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Men's soccer faces uphill battle as SUNYAC play continues

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Oct 8th 2019 03:40 pm
Junior Mike Ciardullo carries the ball in open field. Brockport defeated Potsdam 5-1 then lost to Plattsburgh the next day. The Golden Eagles are 6—5—1, but are 1—3 in SUNYAC competition. They currently sit in seventh place, one spot out of a playoff spot.
Junior Mike Ciardullo carries the ball in open field. Brockport defeated Potsdam 5-1 then lost to Plattsburgh the next day. The Golden Eagles are 6—5—1, but are 1—3 in SUNYAC competition. They currently sit in seventh place, one spot out of a playoff spot.

In a battle to recreate the journey to SUNYAC stardom it saw last year, The College at Brockport men’s soccer team has gotten off on the wrong foot. After four games of conference play, the team has managed three points of the possible 12 and recently fell deeper into the bottom of the standings with its first home loss of the season. 

In this year’s opening SUNYAC weekend, Brockport failed to register a victory as it fell to rival SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oswego, scoring once and conceding five goals. The most recent weekend, the green and gold recorded its first conference win against SUNY Potsdam, only to follow it up with another narrow defeat against Plattsburgh State. With three losses and one win under its belt, Brockport sits in 7th place on the conference ladder.

While Brockport’s 2018 conference calendar was kinder to the team — it came up against weaker opposition and walked away with four wins in the first four games — the start to this season’s road to the SUNYAC tournament has been contrasting from the rest. 

During the team’s first conference game on home turf, which took place on Friday, Oct. 4 against Potsdam, Brockport got off to a bright start and never looked back to secure its first SUNYAC victory. 

Senior midfielder Jason Hayes was responsible with setting off Brockport’s momentum as he found the back of the net inside the first minute of the contest. Two minutes later, Hayes’ sophomore midfield partner Zack Langelotti followed in his footsteps to put Brockport up by two. Despite a quick deficit, Potsdam fought back to erase one goal from Brockport’s advantage, but its efforts were not enough as Brockport scored two more goals to close the first half at 4-1. 

Following halftime, Brockport’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Matthew Stefaniw, scored the fifth goal of the contest and his sixth of the season to lift Brockport over Potsdam 5-1. 

“We have to use this as a step for the rest of SUNYACs,” Langelotti said. “Today was the start of a momentum shift that we have to keep going.”

While the spirit of Brockport’s win over Potsdam followed into the next game against Plattsburgh, the team came short of a victory and walked away without a point toward the playoff race.

Brockport and Plattsburgh both shared chances during the initial period of the contest, as Brockport hit the opposing goal post and Plattsburgh stung the hands of the Golden Eagles’ senior goalie, Tautis Poniskaitis, to bring the game to halftime at a 0-0 stalemate. Despite registering more shots on goal, with eight compared to Plattsburgh’s three, Brockport conceded a goal from a bouncing ball in the box and was handed a 1-0 loss, the first of its kind on its own home turf. 

In the current conference picture, Brockport stands outside the playoff contention by a single place, but will need to climb toward the top of the league table to guarantee a spot in the tournament, as other teams will aim for similar fortunes. 

Despite the underwhelming start to defending its SUNYAC title, the Golden Eagles have five conference contests to pick themselves back up. 

“We have dug ourselves a big hole,” junior midfielder AJ Sinclair said. “We are going to get out of it, we are going to keep our heads up and grab two wins this upcoming weekend.”

As the SUNYAC table slowly takes its shape and the schedule quickly narrows down to its conclusion, Brockport will look to repeat last season and make a leap toward the top of the conference. It’s first opportunity to do so will be against Buffalo State on Friday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m., followed by SUNY Fredonia on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. Brockport will have a chance to grab six points from its last two conference home games until the SUNYAC tournament takes place. 

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