September 12, 2016

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

RIT at Potsdam State

Sunday, September 11

RIT and Potsdam State are two teams eager to take the next step in 2016. They each compete in two of the toughest conferences in the country and are looking to fine tune before entering the real part of the season, the conference schedule. RIT has always been a competitive team in the Liberty League, normally finishing in the middle of the pack and always a tough out for conference foes. The Tigers though have had difficulty breaking into the top four of conference standings necessary to be invited to the tournament playoffs. Potsdam meanwhile has had a bit of a meteoric rise in the very challenging SUNYAC conference, and has solidified its spot as an annual conference playoff participant. To add to the excitement of this early season clash, the Bears had not defeated RIT since 1966.

The Season Thus Far

RIT came into the game after starting the season with a respectable 2-1-0 record. Potsdam State was off once again to a flying start to the season and started the match with a 3-0-1 record. A win would cap a great start to the season for both teams.

While the main focus of both squads was getting ready for their respective conference tilts, the coaches also were looking for strong early season wins that might sway the committee should they end up on the bubble come November.

Game On

The home team had the slight advantage in possession and opportunities in the opening minutes of the game but Tiger goalkeeper, Pete Cinibulk, used cat-like reflexes to keep his team on even terms. The first half ended scoreless as both teams split 10 shots evenly.

The fireworks would start in the second half and it would be “Da Bears” who broke the tie. Junior forward Brandon Laurin scored in the 52nd minute managing to finally get one by Cinibulk. It would take less than four minutes for RIT defender Scott Geyer to head in the equalizer and the score once again was even. The winning goal would come in the 78th minute when Laurin edged goalkeeper Cinibulk by a split second to finish a rebound and won the game for the Bears.

Take Away

Potsdam State now 4-0-1 have had a dream start to the season. The key point here is that this is a team now used to success.

RIT with a 2-2-0 start to the season can still rebound and might count themselves unlucky to drop this one. A very tough Liberty League schedule lies ahead, but with traditional powers struggling this might still be the year of the Tiger.

Around the Region

St. Lawrence 4, Geneseo State 1 - It is always a tight battle when Geneseo meets the Saints, this game was no exception. The home team led by a goal to nil with 17 minutes remaining before the Saints exploded for four goals in the game’s final minutes.

Cortland 2, Ithaca 0 - Cortland seems to go from strength to strength. This team will be around in November, the weekend games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence will be telling.

Rowan 1, Oneonta State 0 - Still early in the season, but there might be some cause for concern for Oneonta.

Alfred 1, Medaille 0 - The men from Alfred are once again having a very good start to the season; this might be the year they make it over the hump.

RPI 2, Dickinson 1 - Solid 2-1-1 start to the season for RPI, next up, a game against Oneonta which should tell us a lot about both teams in 2016.

Clarkson 1, St. John Fisher 1 - A very good come from behind result for the men from Potsdam has the program feeling ready to challenge in the Liberty League.

Baruch 1, Skidmore 0 - Skidmore cannot afford too many results like this. In a year when several teams are making a playoff push, 2015 conference finalists must right the ship soon.

Rochester 1, Kean 0 - Despite a difficult 2015, a 3-0 start is what we have come to expect from Rochester.

Kean 3, Brockport 1 - With Potsdam and Plattsburgh State gaining steam, this is not a good time for Brockport to falter. Good news is that the conference schedule has yet to start.

Team of the Week

Clarkson

More than two decades since their Final Four run, Clarkson might be gearing up for something big.

 


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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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Previous
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