October 25, 2017

Upstate Update - Week 8

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

Vassar at Hobart

Saturday, October 21

The Statesmen of Hobart (7-4-4 / 5-0-3) are once again featured in our game of the week. Their opponents are the league leading Vassar Brewers (8-4-2 / 5-1-1) who entered the competition as defending league champions and unbeaten in conference play. This top of the table clash between the first and second place teams in the conference highlighted an exciting weekend in the Liberty League.

This season has been one of the most competitive in Liberty League history. With two additional playoff places up for grabs, players have been battling for weeks for a chance to play in the post season.

Hobart, Vassar and St. Lawrence have been the most consistent teams to date and find themselves in a three horse race for a first round bye granted to the top two teams.

The Season Thus Far

Both teams suffered non-conference setbacks before rounding in to form at the beginning of league play. Although beginning the day in the top two spots, the losing team would be at risk of being surpassed in the standings by lurking St. Lawrence.

Vassar and Hobart booked their playoff spots much earlier in the season, this game was for the right to play at home in November.

Game On

The first half was lively and physical but failed to produce a goal as both teams focused on being defensively sound. The second half began with fireworks when sophomore Nick Wigglesworth wiggled himself into the box in the 50th minute to head the Statesmen in front. The goal excited Hobart and awoke the Brewers as just 90 seconds later the league leaders responded through their marksman Joe Novas who scored his team leading seventh goal of the season.

With the game knotted at a goal a piece in the 90th minute, Hobart appeared headed to its eighth overtime game of the season. Hobart senior Patrick Schulz had other ideas. Shulz broke down the right flank and banged in a stunner to send the crowd home in a good mood.

The Liberty League has yet another league leader. Hobart is now the only undefeated team in conference play. A result against St. Lawrence at home on the weekend will see the Statesmen host a Liberty League semi-final.

Vassar sees a good streak come to an end but know that they still control their own destiny and are still in good position to host the Liberty League final. Vassar must regroup and refocus with two tough games against the desperate RPI and Ithaca on the way. They are still in a great position to finish in the league’s top spot.

Take Away

This is not your father’s Liberty League. Things are tight at the top and bottom with judgment day fast approaching on the weekend.

Around the Region

RIT 6, Bard 1 - Watch out for this RIT. They are rounding into shape at the right time. Tough season for Bard, but progress is being made.

Cortland State 4, Brockport State 1 - Cortland keeps going from strength to strength.

Potsdam State 1, Clarkson 0 - Potsdam shows great character to close out the season in impressive form. Clarkson has it all to play for as they are now knocking on the door of a playoff berth.

RPI 2, Ithaca 1 (2OT) - This was a great come from behind win on the road for RPI who now control their own destiny going into the final weekend of league play. Still a chance for Ithaca to make the post season, but their margin for error is very thin.

St. Lawrence 1, Skidmore 0 - Saints prevail in a game that Skidmore had to win. The back to back Liberty League finalists now face daunting odds of returning to post season play.

Buffalo State 3, Alfred 0 - With just one loss on the season, Buffalo appears ready to take on all comers for the SUNYAC title.

Oneonta State 2, Fredonia State 1 - Another one loss team in the SUNYAC means the conference has three legitimate Sweet 16 contenders.

Plattsburgh State 1, Geneseo State 0 - Plattsburgh is quietly having a very solid season.

Stevens 3, Nazareth 1 - The Ducks continues to dominate the Empire 8.

Houghton 3, Utica 3 (2OT) - Game ends in tie for two teams desperately searching for a win.

Rochester 2, Brockport State 0 - The Yellow Jackets are having a very good year.

Team of the Week

RIT

This could be the year of the Tiger.

 


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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.

Questions or comments?

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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