The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team is headed into the SUNYAC tournament after winning its final three games of the regular season, on its home turf against Brockport, Geneseo and Canton.

“We just tried getting back to the basics,” head coach Chris Waterbury said. “We tried to figure out more ways to be dangerous as a team, and to make our opposition a little more uncomfortable.”

Prior to finishing their season with three straight victories, the Cardinals went through a tough stretch of games where it came down to them realizing if they don’t turn it around then their season will all be for not.

“We ran into a stretch during the season where, if anything could possibly go wrong, it did,” Waterbury said. “It’s always good to end the season win a win.”

In their final game of the season, the Cards defeated SUNY Canton 4-1 at home, and it was just what the team needed heading into the SUNYAC playoffs.

“We went into this game looking to rest several starters who were banged up,” Waterbury said. “We were able to get a win despite it not being it being our best performance, but it was just what the doctor ordered for our team.”

PSUC only let up one goal in their final three games of the season, which is significant when heading into postseason play.

“Sometimes really good offense, is great defense,” Waterbury said. “There will be times where we’re real good, and there will be times where we’re not, but the key is to sustain pressure and intensity by dictating the flow of the game.”

The Cards’ offense has been led in large part due to senior midfielder and captain Alexis Archilla’s contributions this season, who is feeling confident the team will outperform expectations in their first round matchup against Fredonia.

“Clinching a spot in the playoffs definitely lifted a big weight off of our shoulders,” Archilla said. “As long as we keep a positive mindset and maintain our jobs on the field, there is no doubt in my mind that we can win and advance on to the next round.”

With Archilla being a senior and one of the captains on the team, he is able to lead by example for the younger players on the team.

“The group of guys on the team right now are always hungry,” Archilla said. “As a group, these younger guys are trying to give the seniors another game while competing for a SUNYAC trophy – much like I did my freshman year.”

Archilla was able to win a SUNYAC championship his freshman year playing for PSUC, and hopes to finish his career the same way it began four years ago.

“There isn’t much of a difference between the guys my freshman year to the guys we have now,” Archilla said. “We’re just trying to stay focused and working as a group to achieve one goal, a championship.”

After doing what they had to do to gain a spot in the postseason following a potential derailment in the middle of the season, the Cards are feeling confident coming into their first game of the tournament against Fredonia tomorrow 1 p.m.

“I feel very good with where we are as a whole,” Waterbury said. “We’re not going to come out in to the game feeling cautious, we’re going to play to win the game.”

Email Ezra Kachaturian at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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