Upstate Update - Week 5
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
Cortland at New Paltz
Saturday, September 29
The SUNYAC continues to be among the most competitive conferences in the nation as the weather turns from warm to cool.
Our game of the week presents a matchup between the two most improved teams in the conference over the past few seasons.
Coach Kyle Clancy has very good success since taking charge of the Hawks (8-3-0 / 3-1-0) in 2016. That year he finished conference play with a winning record while dropping just four of nineteen games played in the year. Despite a less successful year last season, New Paltz suffered a few heart-breaking losses. The team managed to outscore opponents while playing attractive and hard-nosed soccer.
Cortland’s rise has been remarkable over the past few seasons as the Red Dragons (8-1-2 / 2-1-0)) have become a power in the SUNYAC the region and the nation.
The Season Thus Far
Cortland began the season in brilliant form and entered the contest with an undefeated record. An opening tie on the road to Messiah was followed up by dispatching both St. Lawrence and Oneonta. The Red Dragons are a good team playing with confidence which is a very dangerous combination.
It didn’t take long for this one to heat up. Six minutes in the Red Dragon goal keeper saw red and a penalty was awarded and saved. Cortland breathed a sigh of relief and attempted to play their way back into the game with 10 men. The Hawks would strike in minute 13 when freshman Spencer Ryczek assisted by senior Scott-Ludewig scored to give the home team the 1-0 lead. New Paltz ended the half with the lead and more surprisingly held Cortland without a shot on frame.
The second half would be even more entertaining than the first. Cortland equalized with a penalty of their own in the 52nd minute and it was game on.
New Paltz responded with four unanswered goals and a dominant performance to put the game out of reach.
A 5-1 win for the home team was the strongest message sent so far from a team on the rise. A team that no one will want to face in an elimination match.
New Paltz are for real. They are a fun group who enjoy being around each other and led by a young and exciting coaching staff.
Cortland will not be hitting the panic button just yet. They will be there at the end but must address issues exposed by New Paltz before facing the November competition.
Around the Region
St. Lawrence (5-1-2 / 3-0-0) 0, Ithaca (6-0-3 / 0-0-2) 0 (2OT) - The Bombers are still undefeated but find themselves in trouble in league play.
Clarkson (7-2-1 / 1-1-1) 1, RIT (4-4-1 / 0-3-0) 0 - RIT faces upcoming must win games to repeat their successful 2017.
Skidmore (5-1-3 / 2-0-1) 2, RPI (3-6-1 / 1-1-0) 1 - These two teams will be there in the end, but results must turn around fast for the Engineers.
Alfred (3-9-0 / 2-1-0) 2, Elmira (1-9-0 / 0-3-0) 1 (2OT) - A very difficult non-league schedule beginning to pay dividends for Alfred.
Brockport (9-2-0 / 4-0-0) 1, Buffalo State (6-3-2) 0 (1OT) - Can things get any tighter in this tough league?
Plattsburgh (4-4-2 / 2-1-0) 3, Potsdam (4-5-1 / 0-3-0) 1 - After a difficult start to the season, Coach Taylor is finding his sea legs at this traditional powerhouse.
Team of the Week
New Paltz State
Beware the Hawks
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