October 18, 2017

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

A Tuesday evening clash between the elite of the Liberty League and the SUNYAC brings us our mid-season game of the week.

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 Red Dragons have stamped their authority on the mighty SUNYAC and are guaranteed the top seed with a win over rival Oswego State this coming weekend.

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.

Game On

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.

Take Away

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.

Hobart 1, RPI 0 - Hobart now sit at second-place in the league, but face Vassar and St. Lawrence over the next two weeks. It might be time for RPI to hit the panic button.

Clarkson 1, Bard 0 - Clarkson keeps their hopes alive but still need to catch two trending teams: Ithaca and RPI.

Ithaca 4, Union 2 - The Bombers are quickly becoming the most prolific team in the league, while Union once again showed defensive vulnerabilities.

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.

Buffalo State 1, Plattsburgh State 0 - Plattsburgh is pushing hard for a playoff spot in the unforgiving SUNYAC, but were taken down by Buffalo State.

Nazareth 1, St. John Fisher 0 (OT) - Nazareth continues to battle Stevens for the top seed in the Empire 8 conference.

Sage 0, Utica 0 (2OT) - Sage plays Utica to a tie while looking to cement post season play in their new league.

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

Vassar

The Brewers are looking to win back-to-back league titles, and it will prove tough for Hobart to stop them.

 


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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