The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team split its first weekend of SUNYAC competition on the road, defeating Oswego State but then falling to SUNY Cortland a day later.

“Believe it or not, the game against Oswego was a good result, but I wouldn’t call it a great game for us,” head coach Chris Waterbury said. “We had some composure issues that were disguised in the win.”

Waterbury noticed how in the game against Cortland these composure issues were magnified, ultimately ending in a 4-0 loss.

“We had a good first half, but as a team we struggled defensively,” Waterbury said. “We lost concentration and never seemed to get it back, resulting in a disappointing second half.”

“If we keep our composure and play the best we can, the results will take care of themselves,” Waterbury said.

After the weekend not going how the Cardinals had hoped, Waterbury noticed a lack of leadership as well as the team not being able to maintain focus when needed most.

“We need better team leadership top to bottom,” Waterbury said. “That’s what we need most right now.”

Looking ahead, the Cardinals look to bounce back and play strong on their home field this weekend against another pair of conference opponents.

“I have full confidence in the team that we’re going to come out hungry and ‘guns blazing’ this weekend,” sophomore defender John LaTouche said. “It’s great playing at home. The fans have been great and really have been our 12th man.”

Coming into this weekend, the Cards have a certain amount of holes to fill and will be looking at the depth of this team to help propel them to victory.

“SUNYAC games are very tough and physical,” LaTouche said. “Having a deep squad like we do, the best part about it is that there isn’t a drop in level between the players.”

LaTouche already plays a key role in PSUC defense in only his sophomore year, as his voice on and off the field is a boost for the defense and rest of the team.

“During practice we all try to out-work one another,” LaTouche said. “I and the rest of the younger guys came in to this program with a lot to prove. Nobody is complacent on this team.”

With another important SUNYAC weekend for PSUC, the week of preparation is crucial in determining what can be fixed in order to win these matchups.

“With the guys that we have out right now, we have to put together a thought process on who is the next man up,” Waterbury said. “When you have a bad loss it can be even worse if you don’t learn from it. Our hopes are to learn from our mistakes and move on from there.”

Despite having an overall record of 9-2, Waterbury sees a lot of room for improvement for the team after the Cards’ first weekend against conference opponents.

No. 22 SUNY Oneonta will be coming into town today for a 3 p.m. showdown, and then will host New Paltz tomorrow at 1 p.m.

“We’re trying to keep everybody as mentally tough as possible,” Waterbury said. “We can’t look beyond our next game. After our game Friday, we’ll have 18 hours to prepare for Saturday. Hopefully we keep progressing in a positive direction.”

Email Ezra Kachaturian at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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