The SUNY Plattsburgh women’s soccer team were beaten for the first time this season at their home game against Middlebury College Wednesday 2-0.
The Cardinals were given a tall task when they invited the Middlebury Panthers, ranked No. 2 in Division III’s New England region., to the Field House this last Wednesday.
The Panthers went on the board first with a goal by Middlebury senior midfielder Virginia Charman 13 minutes into the first period. Charman’s teammate, junior forward Leah Salzman, followed with a goal of her own at the end of the first period.
The Cards took 10 shots in the second half but were unable to follow through on any attempts. Freshman goalkeeper Julia Ennnis recorded seven saves to tie her early career-high, but it wasn’t enough as SUNY Plattsburgh was handed its first loss of the season.
The Cards have experienced early success in the season by starting 3-0 with wins against non conference opponents in Castleton University, Union College and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, all the while getting big contributions from younger players.
“In the beginning of the season, you have freshman coming in playing big roles, so when you’re still learning and fine tuning everything, it’s just really nice to still be able to do that with some wins,” head coach Tania Armellino said.
Armellino said the team has drawn a lot of positives from this season so far, including Ennis being awarded PrestoSports defensive athlete of the week by the SUNYAC.
“Julia has earned it,” Armellino said. “She’s super composed, a wonderful personality. I think seeing her grow every game has been huge because as a freshman, it’s always a lot to take in, particularly in that first game.”
Ennis was recognized by the conference in her first week as a collegiate athlete, and earned the starting role of goalkeeper after Taylor Adams, a four-year player with five years on the team, graduated last May.
In the first game of the season, Ennis recorded seven saves while allowing one goal against Castleton University.
“I was definitely nervous, especially those first 30 minutes,” Ennis said, “but after I touched the ball just once, I felt a lot of confidence in having a whole team support me no matter what happened.”
Julia said the conference recognition came as a surprise.
“We want to be exposed at times,” Taylor said. “We want to know how good we are. Because at the end of the day, the most important part of the season is the SUNYAC schedule, and we want to make sure that we’ve got everything prepared for that.”
The Cards picked up their second win of the season against The Sages Colleges Wednesday with a score of 2-1.
Junior midfielder Cameron Richards scored his first goal of the season alongside his teammate, freshman forward Devin Lambe, who netted his fourth goal of the season.
The Cardinals continue their non conference home schedule this Saturday with a game against Skidmore College at 6 p.m. at the Field House.