Bobcat men and women split home opener
PAUL SMITHS — The Pauls Smith’s College women’s soccer team showcased a dominant offensive display in the team’s 9-2 victory over the Word of Life Huskies on Tuesday.
After winning its first two games with scores of 5-0 and 6-0, the Bobcats were finally able to play at home for the first time in almost two years.
“It feels incredible to be playing here at home for Paul Smith’s College,” Paul Smith’s coach Bailey Walton said. “We are really grateful that we are outside and competing again. I told them it’s our first home game in two years and we want to go out and play it like it is our last because we don’t know.”
“It was a lot of fun. We have been prepping for this game for a while now,” Bobcats’ freshman Hayleigh Gates said. “The whole school has been in on coming to our game so it was just a big deal. Our first home game in two years is pretty exciting.”
As soon as the game started, the Bobcats offense picked up right where it had left off in the prior two games of the season with three straight goals. Freshman Samantha Severing scored two goals; Gates scored the other.
The electrifying Paul Smith’s offense appeared to cool down around the halfway point of the first half as momentum shifted towards Word of Life. Bristyl Krentz scored two straight goals to bring the Huskies within one goal of tying the game.
The momentum came back to the Bobcats when the team scored three goals to end the half. Grace Kronick, Kate Roefs and Keeley Van ValKenburgh each scored to make the game 6-2.
The second half was yet again dominated by the Paul Smith’s offense as Severing, Ruth Marscham and Allie Lamb each scored to close out the game. Severing finished the game with a hat-trick.
“We have a strong offense,” Walton said. “Hayleigh (Gates) and Sam (Severing) are two freshmen forwards that are doing a really good job of putting pressure on them and keeping the ball in their end. It was a good team win.”
Gates said the offense has really been flowing, which is why it’s working out for the Bobcats. She also credited the team’s speed and passing as a factor.
The Bobcats’ dominant offense, which has scored 20 goals in three games, will likely be a major factor in the team’s success going forward.
“We have a lot of fun with offense. I tell them to be creative. We have a lot in practice thinking of ways that we can be creative on the field,” Walton said. “We have been focusing a lot on our shots and our attack in general. Also, our speed up top is definitely one of our factors that makes it tough for other teams.”
Even though the team had a triumphant victory, the team will still try to find things to improve upon.
“It actually wasn’t our best energy today,” Walton said. “I think we were a little nervous. It’s our first home game in two years. But it’s really exciting and I’m proud of the girls that we finally got to play here and I’m grateful for that.”
“I’m proud of our team, it was a team effort for sure, I’m just so proud of the girls,” Gates said. “We definitely found some things we need to work on. It opened our eyes. Defense, midfield, and offense, but overall we are proud of the score. It’s always fun to win.”
The Bobcats will travel to New Hampshire to take on the New Hampshire Technical Institute Lynx on Saturday before returning back home to take on Central Maine Community College on Sept. 25.
The Men’s team falls
The Paul Smith’s men’s soccer team did not have the same success as the girls. The team fell 3-1 to Word of Life.
In the first ten minutes of the game, Huskies Jasper Clouse scored to make the game 1-0. In the second half, momentum shifted to the Bobcats. Marvis Nosa scored to even the game at 1-1.
“Our game plan from the get-go was to try and pin them into their own defensive third and to try and make them play out,” Paul Smith’s head coach Zack Luzzi said. “Outside of that, just commit them higher and really put pressure on the backline. That was our game plan. I think we did it to a point, but we didn’t execute.”
Even with momentum shifted towards Paul Smith’s, Word of Life was able to score one more goal to break the tie. Maykel Mariano was credited with the goal for the Huskies.
Word of Life’s Kevin Porras scored the final goal to finish the game 3-1.
“I thought in the beginning of the game we panicked and you could tell when we settled in we put passes together and put them under pressure and that’s how we needed to play,” Luzzi said. “Second half we needed to come out with that same intensity, which we did, we just couldn’t capitalize.
“All in all, I think our boys had a great showing. I’m really excited to get into it. That is the first team that has really tested us.”
The Bobcats had multiple scoring opportunities but could not finish. In fact, Paul Smith’s outshot Word of Life 20-14.
Going forward, the Bobcats will travel to take on New Hampshire Technical Institute on Saturday, but unlike the women’s team, the men will host SUNY-Cobleskill on Sept. 21.