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Brockport, Oneonta move on to men's soccer semifinals

Brockport, Oneonta move on to men's soccer semifinals

The Brockport Eagles (#3) and the Oneonta Red Dragons (#4) shut out their opponents on their home turf, Saturday in the first round of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) men's soccer championship.

Brockport (13-4-2) defeated the sixth-seeded Plattsburgh (6-9-3), 2-0 to move on to play second-seeded and host New Paltz in the semifinals Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Oneonta (1-4-4) topped fifth-seeded Buffalo State (11-5-2), 4-0, and will travel to play the top-seeded Cortland in the seminfinals on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

MORE DETAILS - Brockport vs. Plattsburgh

The first shot of the half didn't come until midway through the first 45 minutes, when Ayu Jeylani beat the Cardinals last line of defense and put a header on net but Plattsburgh's keeper made the save. The Golden Eagles would find the back of the net minutes later, as Matheus Oliveira (East Fishkill, N.Y./John Jay) headed a corner kick in from Jeff Hibbard, (Hilton, N.Y./Hilton) giving the Green and Gold the lead, 1-0.

The two teams played back and forth soccer in the second half, both fighting to stay in the postseason. The Golden Eagles looked like they might extend their lead at the 72nd minute when Alex Giordano (Commack, N.Y./Commack) made a break for the net, diving for a 50/50 ball with the Cardinals goalie, both players were shaken up on the play but the Plattsburgh goalie was able to hold on. The Golden Eagles would not be denied in this matchup, five minutes later Matthew Stefaniw (Rochester, N.Y./Eastridge) buried his 10th goal of the season, firing a rocket upper ninety, extending the Golden Eagles lead, 2-0.

MORE DETAILS - Oneonta vs. Buffalo State

The Red Dragons were playing into a gusty wind in the opening half, which actually helped them on its opening goal in the second minute of play. A shot from outside the box by sophomore Roberto Ventura (Brentwood/Brentwood) appeared to be soaring over the goal, but the wind knocked it down where it fell behind the Bengals keeper for an early lead.
In the 19th minute, senior Alejandro Ruiz (Brentwood/Brentwood) made it 2-0 when he was able to finish a play on the goal line off a cross from classmate Justin Cebollero (Commack/Commack). It looked like the crossing pass deflected off players in front before Ruiz banged it home for his fifth goal of the season.
Ventura figured in Oneonta's third goal firing a line drive shot that was saved by the Buffalo State keeper but not controlled.  Freshman Jeremy Pantoni (Goshen/Goshen) was in front of the goal to collect the rebound and send a shot to the back of the goal for his third of the season.
The Red Dragons put the game well out of reach early in the second half on a finish by junior Witman Hernandez (Huntington/Walt Whitman). The scoring opportunity was created by senior Nicholas Plate (Miller Place/Sachem North) who moved the ball into the attacking third before sliding a pass to Hernandez. Hernandez took one touch past a defender before sending a shot along the ground to the far right corner inside the post.  The goal was Hernandez's team-leading 12th of the season.
Oneonta outshot the Bengals, 19-8, while out-cornering them 6-1.
Oneonta senior Nicholas Giordano (East Northport/Commack) only had to make one save today to pick up his fifth shutout of the season. Buffalo State's Dylan Guarino (Tonawanda, N.Y./Kenmore East) made six saves for the Bengals.

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