The Mighty Oaks men's soccer team has qualified for the HVIAC tournament for the third year in a row. The top four teams in the conference earn a spot in the post season tournament.
It was a must-win situation for the men's team versus The College of New Rochelle. A loss would have sent ESF home for the season and given Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences a spot in the tournament. A win for ESF, on the other hand, would qualify the Mighty Oaks and eliminate Albany Pharmacy. That reality sent the Mighty Oaks into the game with a renewed purpose on senior day.
The men's team opened play by putting the Blue Angels on their heels, netting two goals (third minute and 17th-minute) by halftime. Both goals came from senior forward Matt Hoppe and an assist from freshman Jack Phillips. Hoppe, who was the goalkeeper for the Mighty Oaks the past two seasons, has thrived in his new role as a field player.
The Mighty Oaks allowed only one goal in the second half and fought off a talented and technical Blue Angels team to win 2-1.
"This season as a whole has been filled with hard work and celebration but some heartbreaking losses in key games too. Scoring two goals on senior day and securing the No. 2 seed in conference playoffs seemed like something out of a movie to me. I'm so glad I was able to do it for my team and I give all the credit to the hard working guys around me," Hoppe said.
The men's team ended its regular season with a 6-6 overall record, 4-2 in the HVIAC. The team clinched the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and will face The King's College Oct. 27 in the semifinals at Albany Pharmacy.