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Men's soccer continues dominant stretch

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Sep 17th 2019 08:00 pm
Junior AJ Sinclair makes a move to get past two defenders on Friday, Sept. 13 against Medaille.
Junior AJ Sinclair makes a move to get past two defenders on Friday, Sept. 13 against Medaille.

Skeptics were quick to judge the longevity of The College at Brockport men’s soccer team’s success following its SUNYAC title-winning campaign last season. With five victories in its last six games played, while scoring 17 goals and conceding just two in that period, Brockport’s ambitions have seemed to hush any nay sayers. 

When the team got off its back after opening the new season with a 3-2 loss to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), it marched on to an undefeated run that has not been cracked under any opposition thus far. The streak of untouchable performances earned Brockport its current national ranking of #24 and has created a fearsome momentum with the first conference matchups set to unfold in the coming weeks. 

This past week, Brockport increased its season record to 5—1 following another pair of victories against St. John Fisher College and Medaille College. 

Despite an abundance of possession in the opening half versus St. John Fisher, Brockport was not able to translate its control of the game into a goal. The Golden Eagles attempted 14 shots in the half. That all changed following the halftime break as sophomore midfielder Zach Langelotti picked up his third goal in four matches to open the scoring for the Golden Eagles. 

Seven minutes later, sophomore forward Matthew Stefaniw followed in Langelotti’s footsteps to increase Brockport’s lead to two with his fourth goal in five games played. Stefaniw’s effort closed the game out at 2-0 in Brockport’s favor and saw the team walk away with yet another win. 

In its second contest of the week, Brockport put on a show against Medaille to see out its fifth victory of the campaign. The opening half was packed with stunners and began with a quickly-taken free kick by senior forward Jeff Hibbard, who found senior midfielder Jason Hayes for the first goal of the game. Just 10 minutes later, Hayes buried his second and gave Brockport a 2-0 lead with a rocket to the top of the net following multiple give-and-go’s from the middle of the field. 

During the second half, senior left back Russell Hines extended his team’s lead on a shot that never got very far off the ground. Medaille then grabbed a consolation goal in the closing minutes of the game following an error from Brockport’s senior goalie Tautis Poniskaitis. Despite the blunder, Poniskaitis saved three shots in the game. Brockport saw out a 3-1 when the final whistle was blown. 

The Golden Eagles’ defensive back line has been a testament to its commanding run of form. Maintaining its solidity has proven to be critical during the first quarter of the season and will be a key factor as the team’s opening SUNYAC contests await Brockport in two weeks. 

“We know what’s required,” senior defender Chris Kinsley said. “We have to take lessons from mistakes made and correct them on the field.” 

While Brockport has come out with wins in the majority of its away contests this campaign, the team is preparing for its longest trip away from home. The trip will last two weeks and will allow Brockport to make its first impact against SUNYAC competition this season. 

“Two weeks and four wins is what it’s going to take,” Poniskaitis said. “It is now our time to defend our title.” 

With the halfway point of the season in sight, Brockport will look to keep up its tempo in preparation of opening its conference campaign on top. Brockport is set to face Otterbein University on Saturday, Sept. 21, followed by Capital University on Sunday, Sept. 22 before its first SUNYAC matchup against title runner-up SUNY Cortland on Friday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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