Since beginning SUNYAC play, the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team has played in hard-fought contests against conference foes with every match being decided by one goal, and the team’s past two games against New Paltz and Oneonta were no different.
The Cardinals (8-4-1, 3-2-0 SUNYAC) captured a thrilling 2-1 victory against New Paltz in double overtime Friday afternoon before losing to Oneonta 1-0 the following day.
In PSUC’s battle against New Paltz, the Cards controlled all the momentum in the first half but couldn’t convert any of their scoring opportunities. PSUC strongly pushed to find the back of the net once the second half began and looked to be on the brink of a goal, but in the 66th minute, the Hawks were the first to score.
Despite surrendering the game’s first goal, the Cards seemed unaffected and responded eight minutes later, when senior forward Devin McMahon collected a rebound off a corner kick and netted the equalizer for PSUC, which freshman defender Jessica Mangieri tallied the assist on for her first collegiate point.
After PSUC tied the score, neither the Cards nor the Red Dragons could collect a game-winner, and the match headed to overtime.
While the first overtime yielded no goals, the second overtime did, when defender Hannah Saccocio passed the ball up to midfielder Cassidy Clavet, who blasted a shot from 30 yards out high into the net to secure the victory for PSUC.
Reflecting on her goal afterward, Clavet, who had 13 of the Card’s 35 shots, was exhausted but thrilled to help her team win.
“It happened pretty quick,” Clavet said. “I was trying to get shots off all game, and there was a lot of space to take long-range shots, which I like to do. None of our shots were falling throughout the game, so I just kept shooting because it was bound to fall eventually, and seeing it finally go into the back of the net was just the best feeling ever.”
After defeating New Paltz, PSUC couldn’t secure another win the next day despite a great effort against Oneonta. The Card’s head coach Tania Armellino said her squad struggled to connect on their offensive attack and acknowledged the team’s tired legs from the previous game played a factor, but she didn’t take anything away from Oneonta’s performance.
“I thought Oneonta was very fit and kept momentum throughout the game, and they’re a great team,” Armellino said. “We possessed the ball beautifully at times, but we couldn’t quite get the timing of the penetrating pass down.”
Although Armellino was disappointed to lose, she has said all season long that the Cards can’t harp on losses and have to move forward.
“For the most part in the game of soccer, you lose at some point, so you have to learn from it and use it as a learning experience for the future,” she said.
PSUC will return to action when they travel to meet Fredonia Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. and Buffalo State Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m., looking to secure two road wins.
The Cards have enjoyed how the season has gone so far but insist on improving and continue to maintain the intentions they set when the season began.
“I think we have met a lot of our goals, but we always say we want to be better, which is a good outlook for us because there’s always room for improvement,” senior defender Hannah Saccocio said.
“I think our team has done a good job at wanting to better ourselves, and we still want that SUNYAC championship.”
Armellino said she loves how PSUC has evolved this season and gained confidence along the way but knows the team can’t stop now if it wants to win a championship.
“We need to keep working,” Armellino said. “You have to commit to the long haul, and you have to commit to the fact it will not be easy. If we keep doing what we have been doing, we will get there, and I firmly believe that.”
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