Special to the OBSERVER
OSWEGO Fredonia State fell below .500 with a 7-1 SUNYAC loss to the top-ranked Oswego Lakers.
The Blue Devils dropped to 4-5 overall and 3-4 in the SUNYAC. They find themselves tied for fourth place place with nine conference games remaining, beginning Nov. 30 at home vs. Buffalo State. It's their lone game over the next 19 days.
"Believe it or not we had some bright spots," Fredonia State coach Jeff Meredith said. "(Oswego) has the No. 1 ranking for a reason."
Sophomore forward Declan Gunovski was credited with his first goal of the season to account for the Blue Devil scoring. It was the result of a defensive mistake by Oswego. Gunovski dumped the puck into the zone from outside the blue line. The puck deflected first off the boards, then off the stick of Oswego defenseman Zach Josepher, and into the net following a miscommunication between him and goaltender Andrew Hare.
"We're a work in progress," Meredith added. "It's good that we're going on Thanksgiving break. Most guys have been here since the end of August. We'll have a nice break and come back next week."
The goal cut the Oswego lead to 3-1 at 1:29 of the second period. It jump-started the Blue Devils, yet only briefly. The Lakers countered with two goals in the second period, and two more in the third period off Blue Devil junior goaltender Jeff Holloway, who replaced starter Mark Friesen. Holloway was credited with 27 saves.
Friesen left the game with 52 seconds left in the first period after he shaken up following a collision in the goal crease. Play continued and Oswego scored its third goal on the play as Friesen lay on the ice. Holloway was also shaken up in the third period, yet stayed in the game.
For Oswego, Paul Rodrigues and Luke Moodie, had five points each. Moodie had a hattrick while Chris Ayotte added two goals, and Rodrigues and Chris Muise one goal each. Rodrigues also had four assists. He and Moodie lead NCAA Division III with 19 points each. In goal, Ware was credited with 27 saves.
The Lakers improved to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the SUNYAC. They are ranked No. 1 in the USCHO.com NCAA Division III poll.
The game was watched by a sellout crowd of 2,471.
Devils fall short vs. W and J
ERIE, Pa - The Fredonia State women's basketball team dropped its opening game of the Penn State Behrend Tip-Off Tournament, 64-54, to Washington and Jeffereson on Saturday.
Down nine, 59-50, with 1:47 left to play, Fredonia State converted four consecutive free throws to make it a two-possesion game, 59-54. W and J responded by connecting on five of six free throws to close out the victory.
Freshman Sabrina Macauley led the Devils with 12 points, and added six rebounds. All 12 points came at the free-throw line, as she hit on 12 of 14 attempts. Junior Jaimie Warren had nine rebounds and seven points. Juniors Beckey Hebert and Marissa Cousins and senior Jenna Austin had seven points apiece. Austin also had five assists.
The teams battled to a 29-all tie at the half. W and J's biggest lead of the first period came at the 9:07 mark. A three pointer by Alex Bernardi made it 20-11. The Devils closed out the half on an 18-9 flurry to knot the game at 29.
Midway through the second frame, the Devils pulled within two points, 43-41, following a pair of free throws by Macauley at the 9:18 mark. The Presidents bounced back with a 10-2 run capped with an Emily Abraham three-pointer at the 6:39 mark to take a 53-43 lead.
The game was even statistically, with W and J holding a 38-37 advantage in rebounding, and both teams committing 17 turnovers.
The Devils will take on Cazenovia on Sunday. Behrend defeated the Wildcats 80-43 earlier in the evening.
Men's Cross Country
Hess reflects upon 2012 NCAA experience
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. Sophomore Zakk Hess briefly led the NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country championship race Saturday morning.
The fast start and layout of the 8,000-meter LaVern Gibson course eventually took a toll on him. His final time of 26:15.9 placed him 184th in a field of 280 finishers. Race-time weather conditions were sunny and 46 degrees.
"The plan was to go out hard like I did at regionals last week and see if I could hold on," Hess explained in a text message. "I got excited and went out a little too hard. The course was also a lot tougher than I expected. There were a lot of turns and gradual uphills."
"I led for a while," Hess wrote in another text, "and realized that no one was coming so I was probably going too fast. Once we got down the hill to the 1K mark everyone started catching up and going."
Hess was among the top high school milers in New York as a senior at North Rose-Wolcott High School, yet this is only his second year of cross country. His strategy of going out fast paid off last Saturday when he led early, was second after 2,000 meters, and hung on for 12th in the NCAA Atlantic Regional in Rochester.
As a result, he earned an NCAA all-regional award and an invitational to the national meet. Now that he's been there, he wants to go back.
"I'm pleased with it (his race Saturday) overall," he wrote. "It was an amazing experience and my goal is to come back next year stronger and smarter."
The winner Saturday was Tim Nelson of the Wisconsin-Stout in 24:26.8. Ahead by 16 seconds after 5K, Nelson finished eight seconds ahead of Allegheny's Bobby Over.
"My strategy was to stay relaxed for the first 2K and not slow down on the winding turns," Nelson said. "I told myself before the race that if I didn't win, I'd be okay with it as long as I gave everything I had. o be able to do that and win the race, it's very satisfying."
North Central won the men's team title for the 15th time in 30 years with 167 points. Calvin was second with 188. There were 32 full teams from the eight NCAA regions.