Wildcats Down Nittany Lions in NEAC Championship Rematch
MARCY, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Men's Soccer Team (5-4-0) defeated Penn St.-Harrisburg on Saturday by the same score with which they defeated the Nittany Lions in last year's NEAC Championship game, 2-0. SUNYIT star Diego Montaleza (New York, N.Y. / MLK) was fantastic in the win with a score and an assist.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, when Montaleza made a great move to beat his defender down the right side before crossing to Josh Kimber (Chittenango, N.Y. / Chittenango) for the easy top-shelf goal.
With the goal, Kimber continued his hot streak from a week ago, when he netted all four of SUNYIT's goals in a win over Penn St.-Berks.
Montaleza made a superlative move to get in position for the assist. The junior's always clever footwork was on particular display Saturday, drawing oohs and ahhs from the near-capacity crowd.
Ten minutes later, Montaleza's fellow MLK classmate preserved the SUNYIT advantage with a tremendous save, coming out for a perfect slide tackle to break up a potential one-on-one opportunity for Harrisburg.
After holding a commanding 14 to 5 shots advantage in the first half, the Nittany Lions held SUNYIT to a 5-5 tie in that category in the second half. Montaleza, however, proved that quality trumps quantity when he came up with what – save for Josh Kimber's incredible header to tie the game against Clarkson earlier in the year – might've been the play of the year for SUNYIT in the 62nd minute. Reports were varied, but Montaleza's laser to the top right corner was rumored to have come from just outside of 40 yards. The play brought the crowd to its feet, as Montaleza ran half the field while his teammates chased him in celebration.
With the 2-0 win, SUNYIT evened its NEAC record at 2-2, while improving to 5-4 overall.