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Cortland and Brockport to play for men's soccer championship title

Cortland and Brockport to play for men's soccer championship title

Cortland (15-1-3) and Brockport (14-4-2) and will face off in the 2018 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) men's soccer championship, Saturday at 1 p.m in Cortland.

In the semifinal game Wednesday, Cortland defeated Oneonta (10-4-5) in a shootourt 4-3, after the teams played to a 1-1 tie through 110 minutes of action. The Red Dragons will look to win their 19th overall men's soccer championship title.

Brockport upset second-seeded New Paltz (11-6-1) in New Paltz on Wednesday, 2-0. The Golden Eagles will look to capture their 11th overall SUNYAC crown and first since 2009.

MORE DETAILS - Cortland vs. Oneonta

Junior Michael Miner (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa) converted a shootout penalty kick on Cortland's last attempt to send the nationally sixth-ranked Cortland men's soccer team to the SUNYAC final.

Junior Jake Keller (Wappingers Falls/Roy C. Ketcham) scored the goal for Cortland (15-1-3). Junior Miguel Tunas (Carmel/North Salem) collected an assist. Junior goalie Sean Kelly(Coram/Newfield) made five saves.

Sophomore Roberto Ventura (Brentwood) netted the goal for Oneonta (10-4-5). Senior Alejandro Ruiz (Brentwood) assisted on the score. Senior goalie Nicholas Giordano (East Northport/Commack) registered four saves.

After a scoreless first half, the teams waiting until the final 10 minutes to break the 0-0 deadlock. Ventura gave the visiting Red Dragons the lead in the 81st minute when he beat Kelly one-on-one. Keller sent the game into overtime on a rebound goal, his team-high 14th score of the season, knocking in a loose ball after Tunas played a pass into the box.

Before overtime began, Oneonta had a player sent off with his second yellow card, but Cortland could not take advantage and after 20 scoreless minutes, the game went into penalty kicks to determine the team that would advance.

Each team was unsuccessful on its first attempts. Kelly then made a save on Ruiz's shot. Cortland went up 1-0 on a conversion by Tunas. The teams then traded the next two goals, leaving Cortland ahead 3-2 with the fifth attempt to follow. After Oneonta converted to keep its hopes alive, Miner knocked in his shot that sent Cortland to the championship game.

MORE DETAILS - Brockport vs. New Paltz

The Golden Eagles wasted little time in the first half as Matthew Stefaniw buried his 11th goal of the year on a PK 18 minutes into the game. The Hawks looked like they might have a chance at tying the score minutes later when an attacking forward went up for a header, he made good contact, but missed the net a few inches high. The Green and Gold finished the half with a corner kick opportunity, but came up empty-handed.

The Green and Gold came out flying in the second half, pressuring the New Paltz goalkeeper early and often. Brockport's AJ Sinclair found himself one on one with the New Paltz goalie four minutes into the half after a Hawks defender coughed it up inside his own box, Sinclair tried to chip it over the opposition's netminder but was denied. The Golden Eagles offensive pressure would eventually pay off at the 65th minute when Stefaniw made a break for the net, beating the New Paltz defenders and slipping the ball behind the Hawks goalie to extend the Brockport lead, 2-0. The half winded down with a slew of corner kicks for the Hawks but Brockport's netminder Tautis Poniskaitis stood tall, picking up his fifth shutout of the season. 

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