By Mehmet Ozen, Staff Writer
Fisher’s mens soccer team is preparing for its first Empire 8 tournament berth since 2012.
Fisher ended the 2016 season with a 5-9-2 record overall and 3-3-1 in the Empire 8. However, the the team was able to turn its season around during the midpoint of the season with a 5-0-1 stretch.
After clinching a spot in the tournament by defeating Utica College, Fisher lost its final two games of the season in very close fashion.
The Cardinals first lost to Suny Geneseo 1-0 in a very tight game, then dropped a nail-biter to Ithaca College 2-1.
Against the Geneseo Knights, the Cardinals played a tightly contested match against a tough opponent. The Knights are 9-7-2 overall and 4-5 in a very challenging SUNY conference. The SUNY league currently has two teams in the national top 25 rankings. Goalie Joe Catalfamo stepped up against a high powering offense with seven saves keeping the Cardinals in it for much of the game.
Then the Cardinals played their final game of the year at Growney Stadium against Ithaca College. Freshman Jeff Meyers scored the only goal for the Cardinals, and Catalfamo had another solid day with four saves in a losing effort.
With the loss against Ithaca, the Cardinals will enter the tournament as a fourth seed. The league scheduling alignment is set up so that the tournament is held at the number one seed, which this year means it will be held at Stevens Tech in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Against head coach Rob Searl’s wishes, the semi-finals will be played on Friday, Nov. 4 and then the two winners will be forced to turn around and play again for the final on Saturday.
“I just don’t think it’s the healthiest option for the players,” said Searl.
Fisher will first play top seed Stevens Tech on Friday at 4 p.m. Searl has high hopes for his team heading into the conference tournament.
“This is the little dance, but we want to get in the big dance (NCAA tournament),” he said.