The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team has struggled with split games for two straight weekends. If they do it this weekend, the team could get knocked out of the playoffs.

PSUC is going into this weekend hoping to avoid the split against Oneonta and Buffalo State in two away games. The team needs to get two wins or a win and a tie this weekend to keep its SUNYAC championship hopes alive.

Last weekend, the team took on New Paltz and Oneonta, beating the Hawks Friday and losing to the Red Dragons Saturday. In the game against New Paltz, head coach Chris Waterbury said the team should have played better. The shot total was a one-sided affair, with the Cardinals outshooting the Hawks 29-5, but being able to score only two goals and not being able to put the game away until the end was disappointing, he said.

“If you put the game away, you can get some of you prime-time players out of the game and give them a rest because you have a second game 20 hours later, and I think that’s part of our problem,” Waterbury said. “We just haven’t been able to finish them when I would like.”

Freshman midfielder Ian Spear said one of the main reasons the team keeps splitting games is because the team is not playing for a full 90 minutes.

“This weekend, we didn’t start off very good, but once we changed our formation and switched on, we played Oneonta very well,” Spear said. “I think a big part of it is being willing to play the full 90 minutes.”

Senior defenseman Wade Goehle shared a similar belief that if the team can play a full 90 minutes, they can beat the split. He said the team just needs to be consistent throughout the game and not just in the second half.

Injuries to key players have also plagued the team this season. Junior defenseman Clay Sherman missed four games before coming back against New Paltz, senior forward Nick Parrella is out injured and senior midfielder Nate Economou has missed the last couple of games with a leg injury.

Goehle said even though the team is missing key players, guys have come off the bench and filled in nicely for PSUC. The team is having problems succeeding as a unit because they are juggling different lineups. The team chemistry is difficult to build while experimenting with different lineups.

Waterbury said if the team could get back some of its key players from injuries then the team would be in a better standing.

To avoid the split this weekend and keep their playoff hopes alive, PSUC needs to figure out how to get the team to work together as a unit. With all the injuries that won’t be the easiest thing to do.

Email Nick Topping at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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