The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team’s season came to a disappointing end last Saturday. The team failed to score against Fredonia in the first round of the SUNYAC tournament, which enabled the higher-seeded Blue Devils to move on to the next round.
“The result was tremendously disappointing, but I was very proud of their effort and how everyone played,” head coach Chris Waterbury said. “We created a ton of good scoring chances, but other than not winning the game, we did everything right.”
The Cardinals visited Fredonia earlier in the season and lost 3-2 on their grass field, which is posed as a disadvantage in both of their matchups this year, as it is not what the Cards are used to playing on.
“It wasn’t anything that we weren’t expecting since we just played each other a few weeks ago,” junior captain midfielder Ian Spear said. “They had a good crowd, which will help any home team.”
PSUC will be losing six seniors this offseason, two of which were captains this season – midfielder Jonathan Gamboa and forward Alexis Archilla. Filling the holes of impactful leaders on the team is never an easy task, and will be a challenge PSUC has to face come next season.
“Overall, I’m really proud of the guys this year. We did the best we could do,” Archilla said. “This was my first year leading a team, and being a leader definitely requires a lot of effort. It’ll be important to maintain the chemistry and positive aura that this program represents.”
In his final season, Archilla led the Cards with eight goals and five assists, accumulating 21 total points his senior year. His role on offense will be missed next season, however, his presence will remain on the field within the team as he has been able to pass down his work ethic to the new players, which is what made him a first year captain this season.
“He’s exactly what you want in a captain,” Spear said. “From the first day I met him I knew he was going to be an awesome person. He’s always been team oriented and put the team first. Whether it being always on time or getting the guys ready for each game, he’ll be greatly missed by us next year.”
Over the course of the season, the Cards were able to see a lot of impressive play from their younger players which gives them a good feeling heading into next season despite losing this year’s senior class.
“I really think that next year’s team will be a great group to work with. I feel like they have all the tools they need, and it’ll just come down to grinding and getting the work done,” Archilla said. “This year will act as a big stepping stone for them in having a successful next season.”
The offseason of recruiting has already begun for Waterbury in preparation for next season in order to fill the vacated holes in the lineup, which will be tough to replace a the work ethic of the guys in this year’s senior class. Ending a season is never easy, even for a coach.
“For me, the hardest part about the season coming to an end, really, is how I feel for the seniors,” Waterbury said. “I have a tremendous love for them, they’re like a part of my family, and it’s hard to see that come to an end.”
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