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Brockport defeats Cortland to claim 2018 SUNYAC championship

Courtesy Darl Zehr Photography
Courtesy Darl Zehr Photography

CORTLAND, N.Y. - For the first time since 2009, Brockport men's soccer are State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) champions. The Golden Eagles (15-4-2) won their 11th conference title after defeating Cortland (15-2-3) 2-0 Saturday afternoon, giving the team automatic entry into the NCAA tournament.

Cortland junior goalie Sean Kelly (Coram/Newfield) made two saves for the Red Dragons . His counterpart for Brockport, junior Tautis Poniskaitis (Rochester/St. Mary's C of E), registered six saves and was named the MVP of the tournament.

Senior Quintin Volpe (Commack/St. Anthony's) recorded a goal and an assist for the Golden Eagles. Junior Jeff Hibbard (Hilton) netted a goal, and junior Jason Hayes (Brockport) added an assist.

The game began with Cortland controlling much of the play, eventually leading to a 23-yard free kick in the sixth minute. Junior Jake Keller (Wappingers Falls/Roy C. Ketcham) struck a shot that was headed for the upper left corner, but Poniskaitis made a diving save. Volpe put Brockport on the scoreboard in the 21st minute, sending a header inside the right post off a cross from the right by Hayes. Four minutes later, Keller narrowly missed with a shot from the right side that went by the left post. In the 42nd minute, Poniskaitis punched a header by senior Migell Ormsby (Kingston, Jamaica/DeWitt Clinton) over the crossbar, and Brockport took a 1-0 lead into the half.

The Golden Eagles picked up in insurance goal in the 54th minute when Hibbard finished off a long serve from Volpe with a header deep in the box. Minutes later, Ormsby just missed wide right with a 25-yard shot. As Cortland pressed to get on the scoreboard, Ormsby was again denied by Poniskaitis, who made a point-blank save in the 83rd minute as the Golden Eagles held on for the 2-0 win.

Brockport placement in the NCAA Tournament will be determined on Monday, Nov. 5.

2018 Men's Soccer Elite 20 

Cortland sophomore Eli Yasuna was recognized as the winner of the 2018 Elite 20 award for men's soccer. The SUNYAC Elite 20, an award modeled after the NCAA ELITE 90 program, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the conference championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. Yasuna majors in exercise science and carries a GPA of 3.90.

2018 SUNYAC Men's Soccer All Tournament Team

Kevin Doorley - New Paltz
John Guzzo - New Paltz
Austin Hughes - Oneonta
Nicholas Plate - Oneonta
Miguel Tunas - Cortland
Migell Ormsby - Cortland
Jake Keller - Cortland
Matthew Stefaniw - Brockport
Jeff Hibbard - Brockport
Quintin Volpe - Brockport
Tautis Ponsikaitis - Brockport (MVP)


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