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Women's soccer rolls through to SUNYAC semifinals

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Nov 5th 2019 09:00 pm
Freshman Kayla Usborne punts the ball after making a save against SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, Nov. 2 in the quarterfinals of the SUNYAC Tournament. The Golden Eagles will take on SUNY Cortland in the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Freshman Kayla Usborne punts the ball after making a save against SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, Nov. 2 in the quarterfinals of the SUNYAC Tournament. The Golden Eagles will take on SUNY Cortland in the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

With momentum on its side under one of the most successful runs in program history, The College at Brockport women’s soccer team is headed to the SUNYAC semifinals following an uncontested 3-0 quarterfinal victory over SUNY Oneonta. The team has not been in this position in six years. 

Apart from a closely contested loss against SUNY Geneseo to finish its regular season, Brockport remained perfect throughout its second half of conference matchups this year. In that period, the team carried a winning streak of five games, which has propelled it to the semifinal stage of the competition. 

The result of its rhythm placed Brockport on the third seed of the SUNYAC ladder and one spot away from receiving a bye through the quarterfinals, an advantage the team proved it did not need. 

To open postseason play, Brockport faced the sixth seed, Oneonta, which the team went on to beat by the same scoreline of its first meeting with the Red Dragons earlier in the regular season. The two matches played out in very similar fashion.

The first half of the game showcased Brockport’s dominance, as the team went on to outshoot Oneonta 15-4. Brockport’s sensational freshman forward Kiley Longin opened the scoring 15 minutes inside of kickoff. The freshman remains as Brockport’s top scorer with 15 goals to her name. 

In continuation of the first half’s control over Oneonta, Brockport began the second period with the second goal of the match, three minutes after the halftime break. Freshman midfielder Franchesca Polcaro found the back of the net on a penalty kick. The team’s attacking momentum carried over until the final whistle as it went on to cruise to a 3-0 victory following a bar-down freekick from sophomore midfielder Sydnee Smith. 

Regardless of Brockport’s near-perfect conference run thus far, the team is set to come up against SUNY Cortland in the semifinal stage of the tournament, a side that Brockport fell to during the regular season. 

Despite the earlier result, the contest’s importance in reaching the SUNYAC final is the driving force behind its ambitions of coming on top. 

“We lost and we want revenge,” Longin said. “We have what we need in order to get the win that we deserve to make it to the championship [game].” 

Reaching the SUNYAC semifinals for the first time since 2013 is an accolade in itself. Nevertheless, riding on a high of good results comes with its own pressures and can often be the cause of losing sight of what remains unfinished. Sustaining focus on what lies ahead can be the key to success. 

“Making it this far has been something the program has long strived for,” senior forward and captain Molly Zientek said. “Despite the constant ups, keeping a level head for what’s coming up is what is going to keep us above the competition. 

In preparation for Brockport’s upcoming matchup against Cortland, the team will benefit from solidifying its defensive back four, as Cortland has failed to conceded just eight goals across its conference schedule. In comparison, Brockport has allowed two more goals than Cortland but has scored three more on the attacking side of things, putting both sides in contention for a spot to the SUNYAC finals.

The semifinal contest between Brockport and Cortland is set to be played on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. at Cortland. A Brockport victory will result in Cortland’s first conference loss of the campaign and continue to pave the way in the program’s history books.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Mathieu Starke, staff photographer

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