Upstate Update - Week 8
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
Elmira at Ithaca
Saturday, October 24
The battle for the Empire 8 regular season title has been extremely interesting in 2015. Ithaca has stayed atop the conference all year, despite playing below average soccer when facing non-conference opponents. A win against a strong Elmira squad would put the Bombers in striking distance of the regular season crown.
The Season Thus Far
Elmira (6-4-4/2-0-3) entered the game undefeated in conference play and looking to secure a post season berth. Elmira had recovered well after starting the season with three straight losses. Ithaca (4-7-2/4-1-0) also had a rocky start to the year before dominating the competition during league play.
The Bombers took the lead in the eighteenth minute, but only briefly held on to their advantage before Elmira equalized from a set piece three minutes later when a well taken corner was met by the head of Michael Bryant. Elmira would go toe to toe with their hosts despite ending the game with 10 men. Ithaca utilized its one man advantage to dominate the overtime period resulting in their eventual game winner late in the first overtime period. A 2-1 home win was deserved by the Bombers who outshot the visitors 27-15 and also held a 9-5 advantage in corner kicks.
Ithaca (5-7-2/5-1-0) continues its outstanding league form, and proves once again the importance of performing well in conference play. Elmira (6-5-4/2-1-3) suffers its first league loss and first overall loss in nine games, its longest such streak since the 2011 season.
Around the Region
Brockport State 3, Plattsburgh State 2 - Brockport (11-3-2/5-2-2) gets a good come from behind win against quality competition to wrest the SUNYAC #2 seed away from Plattsburgh (13-3-3/4-2-3) who now head into the post season as the #4 seed after a disappointing two-loss weekend with the equally damaging loss to Potsdam the day before. The Cardinals will have an immediate opportunity for payback when they host Potsdam in the conference quarterfinals.
St. Lawrence 1, Skidmore 0 - St. Lawrence (11-3-2/5-2-0) is back atop the Liberty League and is looking likely to host throughout the league tournament. Skidmore loses back to back league games after winning four straight.
Oneonta State 1, Buffalo State 0 - Oneonta (13-3-1/8-1-0) seem ready for the post season, which is bad news for all who stand in their way.
Hobart 2, Clarkson 0 - Hobart (12-2-2/ 4-1-2) has arguably been the most consistent team in the Liberty League this season. The Statesmen will look to maintain that consistency as the real season is now set to begin.
Cortland State 3, Oswego State 0 - Cortland (11-4-2/5-3-1) are heating up at exactly the right time winning six of the last seven as we enter the conference playoffs.
Vassar 2, RPI 1 - There is a dog fight for the fourth and final Liberty League playoff spot. Vassar (7-5-2/3-3-0) eliminates RPI (10-4-3/3-3-2) from playoff contention, but must now battle Union and RIT for a post season berth.
Feedonia State 5, New Paltz State 4 - New Paltz (10-8-1/3-6-0) has had a good year and is a program on the rise despite a disappointing end to the season.
Houghton 2, Alfred 1 - Alfred (10-4-2/3-2-1) will have a chance to bounce back to early season form in their final league game against leaders Ithaca.
Union 1, Rochester Tech 0 - Up next for Union (9-2-4/2-1-3) is a Vassar team just as desperate for a win in order to make the post season.
Teams of the Week
Ithaca and Oneonta State
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