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Men's soccer gains experience following rocky road trip

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Sep 24th 2019 08:00 pm
Senior Michael Meyers is preparing to kick a ball on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Senior Michael Meyers is preparing to kick a ball on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Following an undefeated run of five straight wins with a 17-2 goal difference, The College at Brockport men’s soccer team appeared to be invincible when it entered this past weekend’s play. Despite its foolproof form, Brockport failed to come out with a victory from either of its most recent contests and was faced with adversity in the process, which could provide essential lessons before the opening of SUNYAC play. 

Prior to Brockport’s away trip to Ohio last weekend, where it competed against Otterbein and Capital Universities, the team had come off two wins from St. John Fisher College and Medaille College and was on an increasing high of momentum. Within that period, Brockport climbed to as high as 22nd in the national rankings. 

Not much was known about the two sides Brockport encountered to begin its most grueling away trip of the campaign, as Otterbein and Capital were both new additions Brockport’s regular season schedule in 2019.

Otterbein entered the weekend sporting a 4—2 record. The Cardinals and Golden Eagles have one common opponent other than Capital: Clarkson University. Otterbein lost 2-1 to Clarkson while Brockport secured a commanding 5-1 victory. St. Lawrence University, the team Brockport defeated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2018, lost to Otterbein 2-0 in its matchup earlier in the season.

Capital held a 3—1—1 record heading into its matchup with Brockport. The teams do not share any common opponents aside from a meeting between Capital and Otterbein in early November.

The Golden Eagles’ first matchup of the pair was against Otterbein on Saturday, Sept. 21, and saw both teams battle over the winning edge. Despite an aggressive start to the contest, Brockport’s total of 10 shots in the first half was not enough to break the deadlock and the teams went into halftime at a stalemate of 0-0. 

While both Brockport and Otterbein recorded a similar amount of chances on goal, it was Otterbein who took advantage of its opportunities. The team scored the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute to see out a 1-0 victory and snap Brockport’s winning streak in the process.   

Brockport was not able to capitalize against Otterbein and was challenged with maintaining the pace created by an equally performing side. 

“It was a good experience for all of us,” sophomore defender DJ Taylor said. “Otterbein’s backline had a really good game and unfortunately we didn’t take our chances.”

In a similar fashion to the proceedings against Otterbein, Brockport battled against Capital until the last moment of the contest. While Capital out-performed Brockport in the opening half as it peppered the Golden Eagles’ net and eventually scored the first goal of the game to take an early advantage, Brockport came back in the second half.

Despite trailing for the majority of the second, Brockport’s search of a goal came to fruition in the dying moments of the game when sophomore forward Matthew Stefaniw buried a penalty kick to force overtime. 

During the extra period, Brockport outshot Capital but was not able to capitalize as the contest ended 1-1 and handed Brockport its first tie of the season. 

Final match results were not in Brockport’s favor as the team left Ohio with its longest streak without salvaging a victory thus far. While the team pushed to extend its winning momentum this past weekend, it walked away with two experiences that could prove more valuable as Brockport opens its SUNYAC campaign this weekend against rival SUNY Cortland. 

“This weekend has been necessary to get ready for the SUNYACs next weekend,” senior left back Michael Meyers said. “It helped us face adversity that we were not used to due to not being challenged too much this season.” 

After a humbling road trip, Brockport will look to reverse its recent fortunes into victories in its opening SUNYAC fixtures. Brockport is set to face Cortland, the 2018 SUNYAC tournament finalist, on Friday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. Brockport will visit SUNY Oswego on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. Cortland has remained perfect on its home turf thus far, creating an additional challenge for Brockport.


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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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