Coming off of an upset victory over No. 4-seeded Oneonta, the fifth-seeded Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team hoped to continue its streak and defeat a top-seeded Geneseo on Wednesday afternoon in a semifinal bout in the SUNYAC tournament.
Unfortunately for head coach Tania Armellino’s Cardinals, the team fell short to the Knights, losing 3-0. Geneseo flashed its offense abilities early into the first half and saw two goals coming in the 14th and 28th minutes.
Kelsey Raschke connected on a header from Danielle Sheehan for the Knights’ first goal. Emily Green connected on a shot from ten yards out to give Geneseo a solid 2-0 lead going into the half.
“We came out flat and they didn’t,” Armellino said. “They came out to win and played with a lot of pressure up top and just wouldn’t let us get settled in.”
The second half of play was not much different for the Cards as their offensive woes continued. The Knights would knock in a third goal 13 minutes into the second half, putting an end to PSUC’s impressive SUNYAC run.
Going into the game, Armellino recognized Geneseo as a team with a solid midfield.
“Our focus for this game is getting our timing down, keeping our shape and our movement off the ball,” Armellino said before the game. “Mainly keeping our shape in both the attack and defensively.
Senior goalkeeper Danielle Schmitt said that her team had worked on both offensive and defensive patterns in preparation for the game, which is something they struggled with in their previous matchup — not capitalizing on opportunities presented to the team.
Schmitt will be one of three graduating seniors for PSUC, all of whom will be missed, Armellino said. The Cards will also be without midfielder Jill Tardelli and defender Ashley Pagano for the 2015 season.
“They really led this team and the whole team followed with a great work ethic to achieve that,” Armellino said. “They led us to a good record and to the semifinal showing and that really makes you proud.”
Armellino had quite a successful campaign in her first year with the Cards and said that she feels fortunate to have walked into such a group of outstanding young women who always work hard. The team posted an impressive 9-8-2 overall record, showing vast improvement from last season when they finished with a record of 5-11-2.
A young PSUC squad will return a majority of its players for next season, including freshman standout Lindsey Bushey, who tallied 70 shots on the season with a team-high 12 goals. Bushey shared a team-high five assists with junior Devin McMahon, who will also return for PSUC next season.
The team adjusted quite well to the renovated home turf and boasted a 6-1-1 record. In SUNYAC play, the Cards found themselves in and out of playoff contention with their 4-4-1 record, but eventually secured a fifth seed just in time for playoffs.
Armellino said she is excited to see what the future brings for her young squad in upcoming seasons and believes that there are many great things for her team to build on after this season.
“To me, the compilation has been my pride in how hard these guys have worked and how they really helped to get the program back in this tournament,” Armellino said. “This was experience for them, and I think looking into next year I see so many great things to build upon.”
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