Golden Eagles advance to second round of NCAA Playoffs

By on November 19, 2018
The College at Brockport men’s soccer team. Provided photo

The College at Brockport men’s soccer team. Provided photo

Lapietra Coach of the Year

The College at Brockport men’s soccer team won their first SUNYAC championship since 2009 and their 11th overall to advance to the NCAA tournament where they defeated St. Lawrence 2-1 in the first round before falling to host University of Rochester 2-0 in the second round.

In the first round, the Golden Eagles took a 1-0 lead at 27:13 as senior midfielder Quinton Volpe struck a perfect direct kick from 33 yards out into the upper right corner of the net.

Brockport made it 2-0 in the 55th minute as Brockport High grad Jason Hayes forced the St. Lawrence goalkeeper to misplay the ball and sophomore AJ Sinclair found the open net for the score.

The Saints converted a penalty kick at 59:09, but were turned away over the final 20 minutes on two chances stopped by Brockport junior goalkeeper Joe Romano.

“Honestly thinking about how many times I’ve practiced from that area and I just needed to have confidence taking it and I just had to do what I knew how to do,” Volpe said about his first goal.

“The last week of the regular season we lost both games, but I can’t say in hindsight it was a negative thing because it kind of gave us kick in the butt and knocked us down to reality and I think that’s what has been driving us to really reach the intensity we need to bring to every game.”

In the second round, the University of Rochester Yellowjackets broke open a scoreless duel in the 66th minute and added an insurance tally in the 74th – both scored by Bryce Ikeda.

Brockport’s Matheus Oliveira had his chance stopped on the goal-line by a Yellowjackets defender with 12 minutes remaining and Nolan Byrnes fed Matthew Stefaniw, whose header sailed just wide with two minutes left to end the Golden Eagles campaign.

“We’re disappointed, obviously,” SUNYAC Coach of the Year Gary LaPietra said after the loss. “We wanted to get out of the second round and into the Sweet 16, but we were playing against a great U of R team and I think last night’s game against St. Lawrence took a lot out of us.

“I told the guys not to hang their head. They played a great, historical season for us with 16 wins, SUNYAC champions, beat St. Lawrence the king of the Liberty League. We’ve been playing knockout soccer for the last three weeks, so I think the guys just got to the point where it was too much.”

LaPietra was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his 23 years at helm of the Golden Eagles. He joins Brockport legend Huntley Parker (1968, 1969, 1970) as one of eight in conference history to be honored three or more times.

The College at Brockport men’s soccer team. Provided photo

The College at Brockport men’s soccer team. Provided photo

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