ONEONTA, N.Y. (November 3, 2019) – An early first-half SUNY Canton goal was the lone difference that ended the SUNY Delhi men's soccer team's season Sunday in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Quarterfinals. The three-seed Broncos hosted the sixth-seed Roos at SUNY Oneonta's Red Dragon Field for the right to move on to next weekend's NAC semifinals. Canton made Shayne O'Neill's goal at 10:04 stand the whole game, despite Delhi leading in shots, 22-10, and posting great defense to keep it a one-goal match. Head coach Brian Mitko's team concludes their 2019 season with a 9-8 record, as Canton moves on to face two-seed Thomas in the league semifinals Saturday, hosted by top-seed Maine Maritime.
The Roos took full advantage of a Broncos foul near the ten-minute mark that set them up. A roughly 40-yard free kick from Evran Akman sailed deep in the box, where Will Austin headed the ball towards O'Neill who kicked the ball in on the fly to put Canton on the board. The Broncos battled relentlessly to gain the equalizer against a 12-save performance from Roos keeper Dawson Pellerin. Delhi's defense, however, made a stand of their own to keep the match within reach. Goalkeeper Corey O'Toole made two incredible saves in the second half, including stopping a penalty kick from Connor Bruyn at 63:41, then absorbing a point-blank shot from the ten by Brett Anderson at 68:24. Delhi had a few close calls, featuring a shot by Brody Rettle early in the second half that hit the crossbar, which all came up short. The Broncos were victims of nine offsides calls, including eight in the first half.
Coach Mitko's men overcame many ups and down in 2019 to make it to the postseason. After scoring just two goals in their first three matches to stand at 0-3, the Broncos bounced back to win their next four games with a combined 11 goals, including a pair of conference victories over NVU Johnson and Maine Maritime. While this was followed by another three-game losing streak, which included a 6-3 defeat to Canton, Delhi remained resilient, ending the season winning five of its last six that featured four league wins.
O'Toole finished his senior season with an 8-7 record with a 1.95 goals allowed average and .726 save percentage as Delhi's full-time starter. Rettle completed his junior year with a team-best 23 points on ten goals and three assists to push his career numbers to 67 career points on 27 goals and 13 assists. Velez led the team with 11 goals and second with 22 points as he now holds 31 career points on 15 goals and one assist. Finishing his third year at the helm, Mitko holds a 31-18-1 career record as head coach, leading the Broncos to the conference tournament every season, including league finals appearances in 2017 and 2018.