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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Team of the Week
More than two decades since their Final Four run, Clarkson might be gearing up for something big.
Comments or feedback for the author? E-mail us.