The start of SUNYAC play brings the start of a quickening game pace. In the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team’s first game against Potsdam, the team was unable to keep up the intensity for the entire 90 minutes.
The Cardinals, in their last three games have gone 0-2-1 losing to both Potsdam and St. Lawrence and tying the game against Skidmore. The team has struggled to play with their style.
Junior goalie Mitchell Jordon said the team didn’t play the game they wanted to play.
“We were kind of getting away from what our plan was,” Jordan said. “We were kicking a lot of long balls versus trying to find the midfield, and it played right into what Potsdam was good at because they were tall in the back.”
Jordon said the team was unable to clear the ball, causing a hectic scene in front and leading to Potsdam’s winning goal.
Senior midfielder Nick Economou said one of the main concerns in this game was the underestimation of the team’s first SUNYAC opponent.
Potsdam’s starting goalie Nick Davies has given up 12 goals this year, three more than Jordan has allowed.
Economou, who is one of the team’s leaders on defense, said tempo starts to pick up during SUNYAC play and the Cardinals have a target on their back after winning the SUNYACs last year against this Cortland team who the team plays Friday.
The team had one of its best seasons last year going 15-6-1 and winning the SUNYACs before losing in the first round of the NCAA Divison III tournament to Wheaton 2-0.
This year, Cortland has gone 6-2-1 overall and 1-0-1 in conference play. In the Red Dragon’s last game against Oneonta, the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
In all six of the Red Dragon’s wins this year, the team has won by a shutout victory with Cortland goalie Tim Beauvais allowing only nine goals in the team’s nine games this year.
PSUC’s biggest threat from Cortland will be junior midfielder Robby Reiser who has made four goals on five shots.
Last week Reiser was awarded the SUNYAC offensive player of the week after scoring two goals and leading his team to a 2-2 tie in their last game against Oneonta.
Jordon said the team needs to pick up their intensity level to be able to compete with a strong Cortland team.
“At the beginning of the Potsdam game it seemed very low, nonchalant, and this weekend I know that it will be a lot higher,” Jordon said.
This year, the Cards have had a problem with keeping the intensity throughout its matches, which head coach Chris Waterbury has said all season that the team has not been able to play their game for the full 90 minutes.
One of the main things that is affecting the team’s ability to play a full 90 minutes is team camaraderie.
Senior forward Nick Parrella said the team chemistry has not been the same as last year, which affects every asset of play.
“I think a lot of us aren’t really gelling like we did last year for whatever reason,” Parrella said. “I don’t know what that really is, but I think that is the issue we have right now.”
Team chemistry has been lacking for a Cards team all season. PSUC is adjusting to the new starters such as freshman forward Nick Laurent and Nate Economou settling into more of a starter role, while losing starters such as now an assistant coach Matt Hamilton and former forward Tom Greene.
Hamilton played in 22 of the teams 23 games and was the leader of the team with seven goals.
Hamilton’s role has been taken by sophomore forward Alexis Archilla who has nine goals in nine games this season.
For the team to be able to win the game against Cortland, Parrella said, the team needs to do more than just want to win.
“I think we have to start playing with some desperation and just really kind of putting it all out there, not just wanting the result, but willing it,” Parrella said. “Every game in the conference is important, and I think to will this win and not just want it is the big thing.”
Email Nick Topping at email@example.com.