Monday, April 12, 2021

Cards confident for conference play

The Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team finished up their streak of road games Saturday, losing a closely fought match to Skidmore 2-1.

The first half of play was relatively even, but Skidmore (3-3-0) slightly outplayed PSUC (4-3-0) offensively and were able to outshoot the Cardinals 7-4. The half came to an end with both teams even at 0-0.

PSUC defender Madeleine Rattray recognized Skidmore’s formation as being heavily concentrated in the middle of the field, which was something that took the defense some time to adjust to.

“It was hard for us to adjust to picking them up, so it took us a longer time to get organized which allowed for them to get shots off,” Rattray said.

The Cards wasted no time in the second half as their offense came out firing shots early. Within the first three minutes of the second half, freshman standout Lindsey Bushey fired two of her team-high five shots, both missing.

PSUC defender Mercedes Kendall believes her team did an excellent job of creating chances, but struggled to capitalize.

“I think that we worked the ball very well,” Kendall said. “When we got the opportunities, we saw the face of the goal but just couldn’t put it in the back of the net.”

After Skidmore’s Megan Caccavale worked through a pair of PSUC defenders to score from just inside the box, PSUC’s Devin McMahon lined up a corner kick that a Skidmore defender failed to clear in the box, allowing Bushey to score off of a deflection for her team-high sixth goal.

It took just 41 seconds for the Thoroughbreds to answer as Emily Saliterman poked in a shot from just six yards out, which would eventually be the game winner.

“We watched the ball and not the player,” Rattray said. “I think that’s why we got caught up in a two-versus-one situation.”

In the final ten minutes, the Cards picked up the intensity and fought hard. PSUC created three close scoring opportunities in those final minutes but was unable to capitalize on those chances.

“There were so many opportunities in the last five minutes,” Kendall said. “We were going right down their throat trying to score.”

PSUC head coach Tania Armellino praised her team’s ability to create chances but believes consistency and keeping organization is an area for improvement.

“The opportunities are there, it’s just a matter of finishing them when they come,” Armellino said. “I was really pleased with what we created and that is what’s hard about walking away with a loss.”

With non-conference games coming to an end, PSUC will open up SUNYAC play at home Sunday against Potsdam (4-2-1).

Armellino is happy to return home after playing three games on the road. A win would be crucial in order to create momentum, and she said PSUC has the ability to win this game.

“It’s just going to be really about us keeping our composure, and keeping our shape will be really big for us on the defensive side of the ball,” Armellino said.

Potsdam has proven to be an offensively-powered team lately, outscoring the opposition 8-1 in its last two contests. Potsdam freshman Jaci Morr will be a player to watch in the upcoming fixture. Morr currently leads the Bears in goals with six and has also fired off a team-high 31 shots, 18 of which were on goal.

Kendell said one of the Cards’ biggest concerns so far has been their ability to come out strong and intense in the first five minutes.

“When we do set the tone, we win the game,” Kendall said. “I think that if we go into the game against Potsdam and set the tone in the first five minutes, then they will be shocked and set back on their heels.”

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