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Men’s soccer dominates all-conference honors 

The Golden Eagles placed seven players on SUNYAC All-Conference teams. (Photo Credit: Kaite Wilson)

After a season where they finished second in the SUNYAC standings with a record of 6-0-3, the Brockport men’s soccer team dominated the SUNYAC all-conference teams. The teams which were announced Wednesday featured seven Golden Eagles on the first, second and third all-conference teams. 

Andrew Taylor and Russ Domm were named to the first team. Taylor was also named the SUNYAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Dylan Rippe was the lone Golden Eagle on the second team. Chuck Domm, Alex Rivara, Josh Fitzpatrick and Giovanni Cardona rounded out the third team.  

Much of Brockport’s success started in the back. In net, Taylor led the SUNYAC in save percentage at 89% and was second in saves with 70.  Head coach Gary LaPietra had nothing but praise for his starting goalkeeper. 

“Drew is a special goalkeeper,” LaPietra said. “He’s a calming presence in goal and is so smart with seeing things develop before it happens. He’s always in a great position to make that critical save.” 

“Being named SUNYAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year was definitely a welcomed surprise,” Taylor said. “Earning awards like this as a goalkeeper is more than individual accolades but a culmination of all the hard work we put in as a team to defend.” 

Taylor was just the beginning of Brockport’s success defensively. Their defense, which included Rippe, Fitzpatrick and Cardona, was staunch, only allowing five goals and earning five shutouts. 

Rippe, a second-team selection, played all but 18 minutes the entire season and was a crucial piece in Brockport’s backline. The focus for him was not on individual awards.  

“I wanted to win a SUNYAC championship and be a part of a championship-level team, I never strived for individual honors,” Rippe said. 

Along with their defensive prowess, the Golden Eagles were just as dangerous on the other end of the field. Of Brockport’s 17 SUNYAC goals, 10 were scored by players honored on an all-conference team. Leading the offensive charge was Russ Domm. The two-time SUNYAC Offensive Athlete of the Week was tied for fourth in the league for scoring with four goals and also added two assists on the season.  Last year as a sophomore, Domm was named to the SUNYAC second team but suffered a season-ending injury.  

“Russ had to deal with so much after his ACL injury last season,” LaPietra said. “His work ethic is second to none, he was so committed to returning for this season. I’m so thankful for his hard work, he’s a difference-maker and a special talent.” 

Despite their individual successes and strong regular season, the Golden Eagles lost their semi-final matchup against Oneonta on Nov. 1. Though a disappointing end to a strong season, the Golden Eagles are already looking to the future.  

“I know how disappointed they are with how the season ended, that will provide an extra incentive to finish what they started,” LaPietra said. “I guarantee that many of our players have already begun to put the work in.”   

All seven players honored are looking to transfer their successes to the Empire 8 conference next season as Brockport transitions out of the SUNYAC conference. 

“It’s bittersweet for me personally since I’ve been coaching in the SUNYAC for over 27 years and created so many rivalries,” LaPietra said. “We look forward to a new challenge and creating new rivals.” 

Although there are mixed emotions, Taylor is confident his team can get the job done next year. 

“It gives the program an opportunity,” Taylor said. “We can begin writing a new chapter in this school’s long history of competing at a high level.”

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Lucy Crounse, Copy Editor
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