Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Cards defend home turf

It was the first time since the 2010 season that the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team notched a pair conference victories in a single weekend. After defeating Oswego 1-0 and Cortland 2-0 last weekend, and a nonconference win Tuesday, the Cardinals improve to 8-4 overall with a conference record of 3-0.

“I think it’s fantastic because the players get to see how it is possible, how you can battle and how you can fight,” head coach Tania Armellino said. “I was just so proud of them for being able to find the way.”

In their first weekend of SUNYAC matchups, the Cards defeated Oswego State in overtime topped off by junior forward Sarah Haight’s goal in the 98th minute Friday, then knocked down Cortland less than 24 hours later thanks to junior midfielder Madeline Saccocio’s two goals in 49 seconds in the second half.

“We realized we shouldn’t take anything for granted because every SUNYAC game is a battle,” Saccocio said. “We took that momentum from Friday into our next game and were able to put things away.”

PSUC is 7-0 at home this season, extending their home winning streak Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Clarkson University.

“The atmosphere, the fans and knowing that it’s your turf really plays a big role in how we play,” Saccocio said. “We just want to protect our turf.”

All the Cards’ victories were shutouts, and would not have been possible if it weren’t for the strong and consistent efforts by sophomore goalkeeper Nichole Gibson and the presence of the defense in front of her.

“Being able to trust our keeper is key,” senior defender Paige Howk said. “It’s not only a confidence boost but it allows us to also trust our defense and one another more.”

Shutting out SUNYAC opponents in consecutive games is a task in itself and is not an easy thing to do. However, the Cards’ defense stepped up and dominated the weekend at home.

“For us to be able to come together as a unit and get the job done is great,” Howk said. “We all used every ounce of what was in us.”

PSUC’s next challenge will be on the road, which will be another weekend of conference matchups. So far this season, all of the Cards’ losses have come away from home, which is something as a team they will look to overcome.

“It’s always talking about it and preparing for it,” Armellino said about games on the road. “After you sit on that bus and get to that hotel room, it takes a certain particular focus to make sure your body is still up to the standard to play two games in a row.”

Coming into this point of the season, Armellino emphasizes the importantance to maintain stride in staying healthy for the remainder of the season.

“We’ve been discussing a lot on how they care for their bodies in between games,” Armellino said. “Ice baths, getting extra stretching in and being able to get your body moving will be important.”

Following the game today against Oneonta, PSUC will have less than 24 hours to prepare for its next game at New Paltz for another SUNYAC road game at 1 p.m.

“I think it’s great that we had our first 2-0 SUNYAC weekend, which can be a really good turning point for our season,” Saccocio said. “We’re going to use is as a confidence boost for our games to come.”

Email Ezra Kachaturian at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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