On Wednesday, Nov. 3, the second-seeded SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals took on the third-seeded Cortland Red Dragons in the semi-final round of the SUNYAC playoffs. The Cardinals were coming in hot, reeling off their last three wins of the season beating Clarkson, Potsdam and Canton. Earlier in the season,the Cardinals traveled and won a close game 1-0. The single score came with seven minutes left in the second half when Allison Siedmen scored her 3rd goal of the season. Since then, the Cardinals and the Red Dragons have been neck and neck all season, and it seemed like an inevitable matchup from the beginning of the 2021 season.
The second matchup of the season saw the Red Dragons travel north to Plattsburgh for this playoff contest. The Cardinals were hit quickly by the opposition letting in a quick goal within the first three minutes of the match. The Plattsburgh defender was beaten to the ball by Cortland’s Jaden Galluzzo, and in that little time, she was able to get a shot off that got past the Plattsburgh goalie putting the Red Dragons up 1-0 quickly. Thirteen minutes later the Red Dragons would strike again when Galluzzo scored her second goal putting the ball right past the goalkeeper who was working to cut her off before she could shoot. The Cardinals were on the ropes so early in such a big game. The game would stay at that score until the 36-minute mark of the game when the Red Dragons would find the back of the net for the third and last goal of the game. Isabell Atuh got a feed from Galluzzo who had her fingerprint all over the game. Auth would score her first goal of the season scoring a goal in the top shelf of the net. Although the score of the game did not look close, the shot sheet told a different story. As the Cardinals would outshoot the Red Dragons in the first half, 12-4.
The second half of the game potentially was a chance for the Cardinals to reclaim the lead, as well as an opportunity for the Red Dragons to continue to hang on to the commanding lead that they already had. The second half of the game saw Cortland’s defense clamped down and did not allow the Cardinals to do much on the offensive side. Although like the shot sheet would show again, Plattsburgh outshot Cortland this half, 10-4. While Plattsburgh had more shot attempts than Cortland, they settled for shots that were not close and were easy for the goaltender to save. Out of all the shots taken by the Red Dragons, nine out of the 13 were on net compared to Plattsburghs 11 shots on goal for 22 total shots.
Plattsburgh was attacked fast by Cortland’s offense, which was a departure from the last time they faced when both teams were able to muster up one shot combined. This game saw a combined 45 shots from both teams showing off the fireworks that they have. Kristen Villemaire led Plattsburgh with 11 total shots and 6 shots on goal, and goalie Julia Ennis made 6 saves in the game. Although the Cardinals may have lost the SUNYAC tournament, they have to wait to see if their season continues during the 2021 NCAA Division III women’s soccer selection show Nov. 8.