Blue Devils tie, win first two games of the year

BUFFALO — Fredonia’s first game of the 2018 men’s soccer season ended in a 0-0 tie versus Medaille.

Blue Devil Junior goalkeeper Ty Bentham was credited with five saves and the eighth shutout of his collegiate career. Medaille goalkeeper Jonny Pitts made four stops.

Bentham’s next-to-last save came in the 105th on a point-blank shot by Mitchell Ai. Bentham also made a save in the final minute.

Offensively, the Blue Devils took seven shots — two by sophomore Jackson Retzer and one each by freshman Matt Cullen, sophomore Sam Wagner, freshman Oleg Savka, and sophomore Domenic Monti.

The game was part of the Buffalo State Fred Hartrick Classic, which continued Saturday when the Blue Devils took on Elmira at 4 p.m.

In that game, a goal by Fredonia Blue Devil junior midfielder Matt Belardi was the game-winner Saturday at the Buffalo State Fred Hartrick Classic.

Heading home a free kick by sophomore defender Jackson Retzer, Belardi broke a scoreless tie in the 73rd minute and junior goalkeeper Ty Bentham made it stand for a 1-0 victory over Elmira.

“We really struggled physically with fatigue and the heat today,” Fredonia Head Coach P.J. Gondek said. “After playing to double overtime yesterday, we lacked focus at times in the first half and it allowed Elmira to gain confidence.

“In the second half, we appeared to get our second wind and really took the game to them. After scoring the goal we defended well but again made some mental errors that almost cost us.

Kevin Loftus appeared in 10 games as a freshman, two of them starts, but has earned a starting spot in Gondek’s back line this season as well as a place on the Hatrrick all-tournament team. Retzer also was all-tournament while Bentham received consideration following his second shutout in as many days. He made two saves.

“A win is a win,” Gondek said, “and to not give up a goal all weekend is pretty impressive.”

The Blue Devils take a 1-0-1 record into their home opener Tuesday night vs. D’Youville. Game time is 7 p.m. at University Stadium.

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