October 24, 2018

Upstate Update - Week 8

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

RIT at Ithaca

Wednesday, October 24

The post season is right around the corner and Liberty League teams continue to battle for the chance to play a second season and earn a high seed.

In 2017 the league decided to add two additional teams moving to a six team playoff setup.

Traditional power Ithaca failed to make the league tournament in its inaugural season in the Liberty League and were determined to remedy this anomaly in 2018.

RIT closed last season on a tear with an appearance in the conference semifinals after a difficult start. The Tigers seemingly replicated that performance this year with three consecutive league wins after four losses.

The Season Thus Far

RIT’s season can be broken down in three parts; a strong start, a few losses in the middle of the season followed by three league wins entering the game where they outscored the opposition by a 9-2 margin.

Ithaca have been ranked in the Top 25 for large parts of the season with only two losses on the year. A win for the Bombers would guarantee their first Liberty League playoff berth.

Game On

The first half was a cagy affair with both teams playing solid defense and keeping good shape. Ithaca had the better of play early as the Tiger goal keeper Will Sokol was forced to show off his cat like reflexes in keeping out a Nate Mansfield header in the 22nd minute. Despite a slight edge in possession for the Bombers, both teams entered the half with the game scoreless.

Just one minute into the second half the break through seemed to come for Ithaca as they were awarded a penalty kick after a foul in the box. Tiger goalie Sokol once again came up big with a save that kept his team’s playoff hopes alive.

The Bombers would continue to press for a winner that finally came in the 62nd minute off the head of Jonathan Kyriakidis who finally beat the impressive Sokol in the Tiger net.

Kyriakidis’ team leading fourth goal of the season proved to be the game winner and the goal that takes the Bombers to the post season.

Take Away

Ithaca (10-2-3 / 3-2-2) is a playoff team. With only two losses on the year this team might have impressed the committee enough to dance but will want to continue winning ways in order to control its own destiny.

RIT (7-5-1 /3-3-0) is still alive but must hope that the stars and the soccer stars at Bard line up correctly.

Around the Region

St. Lawrence 1, Skidmore 0 - Skidmore (8-5-3) is still alive but needs help from RPI (7-8-1 / 4-3-0).

RPI 2, Vassar 0 - RPI (7-8-1 / 4-3-0) have defeated the top four teams in the league by a combined 10-2 margin.

New Paltz 2, Oneonta 1 - New Paltz (11-5-1 / 6-2-1) are the first SUNYAC team to defeat both Oneonta (9-4-4 / 5-2-2) and Cortland (15-1-2 / 8-1-0). People are paying attention. Game Winner vs. Oneonta

Vassar 2, Hobart 0 - Brewers (9-4-0 / 5-2-0) can get a bye and host the semi-final or travel to a first round game.

Cortland 6, Hartwick 0 - Cortland getting very hot as the weather turns cold.

Brockport 2, Houghton 1 (OT) - Up next for Brockport (12-4-2 / 5-2-2) is the SUNYAC tournament and the always dangerous Plattsburgh Cardinals (6-8-3 / 3-5-1).

Geneseo 4, Morrisville 0 - Strong win to close the season for Geneseo (7-7-4 / 2-5-2-) as they plan for 2019.

Rochester 2, Endicott 0 - The boys from Rochester (11-1-1 / 2-1-1) must get their yellow jackets ready to wear to the dance.

Clarkson 3, Potsdam 0 - Difficult season for the Bears (4-11-2 / 0-8-1) but will look to turn things around and once again compete in a difficult league.

Stevens 2, Nazareth 0 - The Ducks (14-2-1 / 6-0-0) join the Yellow Jackets and Cortland as the most likely dancers in the region.

Williams 1, Hamilton 0 - Hamilton (8-6-1 / 4-5-1) drops a heart breaker to a traditional powerhouse.

Team of the Week

RPI

All hail the King Slayers.

 


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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.

 

Columnist

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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Previous
Nov 8: Upstate Update - Week 10
Oct 31: Upstate Update - Week 9
Oct 24: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 17: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 10: Upstate Update - Week 6
Oct 3: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 26: Upstate Update - Week 4
Sep 19: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 12: Upstate Update - Week 2
Sep 5: Upstate Update - Week 1
Nov 8: Upstate Update - Week 10
Nov 1: Upstate Update - Week 9
Oct 25: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 18: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 10: Upstate Update - Week 6
Oct 3: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 26: Upstate Update - Week 4
Sep 19: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 12: Upstate Update - Week 2
Nov 8: Upstate Update - Week 10
Nov 1: Upstate Update - Week 9
Oct 25: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 18: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 12: Upstate Update - Week 6
Oct 4: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 19: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 12: Upstate Update - Week 2
Sep 7: Upstate Update - Week 1
Nov 25: Upstate Update - NCAA Edition
Nov 5: Upstate Update - Conference Playoffs
Oct 28: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 20: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 13: Upstate Update - Week 6
Oct 6: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 29: Upstate Update - Week 4
Sep 22: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 15: Upstate Update - Week 2
Sep 8: Upstate Update - Week 1
Nov 6: Upstate Update - Conference Playoff Edition
Oct 28: Upstate Update - Week 9
Oct 22: Upstate Update - Week 8
Oct 14: Upstate Update - Week 7
Oct 7: Upstate Update - Week 6
Sep 30: Upstate Update - Week 5
Sep 22: Upstate Update - Week 4
Sep 15: Upstate Update - Week 3
Sep 9: Upstate Update - Week 2