Upstate Update - Week 6
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
Skidmore at Vassar
Saturday, October 10
Two teams that were perfect in Liberty League play this season battled for the right to place one foot firmly in the league tournament.
The Season Thus Far
Both Vassar and Skidmore have taken advantage of mid-season stumbles by St. Lawrence and RPI. Vassar (6-2-2/2-0-0) entered the game brimming with confidence after back to back wins over conference rivals St. Lawrence and Clarkson. Skidmore (7-2-0/3-0-0) meanwhile began the season trying to fill the shoes of all-time great striker Adam Beek. A league season marked by parity meant that a win over Vassar would virtually guarantee a playoff berth.
Skidmore upended their hosts in the form of a 18-minute strike from 18 yards out by sophomore Augustine Okoye. Try as they might, Vassar could not produce an equalizer despite slightly outshooting Skidmore 11-9 in the game. Okoye’s team leading fifth strike of the season is balanced by four assists on the year which places him among league leaders in both categories. Skidmore is an athletic team who has flown under the radar the entire season. It will now be very difficult to deny them the top seed at the league tournament.
Vassar (6-3-2/2-1-0) are still in good position, but must next travel to a desperate and surging Hobart on the weekend. Skidmore (8-2-0/4-0-0) now controls its own destiny and will be looking to host throughout the league tournament.
Around the Region
Stevens 2, Alfred 1 - Stevens (9-1-2/2-0-2) are climbing back to their rightful place atop the Empire 8 and are getting hot, while the weather and the rest of the league cools off. Alfred (8-2-2/2-1-1) are quietly experiencing one of the best seasons in program history. Since dropping their season opener by a goal, the Saxons have produced an impressive 10-game win streak before losing a heart-breaker to Stevens.
Union 6, Bard 1 - Union (7-1-3/1-0-2) are actually in pretty good shape at the midway point of the season, and like Skidmore, will look to return to post-season play after a brief absence. Bard (5-6-1/-04) are still adjusting to life in a very difficult league.
Plattsburgh State 1, Oneonta State 0 - All eyes were on this one as the SUNYAC heavyweights did battle for the top spot in the league. Plattsburgh (11-1-2/3-0-2) are now the only undefeated team in SUNYAC play.
Williams 1, RPI 0 - The NESCAC and Liberty League normally do not clash until the NCAA playoffs. These two teams have treated the fans of both leagues to some great games over the past few season. Williams comes out on top in this year’s NESLIB battle. RPI (8-2-3/ 1-1-2) continues to slide after starting the season on a tear. The Engineers must resolve the malfunction before travelling to St. Lawrence for a clash between two desperate teams.
Rochester 1, Chicago 1 - Rochester ( 4-2-4 /0-0-2) tied its third game in a row and are quickly running out of time to construct a resume worthy of an invite to the NCAA tournament.
Brockport State 1, Geneseo State 0 - Brockport (8-2-2/ 2-1-2) remain in the thick of the SUNYAC playoff race. The door is slowly closing on Geneseo (6-5-3/ 1-4-0) but with four league games remaining there is still hope.
New Paltz State 4, Potsdam State 3 - There was a shoot-out downstate and the home team New Paltz (9-5-0/ 3-3-0) was victorious. The surprise team in the SUNYAC continues to impress well into the season. Potsdam (7-5-1/ 1-3-1) have dipped significantly from their early season form.
Team of the Week
Plattsburgh are undefeated in SUNYAC play and have only one defeat on the year. The Cardinals are beaming with confidence as we approach the telling part of the season. Coach Waterbury is one of the few coaches to surpass 400 wins and will use that experience to take his team to even greater heights.
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