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SUNY Men's Soccer Ranked 8th in Coaches Poll

Written By Editor on 9/4/17 | 9/4/17

Cobleskill, N.Y.: The SUNY Cobleskill men’s soccer team heads into the 2017 season fresh off a 2016 campaign which saw the Fighting Tigers post the best turnaround year in the NCAA Division III National ranks as Cobleskill bettered a 0-18 2015 season with an 8-9-2 overall mark, including a 5-6-2 record in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) play, while earning the program’s first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Championship Tournament appearance. Heading into the new season, the Orange & Black are ranked eighth in the NEAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll.
With 11 returning lettermen and a number of promising recruits, third-year Fighting Tiger Head Coach Joe Machado feels good about his relatively young but experienced squad. However it is an off the field incident that may be the driving force for the team this season according to the Cobleskill Head Coach.
“Last spring a valued member of our Fighting Tiger Soccer family freshman Doug Alvarez died in an automobile accident. This tragic incident has forced us to all mature individually and brought us closer together collectively as a program. After a very trying spring, it is great to be back on the field doing what we love to do which is play soccer. This year we’re going to dedicate the season to Doug’s memory and make every effort to play a brand of soccer that our fans can be excited about and proud of.”     
Offensively the Fighting Tigers will return the bulk of their fire power as sophomore midfielder Mame Amar, Manhattan, N.Y., Liberty High School, the team’s leading scorer who tallied eight goals, including a pair of game winners, and two assists for 18 points returns as does sophomore forward Emile Vwaza, Manhattan, N.Y., Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, who scored five goals and passed out seven assists for 17 points on the year. Sophomore forward Khadim Diba, Manhattan, N.Y., Julia Richmond High School, also returns after a rookie season that saw him score six goals, with three game winners, and pass out two assists for 14 points along with senior forward David Vosatka, Westford, N.Y., Schenevus High School, who scored five goals and passed out two assists for 12 points on the year.
The recruiting class will feature three field players who will be counted on to have impact led by freshman midfielder Moussa Bamba, Bronx, N.Y., Fredrick Douglas Academy, a gifted offensive player who should add some creativity to the team’s attack and freshman midfielder/defender Aboubacar Konate, Bronx, N.Y., Robert F. Kennedy High School, who will be expected to provide a big defensive presence in the middle of the field. Freshman defender Jacob Bunker Broadalbin, N.Y., Broadalbin-Perth High School, will also see time this year as a shutdown defender who can make offensive contributions when called upon.
Perhaps the area of most improvement this season will come in goal where freshman goalkeeper Sam Sherbacow, Minneola, Fla., Lake Minneola High School, is an athletic and acrobatic performer has earned the starting job backed up by freshman Josh Mazur, Terryville, Conn., Terryville High School, who brings a 6’6” frame and good hands to the position.   
The Fighting Tigers will open the 2017 season on Friday September 1st when they host the Raptors of Bard College in non-league action with kick-off slated for 4:00 p.m. at Cobleskill’s Soccer/Lax Complex. In pre-game ceremonies Cobleskill will honor the memory of former Fighting Tiger team member Douglas Alvarez who died last year in a tragic automobile accident.

2017 NEAC MEN’S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL
Rank
Institution (First Place Votes)
Total Points
1.
Morrisville State College (11)
165
2.
Penn State Abington (2)
153
3.
Keuka College (1)
139
4.
Penn State Berks
120
5.
Wilson College
120
6.
Lancaster Bible College
114
7.
SUNY Polytechnic
112
8.
SUNY Cobleskill
76
9.
Wilson College
68
10
Bryn Athyn College
66
11.
Penn College
55
12.
Cazenovia College
41
13.
Gallaudet University
32
14.
College of Saint Elizabeth
13



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