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Men's soccer falters in first SUNYAC matchups

by Carson Werner - Staff Writer
Tue, Oct 1st 2019 09:00 pm
Senior Chris Kinsley lines up a shot against Westminster College on Saturday, Aug. 31. Kinsley took two shots this weekend against Oswego but failed to find the back of the net.
Senior Chris Kinsley lines up a shot against Westminster College on Saturday, Aug. 31. Kinsley took two shots this weekend against Oswego but failed to find the back of the net.

Every year, The College at Brockport men’s soccer team benefits from several non-conference games before having to take on the challenging opposition of the SUNYAC. This season, the Golden Eagles went 5—2—1 before Brockport began its battle against conference competition with back-to-back road games on Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28. Despite the season’s early success, nothing matters more than converting non-conference victories into league wins.

With a loss and tie in their last two non-conference games, the Golden Eagles entered Friday’s match against SUNY Cortland looking for the momentum they possessed during their five game win streak earlier in September. An early lead from the Red Dragons, however, made the team’s goal much more difficult to reach. 

Cortland jumped on Brockport with two consecutive goals 14 minutes into the game. Immediately after, the green and gold nearly retaliated on a shot from sophomore forward Matthew Stefaniw that rattled off the post and rebounded in play to sophomore midfielder Zach Langelotti, who was stopped in the box on the second chance attempt. Ten minutes later, Langelotti answered with his fourth goal of the season on an assist from Stefaniw to cut the deficit in half. Following the heavy pressure from the offense, Brockport did not see another chance at the net for the duration of the first half. 

The Red Dragons added two tallies to the lead, including their second header on a corner kick, and prevented any further Golden Eagle offense. Of the five shots taken by Brockport in the second half, only two of them needed attention from the Cortland keeper. 

Craving a win, Brockport traveled to SUNY Oswego the next day for its 10th game of the season. Over the previous three seasons, the Golden Eagles are 1—2—0 against the Lakers. The teams are usually evenly matched, as all three games have been decided by one goal. The 2019 regular season clash followed the trend and Oswego capitalized on a second half penalty kick to take the game, 1-0. 

Brockport’s offense was not subdued like it had been in previous years to Oswego. The goal-hungry forwards unleashed 21 shots throughout the 90 minutes of action. However, only a third of the shots were put on net. 

In Brockport’s first six games of the season the team registered 19 goals, 17 more than what it has produced in its last four. The offensive struggles can be linked to tougher competition, particularly in the SUNYAC, but a lot of its troubles are stemming from not putting the ball on net. 

“We are still playing the same, but we have for sure dug ourselves in a little hole,” senior defender Chris Kinsley said. “Every team deals with some sort of adversity throughout the season and that’s exactly what’s happening now. We’re ready to put in the extra work to become fully prepared for the weekends.”

Despite the disappointing results, sophomore midfielder Wilson Wong agreed with Kinsley that the team did not play any different than it did during its win streak.

“In terms of how we are playing, I don’t think there is a huge difference,” Wong said. “We had some good games leading up to the SUNYAC games and the two in Ohio were some good tests for us. We just need to keep playing to our strengths and move in a positive direction.”

While continuing SUNYAC play, the Golden Eagles will look to preserve its perfect home record against SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5. Both teams’ records have double the amount of losses as they do wins, and Brockport beat both opponents by a score of 2-0 last year. 

“I think the biggest thing we need to focus on this week is our intensity and energy,” Kinsley said. “Train harder to play harder. Yes, it would be nice to score goals all the time and win by landslides, but that’s just not the reality of the conference we play in. Games have to be grinded out until the very end and we have to be mentally prepared for anything that will come this weekend facing two strong opponents.”

Brockport looks to right the ship with the home matches against Potsdam and Plattsburgh. Should the Golden Eagles win both bouts, they will reenter themselves into the thick of the playoff discussion and heighten chances of a championship repeat.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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