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Women look to move up, men to stay put
FREDONIA, N.Y. -- With three conference games remaining, the Fredonia State women's soccer team has its sights on moving up the SUNYAC standings.
The front-running men's team would settle for the status quo.
The Blue Devil women enter the weekend tied for fourth place at 5-2-0 (8-5-1 overall). Two of the teams ahead of them, Geneseo and Brockport, are this weekend's opponents. Both games are on the Brigham Road Field.
"The team that can get through the weekend with a couple of wins," head coach Chris Case said, "will be sitting nicely with only one game remaining."
Geneseo comes to town ranked No. 10 in the New York Region and one point ahead of the Blue Devils and Buffalo State in the conference. Game time is 4 p.m. Friday.
Brockport visits Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Golden Eagles (10-2-1, 6-1-0 SUNYAC) are ranked No. 8 in the region heading into their game Friday at Buffalo State.
"Brockport and Geneseo," Case said, "are both playing very well this year and should be two good tests for us to see if we are as good as our record. ... Right now I think our team is playing well and we are looking to raise our level a little more down the final three weeks of the season."
The SUNYAC portion of the women's season concludes with a home game Oct. 18 vs. Buffalo State.
The Blue Devil men enter the weekend leading SUNYAC at 6-0-0 (9-4-1 overall). They are on the road both days against two of the teams in closest pursuit: at second-place Geneseo 4 p.m. Friday, and at Brockport 1 p.m. Saturday. The Golden Eagles are tied with Plattsburgh and Buffalo State in third place.
Fredonia State can clinch the regular-season title -- and earn the No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament -- with a win over Geneseo and a win or tie with Brockport or Buffalo State next Wednesday. Other less-certain scenarios will play out should the Blue Devils drop their game Friday.
"This is typically," head coach P.J. Gondek said, "the toughest weekend of the year every year, home or away, and this year we are away. We are probably playing with more confidence and emotion than earlier in the year but it is Geneseo-Fredonia and it should be a battle decided by one goal. Once that is over there is no reward because we have Brockport."
Elsewhere in Blue Devil athletics:
The men's and women's swimming and diving teams open their season 1 p.m. Saturday vs. Morrisville at the Steele Hall Natatorium. "We are battling a few illnesses," head coach Arthur Wang said, "(but) hope for quality swimming and diving performances." It's the first Fredonia State event vs. Morrisville team as the latter begins the four-year process of becoming a full-fledged member of the SUNYAC in 2010.
The women's volleyball team heads to Medaille for a pair of Saturday matches -- 2 p.m. vs. Altoona, 4 p.m. vs. the host Mavericks. The Blue Devils (14-11) are then home Oct. 17 vs. University of Rochester -- it's student-athlete support night -- before heading off to Brockport next weekend for the second round of SUNYAC West Division Pool Play. "It would be nice to get some wins going into next week," head coach Geoff Braun said. "The team is really starting to come together."
The men's and women's cross country teams are off this weekend as the clock winds down toward the Oct. 21st SUNYAC Championship Meet at Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island. Meanwhile, the women's team has again moved up the polls. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 6 in the NCAA Atlantic Region, and a best-ever No. 3 by the New York State Collegiate Track Conference. The Blue Devil men are tied for No. 10 in the NYSCTC poll.