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Niagara drops tightly contested Mayor's Cup final to Hartwick


ONEONTA -- The Niagara Purple Eagles men's soccer team faced off against the host Hartwick Hawks in the championship of the Mayor's Cup on Sunday afternoon. Both Niagara and Hartwick had their share of scoring chances early, but a header goal in the 16th minute by Hartwick proved to be the difference in a 1-0 Niagara loss.

Midfielder Bautista Pedezert and goalkeeper Joel Gerberich were named to the Mayor's Cup All-Tournament Team following Sunday's match. Niagara defeated Robert Morris 2-1 on Friday night for a chance to play for the championship in Sunday's matchup with Hartwick.
Game Summary

  • Final Score: Hartwick 1, Niagara 0
  • Niagara Goals: n/a
  • Niagara Assists: n/a
  • In GoalJoel Gerberich (1-3) – 1 GA, 4 SV
  • Records: Niagara – 1-5-0; Hartwick – 2-3-0
  • Location: Elmore Field – Oneonta, N.Y.
  • Attendance: 310
Game Recap

  • Niagara had two chances in the opening minute to get on the board. Bautista Pedezert was stopped by Hartwick's Lenny Wilson on the game's first shot just beyond the seven-minute mark, and Matt Lopoyda had a shot blocked by a Hartwick defender eight minutes later.
  • Less than a minute after Lopoyda's chance was turned away, Hartwick's Johnny McBeth placed a cross to Jamie O'Grady, whose header beat Niagara's Joel Gerberich to give the Hawks the lead.
  • The Purple Eagles were held without a shot the rest of the first half, but had two early second-half chances from Zulfikar Karimi that were turned aside by Wilson.
  • Konrad Zydowicz entered the game in the 68th minute and got in on the offense just three minutes later, but missed his shot wide.
  • Hartwick controlled the late possession and put three shots on goal in the final 10 minutes, but Gerberich denied all three to keep Niagara within one.
  • Pedezert had another chance turned away in the 83rd minute as Wilson made four saves to keep the clean sheet for Hartwick.
Inside the Numbers

  • Joel Gerberich started his fourth straight match in goal for Niagara, making four saves in the loss.
  • The goalkeeper closed the weekend at the Mayor's Cup with two goals against and nine saves, good for a save percentage of .818.
  • Zulfikar Karimi and Bautista Pedezert both finished the match tied for a game-high two shots on goal.
  • Hartwick outshot Niagara 16-6 but held just a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal. The Hawks also had seven corner kicks to Niagara's two.
Up Next

  • The Purple Eagles head to Virginia next weekend to conclude the seven-game season opening road trip against the James Madison Dukes. Niagara and James Madison face off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15.