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
Geneseo State at Hobart
Saturday, September 16
Our game of the week brought a battle between two outstanding coaches who have worked extremely hard to create and maintain strong programs. Hobart entered 2017 in search of their twelfth consecutive winning season. Head Coach Shawn Griffin has found consistent success since taking the helm almost two decades ago. Hobart were last season’s Liberty League regular season champion, and many believe they were unlucky not to receive an NCAA invite after falling on penalties in the conference semifinals. Geneseo Head Coach Dom Oliveri can rightly be called a legend of the program. Coach Oliveri was creating great goals as a player for the Blue Knights over a decade before he started creating game plans. Winning seasons have now become almost automatic for the former SUNYAC standout. The stage was set for a tactical battle between SUNYAC and Liberty League veterans looking for a big win against a good team.
The Season Thus Far
Geneseo entered the game with a 3-1-1 record, having tied Skidmore a week earlier in a shootout that saw both teams record over 20 shots.
Hobart’s uneven start to the season, at 1-2-1, is due more to a tough schedule than anything and belies their strong play.
Hobart began the game on the front foot, and the Statesmen almost took the lead in the 15th minute with their first of many clear scoring chances, a blast just over the crossbar. The game was deadlocked until the 32nd minute, when Hobart junior Sam Farman played an inch-perfect through ball to Kyle Mangold, who scored his first collegiate goal in spectacular fashion. The freshman used one touch to control in stride, a second to dismiss the oncoming goalkeeper and a third to score the only goal of the game.
Once in the lead, Hobart controlled the flow of the game and outshot their visitors 16-7 on the day, while also holding a 6-1 edge in corner kick attempts.
Geneseo did have some good opportunities throughout the match, and the Blue Knights’ defense prevented Hobart from inflicting further damage. But the day belonged to the hosts, who came away with a deserved win to take their record to .500 with Skidmore on the horizon.
Hobart finally earned a result deserving of their effort. Despite their slow start to the season, confidence is building in the men from Geneva and they are a team that no one in the Liberty League will look forward to playing.
Geneseo will use this game as a learning experience and attempt to make needed adjustments before this weekend’s key, back-to-back games against SUNYAC foes Buffalo State and Fredonia State.
Around the Region
St. Lawrence 2, Oswego State 0 - Saints earn their second straight road shutout.
Oneonta State 1, Vassar 1 (2OT) - Two teams with league title aspirations battle to a non-conference tie. Great game for both teams as they begin their respective league schedules.
Rochester 5, RIT 1 - Rochester coasts in this always-interesting derby. This could be the year for a deep postseason run.
Skidmore 2, Union 1 (2OT) - Skidmore is now the only undefeated team in the Liberty League after winning their first conference game against previously unbeaten Union. This could be the year of the Thoroughbred!
Hamilton 3, Ithaca 2 - Former Liberty League participant Hamilton hands the League’s new school a heartbreaking loss at home.
Cortland State 3, St. Lawrence 1 - The Red Dragons roar past St. Lawrence with ease ahead of a showdown with Oneonta State.
Team of the Week
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