What a difference a week makes.
After the Plattsburgh state women’s soccer team struggled to score in a 5-1 loss to St. Lawrence and a 1-1 tie versus Potsdam, the Cardinals bounced back to score eight goals in their last three games.
PSUC beat two SUNYAC opponents last weekend, downing Oswego 2-0 and Cortland 3-1 before beating The Sage Colleges 3-1 Tuesday.
Senior midfielder Madeline Saccocio scored three goals over the weekend and added another on Tuesday to bring her total on the season to 12 goals in 11 games played.
Sophomore forward Katie Matott scored goals in both the Cortland and Sage games, and sophomore midfielder Rachel Moran opened the scoring against Sage.
All three goals against Sage came off of dynamic offensive play. Moran side-stepped a defender before putting a long shot into the top right corner, Saccocio blew by the Sage defence to catch a through-ball from senior midfielder Cait Gagen before putting it in the net to make it 2-0, and Matott made it 3-1 Cardinals by finishing a tic-tac-toe passing play from Gagen and junior forward Jessica Reid.
Head coach Tania Armellino was thrilled with how well her offense was clicking after making it a focus over the last couple weeks.
“People who got in the game tonight added some extra energy and added some extra movement up top,” Armellino said. “It created some really great situations. With Rachel’s (Moran) goal, we had been talking in practice about taking some more long range shots, so to see her do it in a game was awesome. When you train for those things, and then see them come to life it’s always a good feeling.”
Getting back on track offensively took a bit of a backseat after PSUC was blown out by St. Lawrence a couple weeks back, but the team has made it a focus during SUNYAC play.
“After the St. Lawrence game, we never wanted that to happen again,” said junior defender Jessica Mangieri. “We worked hard to get back to where we started.”
“We’ve been working on the offensive third and getting shots on from further out to give us more options,” Moran said.
Junior goalkeeper Nichole Gibson was another major factor in the wins, backstopping the team in all three to put her at seven wins on the season.
Armellino loves what she’s seeing from her veteran goalie.
“Every game of the season she’s had to come up with incredible saves,” Armellino said. “You get to see Gibs’ (Gibson) game improve as she moves forward. She’s always working so hard to get better.”
Next up the team plays two SUNYAC opponents below them in conference rankings. Oneonta comes into today’s matchup with a 1-3-1 conference record, while New Paltz sits at 0-3-1 heading into Saturday’s matchup.
Moran felt that the team’s current winning streak will give them a boost heading into this weekend’s games.
“We have a lot of energy,” Moran said. “This string of wins is really good momentum going into this weekend.”
Mangieri stressed that the team won’t head into the matchups expecting easy wins.
“We always know that they’ll be coming hard at us, so we have to take the play to them hard,” Mangieri said.
Armellino echoed Mangieri’s sentiment, reinforcing the fact that they won’t take their opponents lightly.
“The results in SUNYACs are always unpredictable,” Armellino said. “To take any team for granted would be foolish. Oneonta’s a tough competitor, so even in their losses they’ve been strong. The other day they took Geneseo to double overtime, so they can finish and work hard with the best of them. New Paltz is under a new coach, but they just got a point against Brockport. You can’t ever assume that it won’t be a battle.”
Email Ben Watson at email@example.com