Going into the last week of the season, the SUNYAC playoff picture for Plattsburgh State men’s soccer is coming down to the last couple of games, and team play will be the deciding factor in whether they stay in the playoffs.
This past weekend the Cardinals (8-7-1, 3-4 SUNYAC) faced off against Fredonia (8-4-3, 2-3-2 SUNYAC) and Buffalo State (5-9-1, 2-4-1 SUNYAC), beating Fredonia 4-0 and losing to Buffalo in overtime 2-1.
The games showed two sides of the team, head coach Chris Waterbury said, with the team playing its best in the first and showing its weaknesses in the second. Against Fredonia, the team was able to control the game, while the Buffalo game was almost the opposite with the team becoming complacent with 30 seconds left, allowing Buffalo to tie the game and win it in overtime.
This coming weekend, the Cards are facing Geneseo (8-6-2, 3-3-1 SUNYAC) and Brockport (8-2-5, 3-2-2 SUNYAC). Junior midfielder Fabian Chaparro said the contests will be hard-fought battles and the matches are do or die for the team.
“I think they want to put us under,” Chaparro said. “We were SUNYAC champions last year, so they want to prove a point and beat the champions.”
The team will decide their fate this weekend. The four teams who are competing for the top spots in Geneseo, Brockport and Potsdam will all be competing against each other this weekend to decide who gets into the SUNYAC tournament.
Waterbury said this weekend is the last chance for the Cards to make it back to the playoffs, and it will hold two challenging contests.
“Everybody needs wins, so nobody is going to lay down for anybody,” Waterbury said. “We need to win this weekend or the season is over.”
The Cards are currently 3-4 in the SUNYAC, and if they can win the two games this weekend, they can finish third in the SUNYAC standings, if they lose both games they could be in eighth place and if they split the weekend they could finish in fourth, fifth or sixth place depending on what other teams do.
Geneseo is led by Stanley Egbuchulam with three goals, one assist and seven points. The Knights are in seventh place in goals with 22, compared to PSUC’s 26. The two teams will have a close match because they both aren’t high-scoring teams.
Brockport this year is fourth in goals in the SUNYAC with 28, with the leading scorer being Peter DiLorenzo with 10.
Junior goalkeeper Mitchell Jordon said the team needs to come out this weekend and play with everything they have as the team desperately needs two wins.
“To be honest with you, we deserve to be in the SUNYACs, we deserve to be in the playoffs, we just haven’t been able to perform as a team this year,” Jordon said. “With two great wins this weekend, I believe that our team will come out and be ready to play and bring us another SUNYAC championship.”
Email Nick Topping at email@example.com.