The Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team wrapped up its pre-conference play last Saturday by hanging on to beat Skidmore College.
The Cardinals (5-1) beat the Thoroughbreds 2-1 while Skidmore (3-2) outshot PSUC 23-4 on the game.
While her team managed to eke out the win, head coach Tania Armellino knows that the Cards will need to be better in their first SUNYAC games.
“We’re going to be building on what we lost a little at Skidmore, and we’re going to get back into our rhythm of what we found successful in our other contests,” Armellino said.
Part of PSUC’s struggles at Skidmore can be chalked up to injury problems.
The Cards were missing four starters, including early standout freshman forward/midfielder Kirsten Villemaire.
“We had two people who started who had never started before, and another who it was only the second start of their career,” Armellino said. “They were asked to do a lot.”
Most of those players will be returning this weekend, but Villemaire is still dealing with an ankle sprain. Armellino said that she is expected to be back soon.
With play on the offensive side of things lacking, the back end stepped up to the plate. Goals came from junior defender Amanda Steinman and senior defender Jessica Mangieri, while graduate student goalkeeper Taylor Adams made eight saves in her fifth win this season.
“You literally saw the Skidmore players about to jump up like the ball is about to go in, and she pulled off some amazing saves,” Armellino said of Adams’ late-game heroics that kept PSUC up by one with just over a minute left in the game. “That’s where you’re cheering as much on the defensive side as you would be if you scored yourself.”
Mangieri’s game-winning goal was the first of her collegiate career, and it came under rather odd circumstances.
Just past 73-minute mark, Mangieri’s shot arced into the top right corner of the Skidmore net from just ahead of the half-field line.
“It was the best feeling ever; I got chills,” Mangieri said about tallying her first. “Once I hit it, I knew [it was going in].”
There were some gaps in play to work on after Skidmore, and the Cards are working on them.
“We’re focusing more defensively,” Adams said. “We need better clearances, because that’s why we were getting pounded [against Skidmore]. We would misclear, and they would come right back at us.”
PSUC plays in Brockport today at 4 p.m. against the Golden Eagles (3-3) and tomorrow in Geneseo at 1 p.m. against the Knights (3-2-1) to open its conference schedule.
Armellino is looking forward to moving forward from Skidmore and hoping that the non-conference schedule has helped the team prepare for a weekend like this.
“You always have to try to work on things from the previous game,” Armellino said. “You celebrate what worked well, but also work on what you know you want to do better and what you can do better. Going into SUNYAC play, I’m glad we’ve already played a back-to-back and been successful. Here’s our second chance to do that.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org