September 19, 2016

Upstate Update - Week 3

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 St. Lawrence

Saturday, September 17

A lovely Saturday afternoon on the pristine Sandy MacAllaster was the setting for the game of the season so far featuring a top 25 clash between two teams with perfect records. Upstate fans do not often see the top team from the SUNYAC and the Liberty do battle before November. This game promised to be a wild affair with bragging rights for the region at stake. In addition, the winner will have an impressive win on the resume, which can only help convince the committee of their dancing ability, regardless of league tournament success.

The Season Thus Far

A heart-breaking 2-1 OT loss in the SUNYAC conference semi-final had the Red Dragons eager for 2016 season to begin. Cortland State began their march back to the league tournament with five straight wins while allowing one goal. For the Saints, if last season was one of transition for new head coach Mike Toshack, this year it seems the transition is complete. A young St. Lawrence team retains its old affinity to possession, but have also implemented a few tactical changes. Saints were off to an undefeated start to the season as well, but had only managed one shut-out in five games.

Both teams were seeking their first win of the season against a nationally ranked opponent. This game would be nothing if not physical, an extremely important game with the league portion of the schedule only days away.

Game On

Cortland started the game on the front foot, pressuring St. Lawrence’s back line while attempting to control the middle of the park. The early pressure paid off in the 13th minute for the Red Dragons when a heads up play led to a free kick 20 yards out from the Saint goal. Chris Hetter struck a low hard shot through the wall and gave the visitors a one goal advantage. The game progressed fairly evenly for the remainder of the half, but 4 minutes from half-time, Saint senior Manny Collins was brought down in the box resulting in a penalty for the home team. Senior Noah Bunton stepped up and calmly scored his third goal of the season to even the score at half-time at one goal each. After the half, both teams fought hard for the advantage in what became a choppy contest at times. The game seemed destined for overtime when Saint sophomore, last season’s Liberty League rookie of the year, Jethro Dede rocketed a shot from 25 yards out that would prove the game winner for the Saints.

This was an exciting game from start to finish and both teams had chances throughout. In the end, the Saints can be considered a bit fortunate to edge past a very dangerous Cortland side.

Take Away

Cortland must refocus very quickly as the reigning kings of the SUNYAC, Oneonta, is next on the schedule. The Saints meanwhile will do battle against the undefeated Plattsburgh Cardinals to complete their SUNYAC part of the schedule.

These teams may well meet again, possibly with a final four spot on the line.

Around the Region

Union 4, SUNY Canton 0 - Union (5-1-0) off to their normal strong start to the season. The Dutchmen will hope that this season they can avoid fading in late September when the “real” season begins.

Bard 3, York (NY) 0 - Bard (4-0-2) still undefeated after six games, this could be the year Bard makes their move.

Oneonta St. 4, Vassar 2 - This is the Oneonta (5-2-0) we have become used to seeing, Tough loss for the Brewers (5-1-1) team knocking them from the ranks of the unbeaten after surrendering a 1-0 half time lead.

Rochester 1, RIT 0 - Strong win for Rochester (5-0-0). RIT’s (2-3-1) up and down season continues.

Hobart 2, Geneseo St. 2 (2OT) - Despite only one win in six games, a very solid couple of weeks for Hobart (1-3-2), Geneseo (3-2-1) having a rocky start to the season.

Cortland St. 1, Clarkson 0 - Cortland (5-1-0) is proving to be one of the better teams in the region. Clarkson (3-2-1) has a great opportunity to make it to the league tournament this season, but performances must become more consistent.

Ithaca 1, Stevens 0 - Ithaca (3-3-0) takes revenge for last season’s conference tournament final loss. Might be time for the Ducks (1-3-1) to panic with one win from five games to start the year.

Alfred 1, Nazareth 1 (2OT) - Alfred (4-1-1) off to a great start with big dreams, Nazareth (3-2-1) will be content to get the result at the start of league business.

Brockport St. 2, St. John Fisher 0 - Should be another season of fireworks in the SUNYAC conference. Brockport (1-3-1), as usual, will be looking to make some noise.

Team of the Week

Oneonta State

Oneonta (5-2-0). Here they come!

 


Comments or feedback for the author? E-mail us.



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?

»  E-mail D3soccer.com
Previous
Sep 12: Upstate Update - Week 2
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