The Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team is coming out of its second full week of positives.
The Cardinals beat RPI 2-0 last Friday to earn their third consecutive shutout, lost a close 1-0 game against Clarkson Saturday, and lost 2-1 to Middlebury Wednesday.
On the whole, head coach Tania Armellino was quite pleased with her team’s performance so far when speaking on Tuesday.
“I know I game the girls a challenge with three games in five days, including a back to back,” Armellino said. “All three were very good opponents. With our work ethic, we showed that we would fight. I think we did that, even at Clarkson. We couldn’t hit the back of the net and get the equalizer, but we never stopped pushing in the second half.”
Friday’s win against RPI saw senior Madeline Saccocio make her presence known on the scoresheet. She tallied a goal and an assist in the match to continue her great offensive play on the year.
Armellino expanded upon how much of a boost for the team that Saccocio’s play has been so far.
“Madeline works to study the game and improve on their own,” Armellino said. “Saturday, they were aware of her pretty darn hard so she was getting double and triple-teamed, but she is learning every day how to play out of that pressure and play even better under that pressure.”
Senior Cait Gagen scored the other PSUC goal against RPI, while freshman Ernesta McIntosh assisted.
Senior forward Sarah Haight, who had three shots in the RPI game, cited the team’s single minded play as the main reason for the team’s success.
“We all feel really connected,” Haight said. “We have tons of people who can sub in at any moment, and we all mesh really well together.”
The win was the third shutout in a row for junior goalkeeper Nichole Gibson, who had just come off of being named SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Gibson veered praise away from herself when asked about the honor, attributing her success to the team playing a strong defensive game in front of her.
“I think it’s a whole lot more than my individual performance,” Gibson said. “As a team, we’re playing defense from Sarah (Haight) up top, all the way back to me. When we don’t have the ball, we’re playing defense as a unit, which makes a big impact on the back core and myself being able to keep the ball out of the net.”
Armellino was a bit more willing to praise her goalkeeper.
“Nick (Nichole) has been amazing,” Armellino said. “Even at Clarkson, she made this incredible save to tip it out and keep it close, and it’s not only her ability to make big saves. She’s great at coming out and distributing with her feet. She’s been a tremendous vocal presence and has played a massive leadership role for us.”
The Cards lost the game against Clarkson 1-0 in a tight tilt, before losing 2-1 to Middlebury Wednesday.
Gagen scored PSUC’s lone goal against Middlebury, while Gibson allowed more than a single goal for the first time this season.
The Cards sit at a 3-2 record overall on the season heading into this Saturday’s match.
Now PSUC will move on to face two Liberty League opponents.
The Cards will play Skidmore at home tomorrow, before playing St. Lawrence on Tuesday.
Armellino now has her team shifting the focus to the difficult matchups coming up.
“Both Skidmore and St. Lawrence have been great opponents for us the last three years, and there hasn’t been any easy opponents so far this season,” Armellino said. “When we look at Skidmore and St. Lawrence, we understand that they’re talented and keep possession really well. For us, we’ll just try to play our game and keep growing as a unit.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org