Upstate Update - Week 2
By Mani Tafari
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
Vassar vs. Oneonta State
This week we break down a clash between Oneonta State, a program that has been on an impressive trajectory since transitioning to Division III ten years ago, against Vassar, a team who has been strong over the past five seasons. Vassar can rightfully count itself as a regional heavyweight, while the reigning SUNYAC champions have ambitions of yet another Final Four run.
The Season Thus Far
Oneonta State began the season with three straight shut-out wins where they scored nine goals. A year ago, Oneonta State did not lose until the Final Four. Yet, they entered this game after a disappointing 2-0 home loss against Williams to give coach Eric Sullivan a win in his debut with the Ephs. Vassar was coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss at the hands of Manhattanville. Both teams were in need of a good result.
Vassar struck early when the aptly named sophomore Hayden Van Brewer assisted senior Nick Hess who capitalized in the 10th minute. Senior Dylan Williams would equalize from the penalty spot before halftime when a hand ball was spotted by the referee. Both teams battled back and forth in an intense game that headed to overtime. Oneonta was more assertive in the extra periods, but without reward as the the score held at 1-1 when time expired.
Vassar gets some measure of payback after losing the corresponding fixture last season 4-1. This is a much improved Vassar squad that could cause serious concerns to its Liberty League opponents this season. Meanwhile, Oneonta knows the season is still early, but will try to avoid more blemishes on a record that has been amazing over the past few seasons.
Around the Region
Brockport State 2, Ohio Northern 0 - It was a good away win for Brockport State (4-1-0) and further proof that there are many heavy hitters in the SUNYAC in 2015. On the season, Brockport has shutout their opponent in each win, while only giving up one goal in their lone loss against Hopkins.
St. Lawrence 1, Geneseo State 1 (OT) - Both teams entered and left the game undefeated. St. Lawrence (4-1-1) suffered their first blemish of the season by seeing their season long shutout streak come to an end at the hands of Geneseo State. (Update: The Saints lost their first game of the season against Potsdam State tonight.)
RPI 2, Stockton 1 - RPI remains perfect on the season by improving to 4-0 with their win against Stockton. The next night their 2-0 win against William Patterson extended their winning streak to five game. Coach Clinton’s men continue to impress after losing two of the best players in team history. A match-up with Oneonta State looms; this matchup should tell us a lot about both teams.
Potsdam State 2, Skidmore 0 - Potsdam State (6-1-0) is for real. Unfortunately for the Bears, no one will be taking them lightly from here on out. Skidmore fell to 1-1-0 before defeating SUNY Canton to finish the week. (Update: Skidmore beat Williams 2-0 tonight).
Cortland State 4, Rochester Tech 0 - Cortland State had an impressive 2014 season and will look to continue its good run of form against St. Lawrence in yet another SUNYAC/Liberty clash.
Clarkson 3, St. John Fisher 1 - Clarkson (2-2-1) evens out their record with a good win. Coach Taylor’s team continues to form an identity before the start of the conference schedule.
Teams of the Week
RPI and Potsdam State
RPI are a confident bunch who will be looking to return to the NCAA tournament after narrowly missing out in 2014. A team that many felt should have been a participant in last season’s dance will look to give the committee no choice this year.