Oneonta Soccer Club wraps up season

Kate SeeleyOneonta Soccer Club’s right fullback Lance Maben steals the ball against the Albany Rush while centerback Nick Stalder and goalkeeper Quin Hansen hold down the backfield in the Afrims College Showcase on Saturday, Nov. 21, in Colonie.

The Oneonta Soccer Club U19 boys team wrapped up its season with a 3-0 win in the Binghamton Champions League mini Thanksgiving Tournament against the Syracuse Crush.

The Thanksgiving Tournament was a spin-off of the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex soccer league, which was composed of seven high school and one travel teams. The Oneonta Soccer Club won the initial league, and was invited to play in the tournament as a result. The tournament included four teams from Oneonta, Binghamton, Corning and Syracuse.

“It was a pretty big deal for us. Because we’re sort of a mixed-aged travel club and those were all sort of single-age 11-and 12-graders premier-level teams,” said Oneonta Soccer Club U19 boys team head coach Mike Maben.

The Oneonta Soccer Club team fields players from Oneonta, Charlotte Valley, Laurens and Worcester. The majority of the team, 10 out of 15 players, are Oneonta High School varsity soccer players who were active with the Oneonta Soccer Club before the pandemic-delayed soccer season. Of the teams 15 players, 11 are seniors set to graduate this year.

The following weekend, the team continued its successful season with a strong showing at the Afrims College Showcase Tournament.

The Afrims tournament was a 16-team round-robin tournament, composed of four games. Teams were awarded points for wins and ties and were separated from there based on goal differential. Oneonta ended the day with nine goals, good enough to win one game and tie three on its way to securing a tie for third place.

“There were probably 75 coaches from Division II and Division III colleges there to observe and recruit,” Maben said.

According to Maben, eight out of 13 players who attended the tournament had interest from colleges to play at the next level; locally, SUNY Delhi had interest in several of the teams players.

With New York’s winter whether closing in fast, and COVID-19 cases rising, the team will continue to practice as long as there is not snow on the field, he said, but has no games scheduled.

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