Thursday, January 27, 2022

Corner kicks Cards’ primary weakness

When it comes to playing on the road, the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team is hoping it is an obstacle they can overcome.

The Cardinals (6-5-1, 2-2-1 SUNYAC) have played just over half of their in-conference games this season and have not won on the road so far. PSUC opened up SUNYAC play with three consecutive home games and ended up with two wins and a draw. In that stretch of home games, the Cards also outscored opponents 9-2.

PSUC assistant coach Frantzy Noze said he is trying to get the team to understand that no matter where the playing field is, it is still the same game.

“We know we are capable of getting great results as long as we go out there and do our job like we’ve been doing at home,” Noze said.

Last weekend, the Cards played in their first away games since SUNYAC play began. Facing a tough New Paltz (8-5-2, 2-2-2 SUNYAC) team Friday, PSUC had a lot on its plate. The Hawks scored off of a corner kick in the 15th minute and were able to control the pace from there. New Paltz would score a second goal late in the game and secure a 2-0 win. Defending corners this season has been one of the Cards’ downfalls, PSUC freshman forward Anissa Hartmann said.

“When attacking corners, we couldn’t get on the end of the ball, and on defending corners, we couldn’t stay with our marks, and we paid the price for it,” Hartmann said.

The Cards have struggled defending corners throughout conference play and almost every goal that has been scored against them has come off of a corner kick or set piece. Noze believes this is one of the team’s major issues, but the Cards have been improving during practices.

The road struggles continued for PSUC Saturday in Oneonta (5-6-2, 3-2-1 SUNYAC) with another in-conference matchup. Both sides played evenly during the first half, but the Red Dragons were able to capitalize off of a corner kick early into the second half. PSUC would answer with a Cammey Keyser score in the 78th minute, but it wouldn’t be enough. A late goal from Oneonta in the 89th would be the final nail in the coffin for the Cards as they fell 2-1.

The Cards will return to action this weekend against Fredonia (5-6-1, 2-2-1 SUNYAC) and Buffalo State (5-6-2, 2-3 SUNYAC) on their home turf. PSUC has yet to lose a game at home, and Noze hopes to keep that streak alive.

“The girls always come out to play at home so it should definitely be a great weekend, and we don’t want to take either of these teams for granted,” Noze said.

Sophomore defender Kylie Wallace agrees that both games will be tough, but her team is more comfortable on its home turf.

“We definitely play better at home, but we have to be able to play well away,” Wallace said. “It’s easier to get pumped up, and you never want to lose in general, but at your home turf, it’s much more personal.”

Email Alex Reynolds at alex.reynolds@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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