October 17, 2018

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

Vassar at St. Lawrence

Saturday, October 13

Two of the top teams in the Liberty League did battle in this week’s GOTW.

Vassar entered the game looking to bounce back from a tough 1-0 loss to a rejuvenated Clarkson team the day before.

The Saints were fresh off a 2-0 result against a feisty Bard squad and looking to add a quality league win over a very strong opponent.

For almost a generation, these two teams have been at the top end of the Liberty League table and were seeking to dominate yet again in 2018.

The Season Thus Far

Vassar began the season in a very strong manner and entering the weekend had only suffered losses to Oneonta and Stevens, two consistent dancers. Likewise, St. Lawrence entered the weekend with two losses on the year, one of which was to the Cortland Red Dragons. Both teams entered the game aware that too many blemishes will mean they must capture the conference tournament for the season to be considered anything close to a success.

It does not get much better than a mid-October game between two powerhouse Liberty League teams. The winner will control their destiny while the losing team will likely hit the road in the post season.

Game On

As usual when two quality teams meet, there was star power on the sidelines with two very accomplished and experienced coaches matching wits at the very top of the league table. A tactical battle between Coach Jennings and Coach Toshack would be tightly contested with both coaches aware this might be the first of two meetings this season. On the field, league stars Mattie Mrlik and Jethro Dede would also face off in a match-up of wits and skill.

The home team struck first as senior Charlton Kelly continued his strong season by dispatching a brilliant feed from freshman Raphael Zoccolaro in the 20th minute.

Vassar responded well and had a few chances of their own, but the lead would be expanded just before halftime as Kelly struck once more this time off a feed from fellow Senior Tapshack Augustine.

In the 60th minute of play, Augustine was on the scoresheet himself as the senior took a long pass and broke in on goal making in 3-0 for the home team. Vassar continued to play with determination and skill and pulled one back in the 86th when Jonathan Bow got the consolation goal off a nice feed from junior Mattie Mrlik.

Take Away

A 3-1 win for St. Lawrence (9-2-2 / 4-1-1) gives them another quality win over a strong opponent while Vassar (8-4-0 / 4-2-0) suffers back to back losses after 4 straight wins in the league.

St. Lawrence faces a big test away to Skidmore (6-4-3 / 2-3-1) next while the Brewers are up against league leaders Hobart (6-5-2 / 5-1-1).

Around the Region

RPI 2, Hobart 0 - Big credit to RPI (6-8-1 / 3-3-0) for making the league exciting. Giving both SLU and Hobart their only league losses of the season.

Clarkson 1, Vassar 0 (OT) - The Golden Knights (9-3-1 / 3-2-1) are back people.

RIT 2, Skidmore 1 (2OT) - Do not count the Tigers (6-5-1 / 2-3-0) out yet. With back to back league wins, these guys are looking quite dangerous.

Stevens 2, Sage 1 - If it walks like a duck (12-2-1 / 5-0-0) and talks like a duck… It will win soccer games!!!

Cortland 2, Buffalo State 0 - Red Dragons (12-1-2 / 6-1-0) looking a lot like SUNYAC league champions.

Oneonta 7, Potsdam 1 - Red Dragons (9-3-4 / 5-1-2) playing like league champions.

Geneseo 1, Nazareth 0 - With the win, Geneseo (6-6-3 /.2-4-1) now playing .500 ball but must improve in the conference.

Rochester 2, New York University 1 (2OT) - Rochester (10-1-1 / 2-1-1) wins its third straight overtime game for fourth OT win of the season. These boys are fit.

Nazareth 1, Alfred 0 - In the battle for second place in the Empire 8, Nazareth (9-4-1 / 3-1-1) comes out ahead.

Ithaca 3, Union 1 - No one in the Liberty League will want to face Ithaca (10-1-3 / 3-1-2) come playoff time.

Oswego 2, Fredonia 1 - Tough year in a rough conference for the Blue Devils (4-9-1 / 1-6-0)

Medaille 1, Elmira 0 - Medaille (9-4-2 / 5-1-1) riding a four game win streak at the right time of the year.

Team of the Week

RPI

They are engineering an impressive and unusual season in the Liberty League.

 


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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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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