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
Hobart at Vassar
Saturday, October 15
Hobart (6-4-3) and Vassar (9-2-2) have both been at the top of the Liberty League pecking order during the last decade. Hobart are coming off back to back league tournament appearances and although they have not danced since 2011, the Statesmen considered themselves unlucky to miss out on NCAA participation last season. Vassar has also consistently competed in the league tournament with an extremely good track record against league foes. Unfortunately for both teams, due to early season glitches, a league crown will likely be necessary in order to receive an invite from the committee to the big dance.
The Season Thus Far
The 2016 Liberty League season is unlike any other in recent memory, with half the season complete all but Bard held out hope for post season play. Vassar entered the game at 3-1-1, a solid league record only losing a very close encounter versus rival St. Lawrence. The visitors meanwhile had a more modest 3-1-1 record, not bad when considering they began the season 0-3-1.
This game would be the most important game played in the league all season up to this point.
It would take less than three minutes for the energetic home team to get on the board, as a chip from junior midfielder Alex Gonzales gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead. The visitors kept plugging away however, and were rewarded just before half time when Joe Escamilla headed in the equalizer from close range. Before the 60 minute mark Hobart had taken the lead and the Brewers had bounced back to tie the score at two goals apiece. Neither team was able to find the winner in regulation and this exciting game headed to overtime.
A thrilling first overtime period was prematurely ended 14 seconds early by a penalty shot from Hobart’s Adrian Colmenares. His shot deflected off the left post and into the back of the net sending the Statesmen away as winners. Hobart outshot their hosts 16-7 and deserved the hard fought road win.
Vassar is still very much alive and has a solid shot at advancing to the league tournament. Midfielder Alex Gonzales has now notched four goals in his last three games and seems ready to fire the Brewers into post season play. Hobart now controls its own destiny. Only a few weeks ago, this team had played four games without a win. They now seek to become regular season champions after besting rivals Vassar and St. Lawrence on the road this season: this is a team that knows it can beat anyone… anywhere.
This rematch might be your Liberty League tournament final.
Around the Region
St. Lawrence 4, Union 1 - A very close game until St. Lawrence (10-3-0 / 3-3-0) scored two goals in the game’s final minute.
Clarkson 1, Union 0 - Clarkson (6-5-2 / 2-3-1) looking to shock the league and make its first league tournament in over a decade
Bard 2, RIT 0 - Strong win for Bard (6-5-3 / 1-4-0). Truth be told they are extremely unfortunate to not have a few more league wins this season.
RPI 1, St. Lawrence 0 - “News of our demise has been greatly exaggerated”- RPI.
Hobart 1, Bard 0 (2OT) - Hobart (7-4-3 / 4-1-1) looking to become regular season league champions after a tough start to the campaign.
Fredonia 3, Plattsburgh 2 - After a strong start, Plattsburgh (9-5-1 / 2-4-1) in late season free fall, 0-4-1 in October.
New Paltz 1, Oneonta 0 - Strong win for New Paltz (6-3-6 / 2-3-2) against the reigning SUNYAC champions.
Ithaca 2, Alfred 0 - Ithaca (6-7-0 / 4-1-0) joins Stevens at the top of the Empire pecking order.
Team of the Week
Comments or feedback for the author? E-mail us.