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
Vassar at St. Lawrence
Saturday, October 13
Two of the top teams in the Liberty League did battle in this week’s GOTW.
For almost a generation, these two teams have been at the top end of the Liberty League table and were seeking to dominate yet again in 2018.
The Season Thus Far
Vassar began the season in a very strong manner and entering the weekend had only suffered losses to Oneonta and Stevens, two consistent dancers. Likewise, St. Lawrence entered the weekend with two losses on the year, one of which was to the Cortland Red Dragons. Both teams entered the game aware that too many blemishes will mean they must capture the conference tournament for the season to be considered anything close to a success.
It does not get much better than a mid-October game between two powerhouse Liberty League teams. The winner will control their destiny while the losing team will likely hit the road in the post season.
As usual when two quality teams meet, there was star power on the sidelines with two very accomplished and experienced coaches matching wits at the very top of the league table. A tactical battle between Coach Jennings and Coach Toshack would be tightly contested with both coaches aware this might be the first of two meetings this season. On the field, league stars Mattie Mrlik and Jethro Dede would also face off in a match-up of wits and skill.
The home team struck first as senior Charlton Kelly continued his strong season by dispatching a brilliant feed from freshman Raphael Zoccolaro in the 20th minute.
Vassar responded well and had a few chances of their own, but the lead would be expanded just before halftime as Kelly struck once more this time off a feed from fellow Senior Tapshack Augustine.
In the 60th minute of play, Augustine was on the scoresheet himself as the senior took a long pass and broke in on goal making in 3-0 for the home team. Vassar continued to play with determination and skill and pulled one back in the 86th when Jonathan Bow got the consolation goal off a nice feed from junior Mattie Mrlik.
A 3-1 win for St. Lawrence (9-2-2 / 4-1-1) gives them another quality win over a strong opponent while Vassar (8-4-0 / 4-2-0) suffers back to back losses after 4 straight wins in the league.
Around the Region
Clarkson 1, Vassar 0 (OT) - The Golden Knights (9-3-1 / 3-2-1) are back people.
RIT 2, Skidmore 1 (2OT) - Do not count the Tigers (6-5-1 / 2-3-0) out yet. With back to back league wins, these guys are looking quite dangerous.
Stevens 2, Sage 1 - If it walks like a duck (12-2-1 / 5-0-0) and talks like a duck… It will win soccer games!!!
Cortland 2, Buffalo State 0 - Red Dragons (12-1-2 / 6-1-0) looking a lot like SUNYAC league champions.
Rochester 2, New York University 1 (2OT) - Rochester (10-1-1 / 2-1-1) wins its third straight overtime game for fourth OT win of the season. These boys are fit.
Medaille 1, Elmira 0 - Medaille (9-4-2 / 5-1-1) riding a four game win streak at the right time of the year.
Team of the Week
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