Saturday, June 15, 2024

Cardinals tie Lakers to remain unbeaten

First-year forward Xavier Kamba (29) chases a deep pass against Oswego at home Sept. 30.



Collin Bolebruch

Connor Howe (24) embraces John Hayes in celebration as Hayes attempts to line the team back up. Hayes scored the equalizer against Oswego at the Field House Sept. 30. Thirty seconds after the Lakers took the lead, Hayes put in the tying goal.



By Michael Purtell

The undefeated Plattsburgh State Cardinals (5-0-4, SUNYAC 1-0-3) tied its third SUNYAC game in a row against the Oswego Lakers (2-3-4, SUNYAC 1-1-1) with a score of 1-1. The match took place at home Saturday, Sept. 30.

The game ended even in goals despite the Cardinals nearly quadrupling the Lakers shot attempts 19-5. John Hayes scored Plattsburgh’s lone goal off of an assist by Connor Howes.

The Cardinals dominated possession of the ball throughout the first half and took nine shots throughout — five of which were made by John Hayes. Oswego had just two shots in the first half.

The score showed an even 0-0 despite the difference.

“I thought it was good that we were getting a lot of good chances at the goal,” Hayes said. “But it was definitely frustrating as well, because of the good chances we had and not being able to finish and score.”

The Cardinals played with the same fervor entering the second half, and despite the growing gap in shot difference, Oswego was the first to put a point on the board at 74:28.

Plattsburgh silently moved back to their positions, ready to resume play.

“Once they scored, it’s kind of just like, desperation mode for me and everyone else.” Hayes said. “We obviously want to keep our undefeated streak, but we also wanted to pick up a win.”

Thirty seconds later, Hayes and the Cardinals responded. A perfect pass by Howes allowed Hayes to charge down toward the box with competitive aggression and put the ball past the Lakers goalkeeper. The Cardinals celebrated minimally, returning to their spots, ready to finish the game.

Hayes has been a force to be reckoned with all season. He leads the Cardinals in goals with five, points with 11, shot attempts with 38 and shots on goal with 19.

“John’s fantastic. He’s an unbelievable athlete, an unbelievable talent,” Men’s Head Coach Chris Taylor said. “But the best thing about John that can’t be taught is that competitively, he’s an animal. He does not want to lose anything ever.”

Hayes’ clutch performance was enough to stave off defeat, but an influx of stoppages of play had both teams emotional as the game drew to a close. A Plattsburgh scoring opportunity was waived off by officials for a foul call, and calls against Oswego had the Lakers reacting as well.

The athletes’ emotions culminated in a yellow flag for the Oswego Lakers in the final second of the match, and both teams headed to the locker rooms still hot with competitive fire.

The locker room was heavy with dissatisfaction after the third conference tie in a row.

“It was definitely disappointing. It felt like we dropped two points instead of earning one,” Frankie Palumbo said. “I was disappointed and the team was as well. We just expect better of ourselves.”

Taylor wasn’t happy with the outcome either.

“I was with everyone else, I was. I was angry, and I told the guys as such,” Taylor said. “We have to take responsibility for not a bad result, but a disappointing result.”

The Plattsburgh State Cardinals will be looking for its second conference win in its next match against conference rivals Fredonia (5-3-3, SUNYAC 1-3-0) Saturday, Oct. 7 in Fredonia. The Cardinals will then host two SUNYAC games next week against Cortland (9-1-1, SUNYAC 3-0) and Buffalo State (5-3-2, SUNYAC 1-3) Wednesday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 14 respectively.

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