Upstate Update - Week 4
By D3soccer.com Contributor
The Upstate Update brings you up to speed on Division III men's soccer in the "Upstate" New York region, home to the SUNYAC, Liberty League, and Empire 8. Several key matches will be recapped each week along with a more in-depth look at a Game of the Week.
Game of the Week
RPI at Skidmore
Liberty League foes RPI and Skidmore got together for an early season mid-week game that promised playoff intensity. Not only was this the opening game of the Liberty League season, but also a clash of two teams who lost heartbreakers to each other in 2013.
The season thus far
RPI entered the game undefeated after a solid pre-season and boasting good senior leadership on an overall balanced squad. Memories of a season ending loss to Skidmore in last year’s conference semifinal was fresh in the minds of their seniors who made it to the NCAA tournament in both their freshman and sophomore years before Beek and company ended the streak.
Skidmore in the meantime has had a good start to the season. A narrow 3-2 loss to nationally-ranked Montclair State to open the season wasn’t hard to countenance, leaving a shock 1-0 defeat to up-and-coming SUNY-Canton as the only real stain on their record. The Thoroughbreds have been on the rise evidenced by a strong season in 2013 that included an away win at St. Lawrence and an amazing run all the way to the conference final. But they will recall a strong RPI team that came from behind to beat them in last year’s regular season game.
RPI proved to be the hungrier and more talented team on the day. Matt Carberry would get the decider in a 1-0 game dominated by the Engineers. RPI controlled the flow of play and owned the center of the park, outshooting Skidmore 19-10 with an even more lopsided 9-1 shots-on-goal advantage.
In a year that will prove to be very competitive in the Liberty League, RPI (6-0-1) has sent a message that there are only three playoff spots with question marks. As for Skidmore (4-3-0), there must be lessons learned if they intend to once again challenge at the top of the league. In order to end their NCAA drought, improvements must be made and quickly. Despite having one of the best attacks in the conference, consistency continues to be the major problem for this talented squad.
Around the Region
Stevens (4-3-0) reminded the region of their strength after a good week which included strong 2-0 wins over Vassar (6-2-1) and Nazareth (2-4-0).
The entire SUNYAC reminded the nation of their strength by having yet another great week. Eight of ten teams are at or above .500, with the top 5 boasting an over all record of 25-5-4. Oneonta State (6-0-1) and Brockport State (4-0-3) remain undefeated, while Fredonia State (5-1-0), Cortland State (5-2-0) and Plattsburgh State (5-2-1) continue to quietly impress.
Clarkson (5-3-1) bounced back to beat Potsdam State (5-3-1) 2-0 a day after suffering a 3-1 set back against rival Plattsburgh State.
In derby games this week an injury-hit St. Lawrence squad (5-2-0) travelled seven minutes up the road and scratched out a hard fought 2-0 win over a much improved Potsdam State (5-3-1) while Rochester (4-1-2) came out on top of RIT (1-5-1) by a score of 3-2 in the battle for The Flower City.
Teams of the Week
Stevens and Oneonta State
Stevens (4-3-0) was expected to make a big run in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and was disappointed with an early second round exit. The Ducks will be very content to fly under the radar this year if it means peaking at the right time in November. Oneonta State (6-0-1) meanwhile is gaining national attention as the best team in a very strong SUNYAC.