Muster's Musings: Brockport men’s soccer hopes to continue late streak
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:09
Finally the wait is up. With a pair of wins over Buffalo State and Fredonia last weekend, the Brockport men’s soccer team dug itself out of the rut it has been in. The Eagles snapped out of their five game losing streak and got back on the path to success.
The team began its season like most people expected — with a win. Brockport beat RIT 3-2 Aug. 31, but over the following handful of games the Eagles circled the drain. Brockport lost five straight, three of which were consecutive shutouts to Hobart, Medaille and St. Lawrence.
This was a major deal for Brockport.
Fans were used to seeing their beloved Eagles roll over opponents, but something wasn’t clicking. Instead, Brockport was the one falling victim and no one knew why. It could have been the youth of the team, the loss of standout players, or just plain bad luck, but at the end of the day, all fans wanted was the Eagles to snap out of their uncharacteristic slump.
The team had experienced various seasons with six or more losses including 2009, 2008 and 2007. However, none of those losses were five consecutive defeats.
Through the losing streak, however, the team became battle-tested.
Brockport faced a tough non-conference schedule, with its strongest opponent being St. Lawrence. During the weeks of Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, the Saints were ranked No. 2 in Division III and undefeated at 5-0 when they played the Eagles.
Although Brockport lost 2-0, it was only one of two teams at the time to hold the Saints to two goals. The other was the University of La Verne Sept. 1.
Brockport holding the No. 2 team to just two goals was a sign of what was to come in its opening games of SUNYAC play.
Friday, Sept. 20, the Eagles beat Buffalo State 1-0 and Saturday, Sept. 21 they beat Fredonia 2-1. Both victories came on behalf of the heroics of sophomore defenseman Kevin Dorn, who scored all three goals.
After the first few games of the season, when the Eagles were 1-3, I said the Eagles had the potential to turn the season around. In a Sept. 12 column, “Don’t Get Down On Men’s Soccer Just Yet, I explained the team was young, but in good hands and still had time.
Following the team’s losses to Medaille (1-0, Sept. 12) and St. Lawrence though, time was slipping away. I wasn’t exactly sure how much they had left before their self-implosion. But fast forward seven days, time really did start to show it was on Brockport’s side.
The Eagles won two games and their record improved from 1-5 to 3-5. The team moved up to fourth out of 10 teams in the SUNYAC standings — three spots higher than last week’s seventh place.
With the wins over Buffalo State and Fredonia, the Eagles’ season is halfway over. Brockport has eight games remaining in the regular season and all but one [against Daemen] will be SUNYAC matchups.
This weekend they face Oneonta, Sept. 28, and New Paltz, Sept. 29. Both sit near the top of the conference, as Oneonta is ranked No. 2 of 10 teams and New Paltz is ranked No. 3.
Among other tough opponents will be the Plattsburgh Cardinals, which Brockport will face in its regular season finale Saturday, Oct. 20.
Plattsburgh is ranked No. 1 in the SUNYAC and boasts a record of 9-0. It’s also the only team in the conference to be undefeated overall.
There are bound to be more bumps in the road and tests for this Brockport team on its way through the rest of the season. However, if the team takes the positives from last weekend and translates them into the next four-plus weeks, it should be back in good standing.