The SUNY Plattsburgh men’s soccer team wrapped up its nonconference schedule last Saturday in a 1-0 loss against Clarkson University. The Cardinals’ latest loss brings their record to 2-5 overall as they head into their first conference game of the season against the Fredonia Blue Devils at home today at 4 p.m.
Head coach Chris Taylor said the loss against Clarkson was the most disappointing yet.
“We didn’t perform at all,” he said. “I was pretty surprised by it because we had a really good week of training, a really good week of practice, so I didn’t see it coming.”
Plattsburgh State was beaten 2-0 by Skidmore College the week before, giving the Cards a full week of practice before its next game, the longest stretch between matches this season.
Of Plattsburgh State’s five losses so far, Taylor said the one against Clarkson was noticeably different.
While Taylor said his team has yet to put together a full performance from start to finish, he said he’s seen his team go through periods and moments in games that he can point to that shows improvement and progression.
“In the Clarkson game, we didn’t have any [moments],” he said. “We can replay that film as much as we want, and we won’t see anything that was recognizable.”
Taylor also said the loss made him question the team’s growth, but remains optimistic.
“I was decently positive before the Clarkson game in terms of, at some point, we were going to click,” Taylor said. “Now I’m a little bit questioning, are we? I still think we will, but it’s more of when you have a really bad performance like that, you don’t want to overreact.”
Taylor said his team has done a lot of questioning ahead of its SUNYAC opener today but won’t be making any fundamental changes at this stage of the season.
“It’s not a case of ripping everything open and starting again,” he said, “because we know when we do what we want to do, we’re a good team.”
To prepare for its conference opener, Taylor said the atmosphere in practice last week took a different tone.
“It’s not been a week, so far, for talking,” he said. “It’s been a week of, ‘Get your head down and let’s really roll our sleeves up and work on what we want to be good at and execute.”
The Cards will have to gel quickly ahead of today’s game against Fredonia and tomorrow’s game against Buffalo State, another SUNYAC game.
“We’ve got to regain our confidence for sure over this week,” Taylor said, “because nobody in the SUNYAC is going to feel sorry for us.”