Defending its home turf, the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team failed to pick up a victory this past weekend, however, was able to escape with only one loss as the team was able to secure a point in the standings with a 1-1 tie Saturday against New Paltz despite losing to Oneonta the day before.
“Coming into this weekend, we knew we wanted to improve,” senior defenseman Tyler Jablanski said. “We had a rough first game, but the second game we bounce back a little bit. We showed some heart, which was really good for us.”
With an overall record of 9-3-1 (2-2-1 in conference), the Cardinals are looking to jump up in the standings this weekend on the road against two teams that hold a slight lead over the Cards, Buffalo State and Fredonia, who both have nine points on the season.
“How we look at it, is that it’s a business trip,” Jablanski said. “We have two big games this weekend and we come in to it looking to take care of business.”
This weekend presents a challenge for PSUC since no SUNYAC game on the road is ever going to easy, but also because of the amount of time that will be spent on the bus traveling in between games.
“I think the team played really well this past weekend despite the results,” head coach Chris Waterbury said. “These are going to be real tough games on the road. They’ll be long trips, and both are very unique fields and will definitely be a challenge, but of course we are ready for it.”
At this point of the season, these crucial games against SUNYAC opponents are the closest feel to what the playoffs will be like, so facing tough conference opponents on the road is a good way to prepare for the remainder of the season heading into playoffs.
“As simple as it sounds, we need all sides of the game needs to be clicking on all cylinders in order to be successful,” Waterbury said. “Every practice this week has revolved around doing all of the right things in terms of what we’re thinking for the final product.”
The Cards have only scored one goal in their last three games, which can be troublesome for the defense in how they perform while the offense is not scoring like it’s used to.
“A lot of it is that we’re not taking advantage of our opportunities to score,” Waterbury said. “You can’t really look at all of the statistics, because there is only one stat that matters, and that’s goals scored and goals against.”
PSUC will look to break the dry spell on offense against a top SUNYAC opponent in Buffalo State tomorrow, and then will hit the road afterwards to play Fredonia less than 24 hours later.
“What we really need this weekend is for our best players to play like our best players,” Waterbury said. “Our role players will make their contributions, but our best players have to be our best players.”
Despite its recent struggles, PSUC is still in a good spot in the SUNYAC standings, and will be looking to improve its conference record this weekend and turn around its recent rough stretch.
“I’ve always thought that it’s not only about what the leaders are made of when everything is going great, but you really want to see what they’re made of when things aren’t going so well,” Waterbury said. “It’s not like the ship is sinking right now, we just have to step up and redirect the ship a little bit.”
Email Ezra Kachaturian at firstname.lastname@example.org