The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday against nationally ranked St. Lawrence University in an overtime affair 2-1.
“We didn’t want to lose, but it is a learning point for us in our season,” freshman defender Joe Gula said. “Playing St. Lawrence was a good way to set us up for the competitive SUNYAC nature, because then every game will be a fight. It was a good game to show that we can fight with anybody, even the top in the nation.”
Coming into the game against St. Lawrence, head coach Chris Waterbury noticed a lot of room for improvement for a team that at the time was undefeated.
“We’ve got some real work ahead of us this week,” Waterbury said about their upcoming SUNYAC matchups. “I like where we are, I like where we’re going, but we still have a ways to go.”
Looking forward, the Cards will start their conference play tomorrow against Potsdam, which will spark off a new competitiveness to the season, however, having played St. Lawrence right before SUNYAC play begins was a challenge in itself, prepares PSUC for the conference challenges upcoming.
“The conference games are just a whole notch above, in intensity and in the meaning of them,” Waterbury said.
The last few games for the Cards have been relatively close in scoring, and despite being named SUNYAC defensive player of the week, junior goalkeeper Andrew LaClaustra gives all of the credit to the defensive line playing in front of him.
“It’s a great honor, but all I have to do is thank my defense,” LaClaustra said. “They’re holding it down for me and doing everything I could ask of them, and more.”
Although this is LaClaustra’s first fall season with PSUC, he already feels the cohesiveness of the ball club and continues to mesh and thrive along with his teammates.
“I think we look really good as a team, really strong,” LaClaustra said. “We have a deep bench and I can see us going far.”
Although the Cards lost Tuesday, they still are carrying a load of positive momentum to help them coming into into SUNYAC play.
“I’m happy with the progress, I’m happy with the direction of the team and obviously I’m happy that we’re winning games,” Waterbury said, but still feels that after St. Lawrence they can improve more as a team coming into conference play.
Following PSUC’s first loss of the season, the team noticed that there is still a lot to work on despite being undefeated coming into the match against St. Lawrence.
“There’s always things that we can build off of,” freshman defender Joe Gula said, who has been given the opportunity to step up and showcase his talents while senior defender Nick Economou is out with an injury.
“You always have to be ready because you never know when your name will be called upon,” Gula said. “Coach called on me during the Skidmore game, so I got the opportunity and didn’t want to let the team down.”
With SUNYAC games always being full of intensity, it is important for Waterbury’s, “anyone can step up,” philosophy to resinate throughout the entire team, as it is important to have a strong and deep bench at this point in the season and against tough SUNYAC opponents.
“We’ve had a number of guys step up, especially a lot of young guys,” Waterbury said. “At one point against Skidmore, we had five freshmen on the field which is really unusual, but you wouldn’t have known it watching them play.”
Despite picking up their first loss of the season Tuesday, the Cards will take what they learned and bring it into conference play which starts tomorrow at 1 p.m. on the road against Potsdam.
“At this point, we’ll be fine tuning some things and keeping everyone on the same page,” Waterbury said. “We’ll be mentally getting back into the work week.”
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