The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team has enjoyed another successful season as they’ve supplemented its well-balanced offense with a stout defense. Sophomore defenseman John LaTouche has had a hand in making that possible.
The Washingtonville native started playing soccer when he was six-years-old. LaTouche also played baseball and basketball when he was younger, but found that soccer was his favorite sport.
“I’ve stuck with it and haven’t looked back since,” LaTouche said.
LaTouche was recruited to play soccer for PSUC out of high school, but chose to go to University of New Haven. When he transferred out of New Haven a year later, PSUC came calling again.
“I’m very happy with my decision to come to Plattsburgh,” LaTouche said. “Sometimes you step on a college campus and feel at home, and for me Plattsburgh has been nothing less. I love the campus and the surrounding environment, the competitiveness of the soccer program, they all played a part.”
LaTouche’s teammates have been a huge importance to him.
“Between easing my transition into Plattsburgh and pushing me on and off the field, they’ve been there for me 100 percent,” LaTouche said. “My coaches have also been excellent mentors through the years. They have challenged me to be a better player.”
Soccer has helped shape LaTouche as an individual as well.
“Soccer has taught me to be patient, positive, and that hard work pays off,” LaTouche said. “You’ll get kicked while you’re down and you’ll have to get up but consistency can take you farther than a good day ever will.”
LaTouche said he’s been called an underdog countless of times on and off the pitch but has learned to thrive off that.
Senior forward Alexis Archilla admires LaTouche’s ‘insane’ work ethic.
“He’s a competitor, he’s always working hard to not only make himself better but others around him as well,” Archilla said. “There’s very few that I know, that have the same work ethic as him.”
Archilla said LaTouche and him work really well together and his play on the defensive end has helped the Cards win many games.
Latouche said his favorite part about playing defense is that you get to see the whole field. He has to be quick to analyze the other team and can switch up tactically to dictate the pace and flow of a game.
“My mindset is to be one step ahead of everyone else,” LaTouche said. “Knowing when and where to be and providing proper information to my teammates in front of me.”
Senior midfielder Jonathan Gamboa said LaTouche is reliable, does not shy away from tackles and has the speed to track down opposing attackers.
“He’s confident in his abilities— he means business,” Gamboa said. “His work rate on the field is always high. He always gives a hundred percent and leaves it all out on the field.”
Gamboa said he has good chemistry with LaTouche.
“He has a great understanding of the game,” Gamboa said. “He is very versatile player. He can play more than one position which helps in reading the game.”
LaTouche said he enjoys the competitive atmosphere of the team.
“Every practice, guys are working harder and harder trying to prove themselves and it’s made for healthy team competition,” LaTouche said. “The energy is something else, we have a very passionate team.”
One goal LaTouche has is to help the team push through the SUNYAC conference and improve from last season.
“I want all the hard work we have put in to pay off,” LaTouche said.
The sophomore said that he will remember his time with the team the most once his career at PSUC is over.
“I’ve met some great kids and coaches so far in my first year. It’s great to be a part of a team like this where everyone has such similar goals and the passion to achieve them.”
Email David Luces at email@example.com