CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has selected the NCAA Division III top-25 men's soccer game on October 20, between nationally ranked seventh Oneonta take on nationally ranked thirteenth Buffalo State as its game of the week.
Heading into this week, men's soccer has been the strongest and most recognized sport in national and regional rankings for the conference. SUNYAC men's soccer represents four of the top eight spots in the East Region. Oneonta at 11-1-1, Cortland at 14-2-2, and Buffalo State at 12-1-2 rank first, second, and third, respectively, while Plattsburgh at 9-5-1 ranks sixth in the region. As previously mentioned, Oneonta and Buffalo State rank seventh and thirteenth in the national rankings with Cortland polling in the seventeen spot. Both schools have been leaning on its top performers all season as Oneonta's Roberto Ventura currently leads the SUNYAC with eleven goals and twenty-five points in total white Buffalo State has performed extremely well in 2017 on the defense side, with two-time SUNYAC Defensive Athlete of the Week Andreas Queen as the anchor in goal, shutting opponents out eleven times this season.
This back and forth, closely fought game really showed the parody between teams and how tight the competition of play is for men's soccer within the conference. The Bengals held much of the advantage in the first half, out-shooting the Red Dragons 6-2, however no one saw the back of the net, sending the game into halftime knotted at zero. The second half saw a huge momentum shift in favor of Oneonta as they out-shot Buffalo State 8-3, still no goals scored thanks to some very fierce defense on each side and clutch saves by both goalies, Queen and Oneonta's Nicholas Giordano.
The game saw two overtime sessions come and go with the game still scoreless, the Bengals and Red Dragons basically played an identical game, both ending with eleven total shots in the 0-0 double overtime draw. The tie moved the Bengals consecutive unbeaten streak, now at fifteen heading into the SUNYAC championship tournament.
This game had SUNYAC playoff implications for both teams. The one point that Oneonta received from the draw was enough for them to clinch the second seed in the conference and more importantly a first round bye. As for Buffalo State, they finished third in SUNYAC and host the sixth seed, Geneseo, Saturday at 4 p.m. at home in the first round of the 2017 SUNYAC men's soccer championships.