12 Oct Nosa’s hat trick leads Bobcats, women stay undefeated | News, Sports, Jobs
PAUL SMITHS — With just one game left in the regular season, the Paul Smith’s men’s soccer team found themselves facing one of the toughest opponents all season with the nationally-ranked Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Panthers.
On Sunday, the Bobcats did the unexpected and shut out the Panthers 4-0 at home in a Yankee Small College Conference match-up.
“I won’t lie, I was a little bit worried going into it,” Paul Smith’s men’s head coach Zack Luzzi said. “I was worried we were going to be tired. I just wasn’t sure.”
Prior to the game, ACPHS was undefeated in conference play.
“I think they showed up just thinking that we’re not much of anything and we did what we had to do,” Luzzi said.
A little over halfway through the first half, Paul Smith’s Marvis Nosa scored on a cross pass from Adam Holt to open up the scoring.
Nosa followed up his goal by scoring twice to complete the hat trick. Holt and Derek Burns each had an assist on the two-goal that closed out the half 3-0.
“We heard some chirping from the other team when we were walking to the locker room,” Luzzi said. “I think the guys just fed off that and they showed up.”
With a big lead, the Bobcats fed off the momentum and scored once again on a shot from Levi Morgan. Burns was credited with his second assist on the goal.
Luzzi credits the team’s work rate in the middle of the field as the main reason his team won. He said the team won every 50-50 ball that they went to in the middle third.
Steven Donnelly earned the shutout in net for Paul Smith’s. Donnelly had seven saves.
The win is the second in a row for the Bobcats, who finish the regular season at 4-6.
“From a momentum standpoint, this is unbelievable. This is huge,” Luzzi said. “The team that we just beat, beat the team that we have to play in the first round of the conference tournament 4-0. So if there is some confidence behind this, it’s going to carry over.”
The team will likely play New Hampshire Technical Institute in the first round of YSCC playoffs.
Luzzi said the team could potentially host a playoff game, something the men’s program has not done since joining the YSCC.
Women draw even against ACPHS
The clash of two undefeated titans proved to be an exciting match, that ran into overtime.
The number-one ranked team in Division II of the USCAA, the Paul Smith’s women’s soccer team, tied the number-two ranked, ASPHS, 2-2 on Sunday.
The last time the two teams played against each other was in 2016 when the Panthers defeated the Bobcats 10-0. The Bobcats had never won against the Panthers.
Paul Smith’s coach Bailey Walton said the women’s soccer program has come a long way since the last double-digit loss over five years ago.
“To watch them play the best soccer I’ve seen them play, it’s bittersweet to walk away with the tie,” Walton said. “But I know we’re hungry and we’re gonna get them the next time we see them for sure.”
The Panthers’ Julia Roemer opened up the scoring around 17 minutes into the first half. Almost a minute later, the Bobcats answered back when Kate Roefs scored to even up game.
“They didn’t get here until like a half hour until we had to play and that was kind of disrespectful to us,” Roefs said. “I’m really glad we came out and showed them that we are not beatable easily and we’re gonna compete.”
Right before the first half expired, Roemer scored once again, giving the Panthers the edge at 2-1.
In the second half, the Bobcats looked like a team on a mission. The team got multiple shots on net, before Hayleigh Gates put the ball in the back of the net to even the score.
“We are a very positive team, and we work on building each other up and having a great team culture, just being a great teammate is one of the most important things that I can coach,” Walton said. “We never get down on each other. We continue to amp each other up, all game. We are a very attacking offensive minded team so it was fun to go out there and know that we needed a goal.”
Regulation ended, which forced both teams into a sudden death overtime. In overtime, Paul Smith’s saw multiple chances, including a shot on net from Gates, which forced ACPHS goalie Gabriella Evangelista into making a big save.
After failing to score in the first overtime, the two teams went into a second overtime, which ultimately ended in a tie.
“I think they overlooked us today and it felt pretty good to at least compete hard and almost beat them,” Walton said. “I think we dominated overtime, I think they were pretty scared.”
The Bobcats out-shot the Panthers 19 to 14. Evangelista had 17 saves while Paul Smith’s Anna Thrasher had 12 saves.
“It still feels great, I’m really proud of our team and how our team is doing,” Roefs said. “We definitely could have had that but we all gave it our all.”
With the tie, the Bobcats finish the regular season 7-0-1. It is unclear who the Bobcats will faceoff against in playoffs, but the game is likely to be at home.
“We are going to be the one and two seeds here going into playoffs, receiving a national ranking has felt incredibly wild,” Walton said. “I’m in disbelief, we kind of keep pinching ourselves, but we want to stay modest here and know that we gotta play our game and play hard.”
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