ALBANY, N.Y. — In an exciting tournament that saw all three games decided by one goal and the winner erasing 1-0 deficits at halftime, No. 2 seed SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry defeated No. 4 seed College of New Rochelle, 2-1, to capture the 2018 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship on Sunday afternoon at the ACPHS Soccer Field.
With the victory, SUNY ESF claims the conference's automatic bid to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship held from November 8-12 in Virginia Beach, Va.
The first semifinal saw New Rochelle stun regular-season champion and top seed Berkeley College scoring an equalizer in the final minute of regulation to force overtime and netting the game-winner 11 seconds into the extra session to knock off the Knights who were undefeated in league play this year. The second semifinal found No. 3 seed King's College unable to hold on to their 1-0 halftime lead with ESF scoring in the 52nd and 77th minutes to advance to their third-straight title game.
CNR struck first in the final with Xavier Cruzata finding the back of the net in the 20th minute. But the Blue Angels bid to become the first No. 4 seed to win the league title would fall short as Tournament MVP Matt Hoppe scored the equalizer with less than 15 minutes left to play and the Mighty Oaks placed another in the cage three minutes later off the foot of Luke Day to seal their second title in the last three years.
The Mighty Oaks will await their seeding for the six-team tournament and Berkeley and New Rochelle will await a possible at-large berth when the field is announced on Tuesday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. on theuscaa.com.
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2018 HVIAC Men's Soccer Championships
Semifinals - Saturday, October 27
Championship - Sunday, October 28
#2 SUNY ESF def #4 New Rochelle, 2-1 | Box
Matt Hoppe | SUNY ESF | Senior | Forward | East Islip, N.Y.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
College of New Rochelle
Regular Season Champions