 tie. In the first overtime period, Hennigan and junior Chris Brocher got early scoring opportunities but weren't able to find the mark.The Bobcats made their own strike with three minutes remaining in the first overtime but an acrobatic save by keeper Adam Belkadi prevented the ball from reaching the back of the net.
However five minutes into the second overtime, junior Rob Hamm scored the game winner with a powerful left-footed shot from 15 yards out, giving the Mighty Oaks the victory.
"Our team played hard and put in a gutsy performance under such difficult and tragic circumstances. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Paul Smith's College community" said Mighty Oaks Head Coach Dan Ramin.
The Barkeaters Cup trophy was presented to the Mighty Oaks by Bobcats Athletic Director James A. Tucker. After receiving the trophy, Mighty Oaks Captains Hamm, Bardwell and Buchberg immediately returned the trophy to the Bobcats out of respect and to honor the loss of their captain.
The ESF men's soccer team will be on the road again Oct. 14 against Cazenovia College.
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