DELHI, N.Y. (November 2, 2018) – Early Thursday morning, the SUNY Delhi men's soccer team hopped on a bus, leaving Delaware County far behind as they began an 18-hour trek to Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich. for the ACAA Tournament. The Broncos made it to the league championship after running off nine straight wins to close out the regular season with the ACAA's best record at 12-2. They will face Pine Manor in the conference semifinals, set for Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
The winner of the semifinals contest will play in the league finals on Sunday at 2:00 p.m., where they will face the victor of the match between Thomas More and Finlandia. That contest is set for Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
"I'm excited for this weekend's playoff games. Our team has battled all season and made mistakes early that led us to being successful later on. I think right now we are playing some of the best soccer we have played all season. If our guys keep the same attitude and work ethic up all weekend there's no doubt in my mind that we will play fantastic soccer and enjoy every minute of the experience. I know we are ready for the opportunity to play Pine Manor who is a very strong team and will be a great challenge on Saturday."
In his second season, head coach Brian Mitko continued to develop his talented roster that finished the 2017 season at 9-8. His tireless efforts paid great dividends. After starting the year at a modest 3-2, as well as scoring just two goals in a three-match stretch, the Broncos went on an undefeated tear. They scored at least three goals in seven of their latter victories, including a season-best seven goals in their 7-1 rout of Southern Vermont on Sept. 19. Coach Mitko's squad posted an 8-2 mark against NCAA Division III opponents, including a 2-0 mark against ACAA foes Pratt and Alfred State. The men were ranked as high as third nationally in the USCAA Division II Coaches Poll.
The Broncos earned a staggering eight ACAA Athlete of the Week awards, as well as a pair of USCAA national weekly honors. Junior forward Alhasane Sako earned one of those USCAA weekly honors and a pair from the ACAA, finishing the regular season as the conference's leading scorer with 31 points on 14 goals and three assists. Sophomore forward Brody Rettle also received two ACAA honors, ranking first in the conference with 8 assists and second with 28 points and ten goals.
Delhi's defense collected a total of four ACAA weekly accolades, as well as one from the USCAA. But perhaps the back's most threatening asset is their depth at the goalkeeper position. Senior keeper Marcos Andrino was on hand for two conference honors, posting a 9-1 record with two shutouts, along with a 1.15 goals allowed average and .750 save percentage. His freshman counterpart, Gabriel Rodrigues, earned both USCAA and ACAA accolades after picking up his first career shutout in the team's 4-0 win at Fisher in the regular season finale on Sunday. Rodrigues is 3-1 in goal with a 1.14 goals allowed average and .840 save percentage. Senior defender Stefan Correia collected the team's remaining ACAA honor, spearheading a defense that has given up just 16 goals all season with three shutouts, while holding opponents to 148 total shots with 80 on goal as the offense shot 257 with 133 on goal.