Thursday, June 13, 2024

Injuries force Cards to change game, plan toward youth

Sports teams deal with injuries. This week, it was Plattsburgh State men’s soccer’s turn.

The Cardinals competed in a hard-fought match against Skidmore last weekend that ended in a tie. Senior defensemen Wade Goehle said the team was able to battle and put forward a strong showing against a strong Skidmore team.

“We went down 1-0, came back 1-1, went down 2-1 and came back 2-2, so it showed a lot of hard work and resilience from our team,” Goehle said. “Skidmore is pretty good. They are hard-working and we just battled back against them.”

Sophomore forward Chris Bowden said Skidmore was a physical team, but he said the Cards were able to match their physicality and tie the game in the end.

Waterbury said he had moments in the game where he was happy with the team’s play and other moments where the play was not what he wanted.

“Skidmore is a very good team and sometimes when they are doing things right, it’s going to seem like we are doing things wrong,” Waterbury said. “It was a game we could have won, it was a game that I might have even thought, ‘Man, we should have won that thing,’ but it was a good game, and a tie on the road isn’t the worst thing either.”

During the game against Skidmore, four of the PSUC starting players were injured during the game — defensive backs Shaq Jackson-Lee and Clay Sherman, forward Luke Van Dixhorn and goalie Mitchell Jordon — which made Waterbury nervous heading into the matchup against St. Lawrence on Tuesday.

“I have all the confidence in the world with our guys coming off the bench, but it is what it is,” Waterbury said before Tuesday’s game. “St. Lawrence will be organized, they’ll be fit, they’ll be very good, they’ll be very technical, and we are going to need a good game to beat them.”

Jordon was able to play for the full 90 minutes, but he was in with a taped-up knee and was playing injured.

The short-handed bench and injuries for the Cards made it difficult to compete with a strong St. Lawrence team.

St. Lawrence was able to take the matchup 2-1, and it was evident that PSUC was having difficulties in the absence of three of its key players.

“We had a lot of younger kids in our lineup today and I think our youth showed a little bit,” Waterbury said. “We lost our composure at inopportune times and gave up two set-piece goals, and it is always a killer to give one up right before half.”

The injured players forced the Cards to trot out some of their less-experienced players on the field.

The next matchup for the Cards is their first in SUNYAC play against Potsdam on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Waterbury said his team needs to improve upon the little things to be able to start conference play on a high note.

“All teams know what the major things are,” Waterbury said. “To be tuned in for the full 90 minutes, to go mentally from offense to defense, from defense to offense, to immediately go. I think if we do those things, I think we will continue to have positive progress.”

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