September 26, 2018

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

Geneseo at Plattsburgh

Saturday, September 22

Two of the top teams in the SUNYAC provide the entertainment in this installment of the Upstate Update.

Plattsburgh (3-4-2 / 1-1-0) had a big year in 2017 and announced to the league that this traditional powerhouse program was back to where it belonged, at the top end of an unforgiving league.

Iconic coach Chris Waterbury called it a career after last season but not before guiding the Cardinals to more than 400 wins and many memorable NCAA playoff appearances.

Coach Taylor began his Plattsburgh career with a difficult non-conference schedule in the hopes of getting his team prepared for what will certainly be a brutal SUNYAC slate.

The Season Thus Far

The Knights (3-3-2 / 1-1-0) had to wait until the fifth game of the season for their opening win which came in the form of a 2-1 victory over Houghton. Things have been looking up since and they entered the game with a 3-game win streak including victories over Hobart and conference foe Potsdam.

Plattsburgh had a rough start to the season, but a recent 2-0 win over previously undefeated Clarkson had brought back some confidence in the camp.

Game On

There were very few fireworks in the game until the 18th minute when a confident Geneseo defense played the ball towards their goalkeeper without seeing the confident Cardinal striker Connor Nembach who intercepted before calmly slotting into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

The remainder of the half played out evenly with both teams having good opportunities to score and neither taking full advantage. The first half ended with Plattsburgh clinging to a one goal lead.

Geneseo came out on fire in the second half and controlled play while recording ten shots, 5 of those goal bound.

The Cardinal defense held strong and maintained the shutout despite being outshot 13-9 in the game. Plattsburgh topped their guests 3-2 on corner kick opportunities and more importantly 1-0 on the score board.

Take Away

The SUNYAC continues to be a very difficult league and both teams left the field with 1-1-0 conference records.

Plattsburgh will next face Potsdam in a game both teams will be desperate to win while Geneseo travels to the always strong Buffalo State as they attempt to right the ship.

Around the Region

D’Youville (2-4-1 / 2-0-0) 4, Pitt-Bradford (1-9-0 / 0-1-0) 0 - Coach Murphy has his men believing and sitting at the top of the AMCC with an undefeated league record.

Geneseo (3-3-2 / 1-1-0) 1, Potsdam (4-4-1 / 0-2-0) 0 (2OT) - There are many quality teams competing in the SUNYAC conference. Only the fittest of the fittest will survive.

Vassar (5-2-0 / 1-0-0) 1, RIT (4-2-1 / 0-1-0) 0 - The Brewers look a dangerous outfit this season after outplaying a very good RIT squad.

Ithaca (6-0-2 / 0-0-1) 0, Clarkson (6-1-1 / 0-0-1) 0 (2OT) - The two most surprising teams in the Liberty League split honors at the home of the Bombers.

Cortland (7-0-2 / 1-0-0) 5, Alfred (2-8-0 / 1-1-0) 0 - How good is Cortland, we may find out soon with Oneonta on the horizon.

Rochester (7-0-0) 1, Alvernia (3-5-2) 0 - The Yellow Jackets are still perfect.

Skidmore (4-1-3 / 1-0-1) 1, Hobart (1-4-2 / 0-0-1) 1 (2 OT) - The Statesmen must turn it around quickly.

RPI (3-4-1 / 1-0-0) 4, Bard (3-5-1 / 0-1-0) 1 - Great start for RPI, next up a difficult trip to Williams before facing a hungry Skidmore squad.

St. Lawrence (4-1-1 / 1-0-0) 3, Union (3-5-0 / 0-2-0) 1 - Seniors continue to show the way forward for this team leading a come from behind win on the road.

Oneonta (5-2-2 / 2-0-0) 5, Fredonia (2-5-1 / 0-2-0) 1 - Red Dragons show there is no need to panic for this veteran team.

Buffalo State (6-2-0 / 1-1-0) 1, New Paltz (6-3-0 / 1-1-0) 0 - Great bounce back win for the Bengals after a tough loss to Oneonta.

Stevens (8-1-1 / 2-0-0) 2, Alfred (2-8-0 / 1-1-0) 1 - Business as usual for the Ducks.

Team of the Week




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Upstate Update


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.



Mani Tafari

Mani Tafari graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2001 with a History degree after four seasons playing for Bob Durocher that included the Saints untied, undefeated national championship season in 1999. Mani subsequently earned his law degree from Pace University School of Law (2009). He currently works as a criminal defense attorney and coaches soccer. He remains passionate about Division III soccer and is a loyal St. Lawrence alumus. In the summer of 2018 he shared his experiences as a player in his series, "Saint 4 Years, Saint 4 Life". [see full bio]


Mani Tafari in action

1999 National Champion with St. Lawrence.

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