Upstate Update - Week 1
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
Plattsburgh State at Clarkson
Tuesday, September 6
Two programs with great traditions and big dreams for the future kick off our 2016 game of the week. Clarkson and Plattsburgh spent the 1990s as powerhouse programs in the region and country. Both teams have played in the final four and hope this season will be a good building block to get back. One thing was for certain, Coach Chris would walk away a winner. All-time Plattsburgh assist leader, and Clarkson Coach Chris Taylor was looking to inflict early season pain on Plattsburgh, while the dean of D3 coaches, Chris Waterbury, was eager to continue the dominance his side had so far exhibited in this young season.
The Season Thus Far
Plattsburgh entered the game undefeated after two games while outscoring opponents by a 5-1 margin. Clarkson meanwhile were off to a quick start after two good wins. Both teams had played a combined four games while giving up one goal so the game promised to be a defensive battle.
Both teams came out looking to possess the ball, but it was the away team that would dominate possession while applying pressure on the Clarkson defense. Despite Plattsburgh leading in most statistical categories, a 0-0 scoreline at the half seemed fair.
The second half provided more of the same and at the sound of the horn the game remained deadlocked. After the first half of regulation, the game appeared headed for a well fought tie. It seemed that only an act of brilliance would be able to break the stalemate . . . and then one came, Ian Spear, Plattsburgh’s junior midfielder delivered a 30 yard screamer in the top left corner of the goal sending the men from Plattsburgh away as deserved winners.
A three game win streak to begin the season should have Waterbury’s men in good spirits as they continue their preparation to challenge for the SUNYAC crown. For Clarkson, they have already shown in the young season that they will come ready to play.
Around the Region
St. John Fisher 3, Hobart 1 - Hobart were unlucky to miss out on the big dance last year, but they must right the ship soon. Very good win for St. John Fisher, who will now hope Hobart will right the ship as well.
Cortland State 3, Skidmore 1 - Cortland may just be the next beast from the East.
Alfred 2, Penn State-Altoona 0 - After a very good 2015, Alfred is off to a promising start.
RPI 2, Utica 0 - Coach Clinton’s men know well the importance of a good start to the season, after dancing to the second round of the NCAA’s in 2015.
Team of the Week
Plattsburgh would have been here after a 3-0-0 start to the season, but Ian Spear’s early goal of the season contender was just the cherry on top.
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