ONEONTA, NY – Hartwick held off visiting Georgia State by a 1-0 final to improve to 3-0 in the Sun Belt Conference Saturday at Elmore Field. Wyatt Scott (Cicero, NY/Cicero North Syracuse) scored the game-winner in the 55th minute and the Hawks kept the Panthers out for the clean sheet.
Hartwick is now in sole possession of first place in the league standings with two games remaining. Georgia State and Georgia Southern are tied for second at 2-1 with both of their losses coming at the hands of the Hawks.
’Wick is now a perfect 8-0 in their last eight matches against Sun Belt opposition dating back to last season.
“We withstood a lot of pressure tonight but defensively we stood firm,” said Hartwick coach John Scott. “It was a hard fought win tonight.”
The Hawks had the better of the chances in the opening half. Perhaps the best opportunity was a left-footed effort from Jamie O’Grady (Falkirk, Scotland/Falkirk) off a Mike Rood (Conklin, NY/Susquehanna Valley) pass that forced a diving effort from State keeper Greyson Walldorff with 15 and a half minutes remaining.
Hartwick would hold a 7-4 edge in shots in the opening 45 minutes.
“At halftime, we were confident our opportunity would come following how we played in the first half,” added John Scott. “Wyatt showed tremendous composure and calmness to make sure the ball beats their keeper.”
O’Grady began the play, switching the ball to the right side for right back Jack Miller (Commack, NY/Commack). He played a long ball over the top of the Panther defense and Scott slipped around a defender, getting to the ball first, and buried his chance for the go-ahead goal.
The Panthers had several dangerous balls in the box that they just missed getting on the end of, but the Hawks were able to weather the storm to secure the three points.
Lenny Wilson (Aberdeen, Scotland/Cults Academy) would make four saves to earn his fifth clean sheet of the season. He lowers his goals against average to 1.13 in 14 matches. Walldorff would make one save for Georgia State.
Hartwick (7-4-3) is back on Elmore for its final non-conference match of the season on Tuesday night against Vermont. The Hawks will look to secure their second straight regular season conference title on Saturday, October 31 as they visit Appalachian State.