The men’s soccer team displayed an explosive offense that catapulted them to high-scoring shutout wins to start their season. Then conference play started. Forget the chest bumps and high fives – goals have come few and far between for the Yellowjackets since their University Athletic Association opener against Brandeis University on Oct 2. Of the four conference games, the Yellowjackets achieved one win and three ties against top teams in the UAA. Three of those ties went into double overtime. It would be an understatement to say that the Yellowjackets were happy to return home after seven of their last eight games have been on the road. With a couple days to practice and to rest their tired legs, the Yellowjackets welcomed Elmira College to Fauver Stadium. These guys, who are ranked No. 21 in the nation, have been nothing less than exciting thus far.This past Saturday, Oct. 23, the Yellowjackets defended their home turf with an offensive fireworks display. They took control right from the start and never looked back, crushing Elmira College 6-0. Senior Nate Micklos and junior Gary Stom got the party started. They combined for three goals and three assists in the first 18 minutes. The other Rochester goals came from junior Chris Lee, freshman Nick Mikolenko and junior Colin Fernie. “It’s hard to score in conference games,” Lee said. “Every game is a battle in the UAA. The three ties were bittersweet, in that we remained unbeaten in the conference but ties won’t help us win the UAA.” Saturday’s game against Elmira may be just what the Yellowjackets needed to prepare for their last games of the year – all home and against conference opponents. Lee said it definitely helped the team to come out against Elmira and score six goals, not just to improve their record, but to let some built-up frustration out. The Yellowjackets improved to 10-2-3 overall and are currently preparing for the last stretch of their season. The next three games are crucial for the Yellowjackets if they want to make the NCAA tournament. “We need to win out against three tough conference rivals, two of which are ranked in the top 25 nationally,” Lee said. “If we do, we will put ourselves in the best position in four years to make the tournament.” The Big Dance does not start until March for College hoops, but for the men’s soccer team hopes to get a cordial invite to the Division III NCAA soccer tournament in early November. The Yankee and Red Sox series is over. Peel yourself off your futon and bear the cold and support one of our university’s excellent sports teams. Rovinsky can be reached at mrovisnky@campustimes.org.



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