Upstate Update - Week 5
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
RPI at Hobart
Saturday, October 1
Two Liberty League heavyweights would do battle on a windy Saturday afternoon in Geneva. Hobart and RPI have traditionally been very strong in the league and are normally a lock for the four team conference playoffs. Hobart is coming off a 2015 where many people felt they were hard done to not receive a bid to the big dance, while RPI were considered by some a bit fortunate to receive an invite. Coach Clinton and his men proved critics wrong by getting within minutes of a possible sweet sixteen berth. That was then and this is now.
The Season Thus Far
This season has been a bit of a struggle for both teams so far, but this is the time of the year when teams begin to find themselves. Hobart was coming off a strong away win against St. Lawrence and the team was beaming with confidence. RPI meanwhile had just endured a tough 2-1 loss to conference rival RIT.
These two teams appeared to be heading in different trajectories; Hobart was looking to continue their undefeated start to the conference season, while RPI needed a win to avoid an early hole in a tough conference.
RPI came to play. From the first whistle the Engineers were in attack mode outshooting the home team while dominating possession. The score would remain scoreless at half despite continued attacks by RPI. The crowd would only have to wait for seven minutes of second half action for a headed goal by RPI’s Devon Baughen. RPI added a well-deserved second goal in the 63rd minute of play. RPI would keep up their domination and only the acrobatics of Hobart goal keeper Alec Kaminer prevented a third goal and perhaps a more reflective score line. RPI finished the game with a 14-5 shot advantage and a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Whenever Hobart and RPI play they know this might be one of two meetings during the season. Messages are sent and one was sent by RPI to the entire league.
RPI (3-5-2 / 1-1-0) is a very dangerous team. They have a few very good results and all five losses were by one goal margins. Hobart (3-4-3 / 1-1-1) are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot but must bounce back quickly.
The Liberty League has not been this unpredictable in years.
Around the Region
St. Lawrence 1, Vassar 0 - St. Lawrence (9-1-0 / 2-1-0) still not finding the back of the net with regularity, but the defense, it seems, has tightened. Vassar (7-2-2 / 1-1-1) now faces a pivotal game coming up against an in form RPI squad.
Geneseo State 2, New Paltz State 1 - Big win for Geneseo (6-4-1 / 2-2-0) as they even their record in conference play.
Oneonta State 3, Geneseo State 1 - Oneonta (8-2-1 / 3-0-1) is beginning their march toward a league crown they believe to be theirs.
Houghton 1, Alfred 0 (1OT) - Back to back losses should have the Saxons (6-3-1 / 1-1-0) concerned but not yet worried.
Stevens 5, Elmira 1 - There might be some life left in the old duck still.
Skidmore 2, RIT 0 - Skidmore (4-3-2 / 1-0-2) follows up two conference ties with a big win. RIT (4-4-2 / 1-1-1) suffers its first conference loss of the year and is still in prime position to make a run at the playoffs.
RIT 2, RPI 1 - It will take a brave man to wager on who finishes top four in the Liberty League this season.
Utica 1, Ithaca 0 - Tough season continues for Ithaca (4-5-0 / 2-1-0) with yet another 1-0 loss.
Team of the Week
This is a dangerous team who on their day will destroy anyone.
Comments or feedback for the author? E-mail us.