September 12, 2019

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

St. Lawrence at Oneonta

Saturday, September 7

The Saints and the Red Dragons have been the elite programs in the region for more than a decade.

Recent challenges by Bombers, Statesmen and the Red Dragons of Cortland has made life at the top extremely difficult and tenuous for both St. Lawrence and Oneonta.

Programs that remain strong over a generation or more have figured out that in order to be consistently good, a team must constantly reload and not rebuild.

Great programs do not normally play must win games in September, but with at least a half dozen programs in the region looking to qualify for only a couple Pool C bids, it is never a bad thing to get an early season win against a strong team.

The Season Thus Far

St. Lawrence entered the game with a 1-1-0 record after splitting the opening weekend of the season at home.

Oneonta meanwhile were 2-0-0 and looking to continue their winning ways at home.

Game On

The Red Dragons were breathing fire at the start of the game and the Saints could not deal with the sustained heat.

The game was 3-0 after 33 minutes. A high Oneonta press made it impossible for St. Lawrence to play their preferred passing style or keep possession in the defensive end.

The Saints pulled one back before conceding again in the 45th minute as the hosts...

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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. [see full bio]

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