Upstate Update - Week 9
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
Geneseo State at Potsdam State - Saturday, October 25
In one of the toughest conferences in the country, SUNYAC rivals Potsdam State and Geneseo State locked horns with the knowledge that the victor would host the opening round of the SUNYAC Tournament. For Geneseo, a balanced season thus far could have a story book ending starting with a win to close out the regular season. On the other side, a win would allow Potsdam’s seniors to avoid the normal “best class ever” argument that happens at reunions in the off season as this class could take credit for earning the program’s first-ever home playoff game to go along with the most wins in a four-year period, most wins in a season, three of the program’s four conference tournament appearances, and first winning season since 2000.
The Season Thus Far
Geneseo have lost a few games they perhaps should have won, but coming off back-to-back wins over Cortland State and Plattsburgh State, the Blue Knights were ready to storm yet another castle. Potsdam meanwhile had a good streak going after an uneven start. Da Bears had won impressively at Fredonia State before holding hard-charging Brockport State to tie.
In what would prove a defensive battle for most of the game, it was fittingly a senior, Cliff Bondi, who decided this one on Senior Day by winning a foot race to score the goal of the season (so far) for Potsdam State (9-7-2/4-4-1). Geneseo (9-7-2/4-4-1) battled back fiercely but Bears goalkeeper Nick Davies stood firm in net recording six saves while breaking the program record for career wins.
The tactical preparation will begin immediately as these two will again face each other again in a few days in the SUNYAC quarterfinals. Geneseo will not want to end their season by losing yet another heart-breaker while Coach Parker and Potsdam State will look to add to an impressive legacy.
Around the Region
Cortland State 4, Oswego State 0 - Cortland State (12-3-1/7-1-1) bounces back well after a tough loss last week. The Red Dragons might have done enough to deserve an at-large NCAA invite should they fail to win the SUNYAC tournament. Oswego State (4-9-2/3-5-1) can take pride in a well-played season that still has more to come.
Brockport State 3, Plattsburgh State 2 (OT) - Eleven of Brockport State’s (9-2-6/4-2-3) games have gone to overtime this year. This fact might ultimately come back to haunt this talented group come Selection Sunday. It won’t happen for Plattsburgh State (8-9-1/3-6-0) this year. Three heartbreaking one-goal losses on the trot means that this historic program must look to next season.
St. Lawrence 1, Skidmore 0 (OT) - In a rematch of last season’s tournament final, Skidmore (8-5-3/2-3-1) clashed with St. Lawrence (13-2-1/6-0-1). This game matched the Liberty League’s most potent offense against the stingiest defense with Adam Beek lead the Thoroughbred attack at home against the Saints’ tough tackling Harry Copeland. However, it would be Saint senior All-American goalie Aaron Castello who would steal the show. Castello was making his return after an 11 game absence due to injury. The man who holds the Saints’ single season record for shut-outs came up big when it mattered most to stop a 1-v-1 break away early in the second half and keep the game even. Regulation would end 0-0. Nine minutes into overtime, however, junior back Dan Hunt scored his third goal of the season to give St. Lawrence the hard fought win. The result leaves only one spot remaining in the Liberty League playoffs—a spot that could still be won by Skidmore.
RPI 2, Vassar 0 - In an evenly matched game RPI (11-2-3/6-1-1) finished its chances while Vassar (9-5-2/3-2-1) did not. The two squads might be meeting again in just a week or two. Both these teams participated in the Liberty League tournament the past few seasons, yet in the conference’s pre-season poll both were picked to finish outside the top four. However, soccer is played on the field and these very strong programs will be there playing for an opportunity to danc
Hobart 4, Clarkson 1 - The Hobart Statesmen (10-4-3/3-2-2) are eager to take their rightful place among the top teams in the Liberty League and the region which is bad news for anyone standing in their way. Clarkson (7-9-1/2-5-0) had a good year under first year had coach Chris Taylor, and the future looks bright for the boys up north.
Stevens 4, Alfred 0 - The Stevens Ducks (11-3-1/6-0-0) are playing great football at exactly the right time of year. Alfred (9-6-2/3-2-1) are still one of the strongest teams in the Empire 8 and will look to make some noise in the conference tournament.
Teams of the Week
Oneonta State and Potsdam State