The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team came into the year expecting to repeat as SUNYAC champions.

This season, the Cardinals finished in seventh place in the SUNYAC conference, missing out on a postseason opportunity.

Head coach Chris Waterbury said the main goal every season is to win every game, be the No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC, host every game in the tournament and make it to the NCAA tournament — goals the team could not reach this season.

Freshman midfielder Ian Spear said that the team played below its potential.

“I feel like everybody on the team feels that way, but that’s good and bad,” Spear said. “I think next year, going through a bad year like this year will really make us grow up for next year.”

Senior Nick Parrella said that the team had difficulties this year, but those can’t be used as excuses.

“We had a lot of injuries, issues with the field early on in the year, and at the same time we can’t use that as an excuse,” Parrella said. “I think we were definitely a better team than our record showed.”

The injuries this season hurt the team in a big way. Senior defenseman Wade Goehle said it was the most injuries he has seen in his four years here.

The injuries made Waterbury trot out different starting lineups with the younger players getting more playing time, changing the team’s style of play. With this constant change, the team couldn’t build chemistry.

He said the keys to coming back better next season, on an individual level, are the players hitting the weight room, working harder and building better discipline.

Parrella said he believes there was just something missing from this team that it didn’t have in years past.

“I don’t think it was a mental thing or a physical thing, and I just think there was just something that wasn’t there this year that was there in the past,” Parrella said.

Junior goalie Mitchell Jordon saw one positive out of the final games this season. He saw the team finally put something into the game they have been missing all season — heart.

Jordon said this offseason the team needs to work hard and stay in shape by hitting the gym more, which should help avoid injuries.

But Jordon did promise one thing.

“As a whole, I know that as a team we feel that we underperformed with the amount of talent we have,” Jordon said. “But we are getting ready for next year, and trust us — we are not going to let it happen again.”

Email Nick Topping at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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