October 22, 2014

Upstate Update - Week 8

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

Skidmore at Hobart - Friday, October 17

One of these teams will play in the post season and one will not. The strength of the Liberty League in 2014 means that a good team will not get a berth in the conference tournament. The nine team conference offers only four playoff spots with the highest two seeds hosting the semi-final rounds. A team that fails to make the conference tournament has virtually no chance of being invited to the NCAA tournament.

Skidmore and their amazing senior class have made noise in the league over the past three seasons, climaxing with a conference finals appearance in 2013. The Thoroughbreds are looking to add to their impressive recent history but to do so had to face a determined Hobart squad. The Statesmen have always been a power player in the conference, but in the last few seasons have found themselves in an unfamiliar mid-table position. A win against Skidmore offered a chance to get a foot into the conference tournament while knocking out their biggest challenger for that last playoff spot.

The Season Thus Far

The Statesmen had a tough start to the season, but have bounced back to be in prime position to qualify for postseason play. Skidmore has had some quality results against good teams this season. The Thoroughbreds were in danger of missing the postseason altogether with a horrible start to conference play, but has the confidence and talent to beat any team in the conference tournament.  But first they must get there.

Game On

Both teams came into the game desperate and played like it. Goalkeepers saw plenty of action as 44 shots and 11 corner kicks were evenly split throughout the game. Despite the goal mouth activity, the game ended in a well fought 0-0 tie.

Take Away

After 110 minutes of fierce competition not much changed. Hobart (8-4-3/2-2-2), with their Satruday tie versus RPI, and Skidmore (8-4-3/2-2-1), with their Satruday win over RIT, are still competing for the final Liberty League playoff spot. Skidmore must now turn its attention to St. Lawrence who comes to town in a few days for a rematch of last season’s conference final. Hobart meanwhile must find a way to beat the up and down Clarkson who continues to be the enigma of the league.

Around the Region

Clarkson 1, Vassar 0 - In a battle of the teacher and the pupil, Clarkson’s (7-7-1/2-3-0) coach Taylor comes out on top handing Vassar (9-4-1/3-1-0) its first conference loss of the season. The first person to congratulate him was his mentor Coach Jennings.

St. Lawrence 1, Vassar 1 (2OT) - The Brewers bounced back to snatch a point from the conference leading Saints. Vassar (9-4-2/3-1-1) were only ten minutes away from securing all three points in Canton for the first time since 2009, but an 80th minute header from sophomore Rob Brandell kept St. Lawrence (12-2-1/5-0-1) unbeaten in conference play.

Bard 1, Clarkson 0 - The men from Bard (6-9-0/1-5-0) secured their first conference win in team history. A gutsy effort was made even more satisfying as it came on the road against a much improved Clarkson team (7-8-1/2-4-0). Bard will continue to improve in the coming years and should take a lot of confidence from this victory.

Stevens 1, Houghton 0 - Stevens (10-3-1/5-0-0) continues to do what Stevens does. Houghton (6-8-1/1-3-1) can still finish the season with a winning record, but must turn it around now.

Ithaca 1, St. John Fisher 0 - Ithaca (4-6-2/4-1-0) has a very good conference record and still looking to make a late season run.

Geneseo State 1, Cortland State 0 - Geneseo State (8-6-2/3-3-1) got a quality win over a good opponent and will look to ride this victory into the conference tournament. Cortland State (11-3-2/6-1-1) comes back to earth, but remains a threat to win the conference tournament.

Oneonta State 1, Hamilton 0 - Hamilton (5-6-2) continues to play a very good non-conference schedule despite being in the powerful NESCAC . Oneonta State (13-0-2) is one of the best teams in the country for a reason. They seem to only be getting better.

Plattsburgh State 4, Fredonia State 0 - Plattsburgh State (8-7-1/3-4-0) knows that it can win the SUNYAC tournament as long as they make it there.  Of course, it's going to require more consistancy than they've shown to date (e.g. Sunday's loss to Buffalo State) to get three consecutive results in the tournament to nab the automatic berth.  Fredonia State (8-4-3/2-3-2), who would go on to lose a third straight game Sunday versus Potsdam State,  has picked the worst time of the season to experience a slump.

Teams of the Week

Bard and Oneonta State

Coach of the Year honors should be considered for Bard’s Andy McCabe who is steadily strengthening the Raptor program in a tough conference. There is not much left to say about Oneonta State who completed seven weeks of play as one of only three undefeated teams across the nation.



Upstate Update

 

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.

 

Columnist

Mani Tafari

Mani Tafari graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2001 with a History degree after four seasons playing for Bob Durocher that included the Saints untied, undefeated national championship season in 1999. Mani subsequently earned his law degree from Pace University School of Law (2009). He currently works as a criminal defense attorney and coaches soccer. He remains passionate about Division III soccer and is a loyal St. Lawrence alumus. In the summer of 2018 he shared his experiences as a player in his series, "Saint 4 Years, Saint 4 Life". [see full bio]

 

Mani Tafari in action

1999 National Champion with St. Lawrence.

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Nov 8: Upstate Update - Week 10
Oct 31: Upstate Update - Week 9
Oct 24: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 17: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 10: Upstate Update - Week 6
Oct 3: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 26: Upstate Update - Week 4
Sep 19: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 12: Upstate Update - Week 2
Sep 5: Upstate Update - Week 1
Nov 8: Upstate Update - Week 10
Nov 1: Upstate Update - Week 9
Oct 25: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 18: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 10: Upstate Update - Week 6
Oct 3: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 26: Upstate Update - Week 4
Sep 19: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 12: Upstate Update - Week 2
Nov 8: Upstate Update - Week 10
Nov 1: Upstate Update - Week 9
Oct 25: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 18: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 12: Upstate Update - Week 6
Oct 4: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 19: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 12: Upstate Update - Week 2
Sep 7: Upstate Update - Week 1
Nov 25: Upstate Update - NCAA Edition
Nov 5: Upstate Update - Conference Playoffs
Oct 28: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 20: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 13: Upstate Update - Week 6
Oct 6: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 29: Upstate Update - Week 4
Sep 22: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 15: Upstate Update - Week 2
Sep 8: Upstate Update - Week 1
Nov 6: Upstate Update - Conference Playoff Edition
Oct 28: Upstate Update - Week 9
Oct 22: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 14: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 7: Upstate Update - Week 6
Sep 30: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 22: Upstate Update - Week 4
Sep 15: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 9: Upstate Update - Week 2