The Genesee Community College men’s soccer team is on to the Region III Finals on Sunday afternoon and will play for a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament. The No.1 team in the country defeated Tompkins-Cortland Community College on Saturday afternoon, to set themselves up with an opportunity for a second-straight appearance in the national tournament.
The Cougars had minimal scoring chances in the first half and were unable to find the back of the net. Dom Francis nearly tallied the game’s first goal midway through the first half off of a free kick just outside the box, but his bid sailed over the top of the TC3 net. Another Francis free kick opportunity later in the half was on the mark, but saved by the TC3 goalkeeper.
Tompkins-Cortland had the best scoring opportunity of the opening period. Having to dive to make a save, GCC goalkeeper Jake O’Leary left a vacated net with a free ball in the box. The Panthers managed to get a shot off, but Genesee defender Sam Cassidy was able to step in to make the save and kept TC3 off the board. Both teams went scoreless into the break.
In the second half, Francis was able to break through and put the Cougars on the board. The sophomore forward fended off a Panthers defender and lofted a lefty shot over the TC3 goalkeeper and into the net for his 28th goal of the season to give GCC a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute.
Genesee kept the pressure on and upped their lead in the 62nd minute when Nathan Rose snuck into the middle of the TC3 defense and headed in a cross that gave the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
GCC added another insurance goal in the 87th minute when George Anthony beat the TC3 goalie, and the Genesee defense held to knock off the Panthers, 3-0.
Genesee will play Herkimer County Community College tomorrow at 1pm for the Region III Championship and a trip to the national tournament on the line. It will be a rematch of an October 16th meeting in which GCC defeated Herkimer, 2-1. During that meeting, Herkimer was the No.1 team in the country and Genesee was No.2. Tomorrow, Genesee will defend the No.1 ranking with Herkimer ranked No.2. Only one team will represent Region III in the national tournament.