Upstate Update - Week 7
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
Cortland State at Hobart
Tuesday, October 17
The Statesmen had an uneven start to the season but have since righted the ship and sit at second place in the Liberty League standings with post-season play already guaranteed.
The Season Thus Far
Cortland looks a team hungry for success. This era of Red Dragons might be the most talented in team history, and they want to cement that fact with physical hardware. Cortland State have been dominant all season; after a successful non-league season, the SUNYAC schedule has been flawless besides a loss to the dangerous Buffalo State.
Hobart have been outstanding in Liberty League play and remain unbeaten with two games remaining.
Both teams came ready to play. Hobart were encouraged by their home crowd and tried to break down the Red Dragon defense, but – despite their strong play and a 9-7 edge in shot attempts – the game remained scoreless as the first half came to an end.
The visitors began to find their grove in the second half, dominating both possession and shot attempts. Hobart withstood the storm and even generated a few counter punching opportunities of their own. As regulation drew to a close, the teams seemed evenly matched and neither could break through.
In the end, it would take a Ma’Cain Spragling 30-yard power drive from a free kick to earn Cortland the victory and snap Hobart’s 10 game unbeaten streak. The senior scored with less than a minute before the end of the first overtime
Cortland goes home happy and, after yet another win against a quality team, it seems that they will be ordering their dancing shoes for November. Hobart sees a good streak come to an end, but still know that they control their own destiny and are in good position to host the Liberty League final.
Cortland are a dangerous attacking team. They have a several dynamic players that create just as well as they finish. The team will be a entering the playoffs in good form.
Hobart must quickly refocus as they get ready to host league leaders Vassar in a game that could decide home field advantage throughout the Liberty League playoffs.
Around the Region
Vassar 2, St. Lawrence 1 - League leaders clashed in Poughkeepsie in a game that was monumental for both teams. St. Lawrence and Vassar have won the last four league titles combined and entered the game as the top two teams in the standings.
RIT 2, Skidmore 2 (2OT) - Skidmore now has five ties this season in Liberty League play and are in danger of missing out on playoff soccer despite being undefeated in league play. Meanwhile, RIT is making a serious run at post season play.
Buffalo State 1, Potsdam 0 - Buffalo State remains undefeated in league play and join Oneonta State and Cortland State as serious threats coming out of the SUNYAC conference. Potsdam State is having a down year after an impressive few seasons on the rise.
Oneonta 2, New Paltz 0 - Oneonta has no sympathy for last season’s Cinderella story.
Rutgers-Newark 2, Stevens 0 - Despite the loss, the Ducks still remain the team to beat in the Empire 8 as they sit atop league standings.
Team of the Week
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