Upstate Update - Week 4
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
Oneonta State at Cortland State
Friday, September 22
As anyone familiar with popular culture can tell you, it helps to have a dragon in your arsenal when attempting to keep your spot atop the throne.
The SUNYAC conference is one of the strongest and most dynamic in the nation. In addition to being extremely competitive, top-to-bottom, home to the historically strong Plattsburgh State program led by the iconic Coach Waterbury, as well as the Potsdam bears currently finding success under the Coach Parker revolution.
In recent years, Cortland State and Oneonta State have proven to be powerhouses, both within the SUNYAC and the region. For the last few seasons however, league supremacy has been firmly held by the Red Dragons of Oneonta State.
The Season Thus Far
Cortland and Oneonta both got off to flying starts to the season, having good success in the non-league portion of the schedule. Ultimately, however, both teams know that it is the league games that matter most. As such, prior to kickoff, this was shaping up to be a game between teams who will have something to say regarding the conference title come November.
While Oneonta has had the slight edge in national success, Cortland have been working for league supremacy, and was presented with a golden opportunity at home to make a statement.
The game began at an intense pace, as both teams attempted to stamp their authority quickly on the match and league play. It took nine minutes for the home team to strike, as junior Migell Ormsby was on target with a header from close range. Oneonta pressed hard for an equalizer and was rewarded with a goal from a well struck free kick by Carlos Martinez in the 21st minute of play. The first half ended 1-1, but with both teams playing attacking and attractive football, the stage was set for an entertaining second half.
After a back-and-forth start to the second half, Oneonta broke the tie in the 56th minute and were looking poised for a quality road win until the hosts regained control of the game. Three unanswered goals gave Cortland a well-fought victory over its nearest rivals for the conference crown.
Cortland held a 19-10 advantage in shots and a 10-2 edge in corner kick opportunities in a game that will rightfully boost its confidence as league play continues.
Oneonta will be just fine after a solid road performance against a very strong team, while Cortland -- albeit after one game -- are now favorites to win the SUNYAC crown.
More importantly, we just may be witnessing the emergence of a national contender in Cortland.
Around the Region
Plattsburgh State 3, Potsdam State 0 - Some say the SUNYAC is a two-horse race. Plattsburgh disagrees.
Skidmore 1, Hobart 1 2OT - Speaking of two-horse races, this might just be a preview of the Liberty League final.
Stevens 1, Alfred 1 2OT - Despite this result, Alfred knows well that it is the league that counts.
Brockport State 3, Fredonia State 2 - Big win for Brockport in a game both teams wanted desperately.
St. Lawrence 0, Union 0 2OT - If the Saints plan to turn their season around, they had better start soon -- time is running out.
Clarkson 2, Ithaca 1 - A strong come-from-behind win for the Golden Knights as they give a warm welcome to the new league participants.
Vassar 2, RIT 1 - Two first half goals and a strong defense do the trick for the defending Liberty League champions.
Geneseo State 2, Fredonia State 1 2OT - Bryan Wager decides this one with 34 seconds left on the clock to give his team a magical win over its conference foes.
Team of the Week
Looks like the year of the Dragon yet again in the SUNYAC
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